Sunday, August 25, 2013

The stray cat who stayed

There are many stories to be told about this cat. He turned up hungry and skinny six years ago, meowing under the deck for days on end, hunting crickets on the lawn to eat before we took pity on him and began feeding him. We put flyers all through the neighbourhood and knocked on doors, trying to figure out where he had come from. Nothing. Six years later he is still here. And still torments my cat Pema on a regular basis. We called him Slinky. He is a funny cat. You can mow the lawns around him and he won't blink an eye. He likes to hide behind bushes in the garden and ambush me. He thinks nothing of pilfering off the bench, or sneaking in through any open window. Neighbours have come home to find him stretched out fast asleep in a patch of sun on their beds. Nothing much fazes him. When I was pregnant with Jed his favourite place to be was on my tum. Now, he is not a super affectionate cat this one. Only when it suits him and there is no way I would call him a lap cat. But he persisted on sprawling over my huge belly even in active labour when I threw up all over him. He came straight on back. That was the last time I remember him being on a lap. Until the other night. We were minutes away from leaving for a party (hence the Jedi robe and light sabre) and he clambered up onto Jed's lap, curled up and went to sleep. Jed couldn't believe it. He stayed stock still, afraid to disturb Slinky. Special moment. 

Recently, a neighbour two doors down asked me if we had an affectionate black cat. After apologising in advance for whatever it is he had done, I said no. But then later that day, I was walking past their house and Slinky happened to be with me. I popped in to ask if this was the cat in question. It was. They call him Mr Smooth and he has lived part time with them ever since he turned up skinny and hungry all those years ago. Now we know where his cuddle quota goes. Next door on the other side used to call him Humphrey. I wonder what other lives he has. Such a character. 
I will never feel bad when I put him out at night again!

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