Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


A Cat With No Name, Part One.

Another animal story, but this one is highly confidential as it includes cruelty, identity theft, actual theft, kidnapping, lies, trickery, and deception. Tell no-one you have read this.

One day two summers ago, a cat walked in my front gate, proceeded up the long driveway, turned left at the pathway that leads to the front door and sat down on the front porch. I watched this happen through the front window and was strangely moved by the cat's nonchalant self-possession. It looked like it had been here before. But I was sure it hadn't.

I invited it inside. You don't usually invite cats, you just let them in. But this one had such a debonair personality I felt a more formal approach was appropriate. The cat accepted my invitation and marched in regally, walked to the kitchen and sat down expectantly at the refrigerator. This was a cat that knew what it wanted. I fed it.

The cat was a complete male, confident and fat and sleek with soft, small fold-over ears and shifty oriental eyes. Its coat was grey with stripes, and it had a white chest and an orange nose. It purred deeply. It had no name tag. I supposed its name would be Buster or Sam Spade or Mr Wilson or Hammer.

It came back the next day. I fed it again and gave it some milk. It slurped the milk noisily and sailed straight back to the front door without a backward glance and waited for me to open it. When I did, it walked away languidly like a diner leaving a French restaurant after having eaten a chateaubriand and drunk half a bottle of Beaujolais.

A few days later, a lady who lives a few doors away flittered past my house as I was collecting the mail. Have you seen a cat?, she asked. I've seen plenty in my time, I replied. This one is grey, she said. Yes, I've seen it, I said. I've fed it too. It visits me. I hope you don't mind. She didn't mind.

It gets out, she explained, a little unnecessarily. She told me its name was Fluffball. I felt a vague sense of disillusionment. Fluffball?

Summer passed and I didn't see Fluffball for a while. He reappeared one night in early winter. He had lost weight, and he limped, quite badly. He started visiting again, and still took food, eating lustily each time. He had developed a habit of head-butting me, a pokerfaced form of affection. He would stalk onto the verandah, head straight for my leg, lower his fat grey head with the floppy ears and ram me like a goat. And she calls him Fluffball? Ludicrous.

Months passed. He came and went. Then I had a visit from another neighbour. This other neighbour works in animal care. I knew what she wanted to talk about. She wanted to talk about Fluffball.

to be continued


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

Intriguing story! Awww I hope there's a happy ending for the kitty.

paul kennedy said...

It was always going to be touch and go for this poor cat, Leaf!

Dr. Alice said...

Oh man. He sounds like quite a character. Eagerly awaiting next installment.