Cat lady without a cat!

Today’s’ blog is a bit of fun, and I thought I’d share about something I love. 

I love cats! Sadly, though for many reasons, I don’t have one of my own.

My history with cats

When I was young, I was given a cat as a birthday present by one of my mum’s friends.  The friend, Pat, was a member of the Cats Protection League, and looked after rescue cats; boarded cats, and also bred Abyssinians. 

The cat she gave me was one rescued from a litter found on a farm. Misty, was a part British Blue. She was a beautiful, grey cat with copper coloured eyes.  Although my cat, she loved mum far more and as time went by, became her cat.

Mum used to work for Pat and her husband, who owned their own building firm. She worked from their home, which meant that during in school holidays, because they had a very large house and garden, I was allowed to go to work with her.

This was heaven. Pat’s own cats slept in the boiler room of the house, and I would spend my time, playing with them for hours. All of them had names, and I knew each one, though now I can only remember a very small number: Nelson and Mathilda (who were both missing an eye); Biscuit; Sam; Tabby, Cleo, Whiskey….  In the early evening, Pat would stand in the garden and call their names, and the cats would appear from every corner. Scampering across the grass from the different flowerbeds, or through the hedges from the field beyond, knowing 

 it was time to be fed.

On odd occasions I was allowed into the main part of the house to visit Prinny, the seemingly always pregnant, Abyssinian queen.  However, I don’t remember ever being allowed to see the newly born kittens.

The other cat that I grew up with was Monday.  He lived next door with Aunty Maud – not a real aunty but a neighbour. Monday was a very old ginger tom, and was taken for walks in the garden on a lead.  Our houses had long back gardens, so he did at least get good exercise, but never outside of his domain.

Monday would sit in the window, and because missing some front teeth, his tongue would stick out between the other teeth.  My dad would stick his tongue out back at the poor cat whenever he passed him in the window!  Monday wasn’t an affectionate cat at all, and didn’t like being touched, although Aunty Maud’s cuddles were happily received.  She and her husband George didn’t have children, and I think Monday was her surrogate child.

What is it about cats that I love?

I love the slight aloofness of some cats.  They can be very affectionate, but when they’ve had enough, like Greta Garbo, they want to be left alone.  

They don’t slobber as much as dogs, unless missing teeth!

Generally, they clean up after themselves.

They are very cute, and cuddly, especially when little.

I love the sound they make when they ‘talk’ to you.

Cats can get into the most incredible positions.  

I can quite happily waste time looking at cat video’s on Youtube or Instagram, and on occasions I laugh so much that I end up crying, and getting wheezy.  

Health Warning – Cat’s can be a danger to your wellbeing!

Cats in Literature

I’m very excited at the moment to be working with someone who is writing a collection of short stories about a group of cats from their point of view…. I can’t wait to see how it is going to come together.

One of the most famous poems about Cats is T S Eliot’s ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’.

Another which I love is ‘For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry’ by Christopher Smart, written in 1763. The English composer, Benjamin Britten, in his cantata, ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ uses one particular verse, which is the first time I heard the poem. Britten is one of my favourite composers, and whose work I studied for A level music.

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
For then he leaps up to catch the musk, which is the blessing of God upon his prayer.
For he rolls upon prank to work it in.
For having done duty and received blessing he begins to consider himself.
For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he looks upon his forepaws to see if they are clean.
For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there.
For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the forepaws extended.
For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood.
For fifthly he washes himself.
For sixthly he rolls upon wash.
For seventhly he fleas himself, that he may not be interrupted upon the beat.
For eighthly he rubs himself against a post.
For ninthly he looks up for his instructions.
For tenthly he goes in quest of food.

Do you have a favourite cat poem or book about cats that you enjoy?