Thursday, 15 July 2021

Cats

 Rudyard Kipling knew cats well.   He must have done to write 'I am the cat that. walks by himself.  All places are alike to me'. I really think that very few people are indifferent to cats - we either  love them or we don't.   I have had cats for most of my life but then changed to dogs when I moved into the country and retired, giving me time to take my dog for a walk.   But we always had much loved farm cats - they always got well fed and of course being a dairy farm for some years they never went short of milk (they were not above helping themselves).   Ernest, a gentle but rather stand-offish tabby - lived to a ripe old age.   As he was originally a stray we didn't know his age but on the day he died the farmer came across him lying on the path in the garden, obviously very sick.    He came into the house looking for a box (Ernest never came in) so that he could put some sweet smelling hay into it and put him in the shade somewhere.   When he went back with the box there was no sign at all of Ernest.   The next morning the box had not been slept in but the farmer found Ernest, dead, under the shed.   He wished to die in his own way.

Today the lock on my front door broke.   I had to ring the locksmith, who I have had several times before.   He is very good and came more or less straight away.  This time it was the expensive inner mechanism which had broken so that had to be replaced not repaired and it cost me £130.   But it had to be done.  After he had done we sat chatting and he told me about their stray.   I dare say many. many people could tell this, or a similar story = I have heard it so many times.

Several years ago a stray cat 'adopted' them.  After several weeks of hanging around the back door and deigning to eat some of the food which they put out for him (only that which he chose to eat) he came in - first j ust into the kitchen and then, as the weather got colder and they lit the logburner,  he would curl up in front of it and really make himself 'at home'.   That is until the onset of Winter last year when he disappeared one day and they never saw him again.   They worried about him on cold nights and left the shed window open and a box with a blanket in it and often food - but it was never interfered with and eventually they decided that he had probably died.   They had become fond of him and were quite sad.   A few weeks ago the locksmith saw him sitting in the kitchen window giving himself a good wash  .....of a house four doors away.   The woman was in the garden and he asked her if it was her cat.   She replied that he had just turned up one day last Autumn and made himself 'at home' and had been there ever since.    She remarked how 'picky' he was with his food - how he only liked the best, but how they had really grown fond of him.     

The locksmith didnt tell her where the cat had come from.

   Would you have claimed him as your own or would you have left him where had chosen to go?


34 comments:

Virginia said...

That’s a cat for you! They are independent in a way dogs rarely are. I think I’d have done just what your locksmith did, leave the cat be, and be relieved that the cat had found another home.

Derek Faulkner said...

Cats tend to be a subject that can often end up hotly argued over, you either love or hate them. If yo are a non-cat person and love your garden and wildlife then you hate cats. I'll refrain from going into a long dialogue on why I hate cats and just say that I would never feed or claim ownership of a stray cat, simply do my best to discourage it from returning, fortunately my terrier does that quite well for me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh Derek - weren't terriers put on this earth to do just that?

CharlotteP said...

Some years ago, a white cat started living in our garden. We called him 'Cat', and fed him scraps as he looked so dejected. Months passed, and there was a thunderstorm; 'Come in Cat', my husband said. He didn't need asking twice - he was in. About 18 months later, I was weeding the front garden, with Cat looking on idly. A man from the road behind ours came past, and said 'That's my neighbour's cat'... I thought I'd better go and see them. Knocking on their door in trepidation, I was horrified when a man answered and said 'YOU are the cat thief!!' Then he started to laugh and told me that they had got (2 years previously) 2 kittens, and Cat's (Chester's) nose was well out of joint. They were happy he had found a home where he was King Cat again. They said that they had bought a wardrobe in an auction 12 years ago, and when it was delivered, there was a white kitten inside! Cat led a charmed life and lived to the ripe old age of 17. He was a real character, and how we missed him when he died.

Unknown said...

Here in my cat story. My late hubby adopted a wild cat. It would not go to anyone else and came into the kitchen for a while at night when i went to bed. At the time of his dead the cat disappeared... Never to be seen again

CharlotteP said...

PS We would have said we were not cat people!

Jennifer said...

I like cats, but they can be damned ungrateful, as your story shows! I suppose I would've been glad he was alive and well cared for and I wouldn't say anything. The cat should live with its chosen family but I think it would have hurt my feelings!

I'm really more of a dog person, and it's a good thing because I have a severe allergy to cats. I DO like them, though, and they usually like me back. As long as I wash my hands after petting them and don't invite them into my home, it's okay to make friends.

Beacee said...

I chuckled at Derek's comment about terriers. some half a century ago I got my first cat - a small and very feisty tortie. She terrorised the neighbourhood. The neighbours across the road were on a corner with a gate at the front and one at the side, and they had two jack Russells. madam Purdy would sit in front of one gate until the dogs were thoroughly wound up and barking. Then she would crawl along the gutter to the other gate and sit there until they spotted her and came tearing over, at which point she crawled back to the first gate. This would go on for some time until the dogs got shouted at for being noisy.

Debby said...

I would have left him where he was. He obviously had made his choice, and you cannot reason with a cat. I haven't seen 'my' feral cat for some time. Well, at least not at my place. But he's making the rounds, as he does.

I got a small picture of a black cat sitting on a window sill wit that Kipling quote for my daughter and son-in-law last Christmas. She has an Afghan street cat who has been to more countries than most people, and I've no doubt that all places are the same to Maki.

EM Griffith said...

I would have left him to the place of his choosing. That said, I brought my first stray cat home when I was 4 years old. She was a beautiful calico, who turned out to be expecting a litter. It wasn't easy getting her to follow me and my best friend with her collie, Lady, trotting along; Lady thought of us as her pups and went everywhere with us.

There were other strays that adopted me over the years, and other cats I adopted. We had several dogs, too, in between. My husband prefers cats. I prefer animals that choose me, whatever they are.

Susan said...

Cats definitely choose the people they want to be with and I support their choice. I once found a kitten on my front porch. The calico kitten fit in to the palm of my hand. It was September and nights were getting cold. I bought the kitten inside feeling a kitten should not be alone outside in the cold. I gave the kitten warm milk and a bit to eat. Needless to say the cat never left. 2 years later while outside raking leaves with the cat nearby, a neighbor came over and said the cats owner lived across the street. I was shocked. I was getting ready to move and took my Sammy with me.

sparklingmerlot said...

Cats pick their owners. TS Eliot also knew his cats. Unfortunately that awful musical ruined his work for many.
I have always had cats and most cats will talk to me. Hubby is a dog person and we currently have two very young German Shepherds (12 months and 5 months) and a very grumpy 10 year old tabby cat who rules the roost.

Red said...

Kipling knew animals well. His biography is very interesting. I always took some Kipling stories with my language arts kids.

Joanne Noragon said...

That cat already chose a home.

Bonnie said...

I would have left him where he was since both he and the new owner seemed happy. However, I would be tempted to tell the new owner the story and ask to see the cat just out of curiosity but not to take him.

Cro Magnon said...

We had one in Brighton who just turned up, and spent his days with us. He would return to his own home at nights. I've had Cats all my life (mostly Tabbies), but sadly we don't have one now. Our last Cat, Freddie, was really lovely; I miss him.

Rachel Phillips said...

In a nutshell the locksmith did the right thing.

thelma said...

I am a dog person but cats have figured through my life. The prettiest kitten I remember sitting on the front doorstep, very early morning and miaowing. He came in with a long blackberry branch tied in a knot round his tail. My son helped untangle him and than sat for a couple of hours with the little sleeping kitten on his lap. We left notices everywhere for lost kitten, nothing happened. Then three weeks later someone turned up, the young man was almost in tears when he spied his cat amongst the two cats and two dogs I already had. He brought us a couple of carrier bags of goodies the next day he was so grateful.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I suppose the cat would have done what it wanted, whether claimed or not. I had a dog when I was a child but when he went I never got attached to a pet ever again. In recent years though I have derived much pleasure from observing my neighbours cats as they go about their activities (or incativities).

Bovey Belle said...

Cats always choose where they want to live. In our old house, we were a cat magnet, and had a status quo of 9 cats most of the time we were there. A cat would die (old age normally) and it seemed that word would get around, and another stray cat would walk up the valley and appear in our garden! Fortunately we love cats.

We are down to four now (the people who bought our house having taken on the 3 outside cats there, bless them). Hopefully no more strays now.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Ha! I meant to write "inactivities" but Freud seems to have slipped in!

Heather said...

Over the years we have had a variety of cats, each one having it's own identity and character. We've had dogs too which seem to be more affectionate than cats who are far more independent. Dogs will ask for a fuss whereas cats will permit you to fuss them.

the veg artist said...

You can't make a cat do anything it doesn't want to. Our little tabby turned up as a tiny stray kitten about 8 years ago. She was hungry, so for a few days we fed her, without encouraging her, and she gradually moved in. She absolutely hates other cats, and we've always thought she was being bullied by the rest of her litter. The locksmith didn't have much say in it, really.

Tasker Dunham said...

I like all cats but not all like me.

Jean said...

We are cat lovers. Tempting as it might be to claim the cat back it would be pointless, the cat would move out again to wherever it wanted to be!
Our cat was stolen by our nasty neighbour when she was just a kitten and we had only had her for two weeks. He kept her shut in his bedroom for ten days so she couldn't escape and come home. It was the worst time, wondering and worrying about what had happened to her but we got her back. She has been Lady of the House ever since!

Minigranny said...

A cat has adopted my daughter,out in the but only in the daytime. When she or the children are out in the garden she's like a little shadow following them and yesterday she kept my husband company while he was doing some gardening there.

Marcia LaRue said...

Every cat lover knows this truth: NO one ever OWNS a cat ... the cat OWNS you!!!

Anonymous said...

Minigranny - wwonder how long it will be bfore she asppesrs at bedtime. Winter maybe?
Jean - what an awful time it must have been.
Tasker - I think it is like that wwith us all. Try smothering yourself in good quality cat food and lying naked on the lawn - you never know.
BB Famous last words. Let us know when the first one arrives
Rachel - read today's post.

Thanks everyone.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sorry folks - pressed the wrong button. The last comments are of course mine not Anonymous - sorry to Anonymous roo - not sre what happened.

Anne Brew said...

Reminds me of the children's story Six Dinner Sid about a cat who went to six different houses for his six dinners - each household thinking they were the only owner.

Heather said...

I was going to write that. One of our grandchildren’s favourite books.

angryparsnip said...




thousandflower said...

We had a cat choose us very much in this way. We did find who had had him before us as he had chosen them in the same way and apparently just decided to move on one day. They agreed he ought to say where he chose. We had him for the last 4 years of his life. Marvin was the best cat we ever had.

Victoria said...


I was diagnosed as HEPATITIS B carrier in 2013 with fibrosis of the
liver already present. I started on antiviral medications which
reduced the viral load initially. After a couple of years the virus
became resistant. I started on HEPATITIS B Herbal treatment from
ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC (www.ultimatelifeclinic.com) in March, 2020. Their
treatment totally reversed the virus. I did another blood test after
the 6 months long treatment and tested negative to the virus. Amazing
treatment! This treatment is a breakthrough for all HBV carriers.