Thursday, April 29, 2010


Talli said in my comments yesterday ‘When in trouble... turn to cats’ and I think she’s right and we are in proper trouble here. Cats are cool.  These have been mine:

Loppy Lugs was my first cat when I was around seven. My sister got Loppy’s sister, Squeaker. Loppy was an absolute bitch of a cat while Squeaker was a dreamy pet, allowing my sister to dress her up and push her around in a pram. Loppy Lugs never wanted me anywhere near her and got stroppier as she got older.

We always had family cats during the next part of my life: Polly, Jaffa, Weed, Frista, HP and Ketchup are the ones I can remember.

Husband and I got our first house and not quite ready to commit to children we got a couple of cats we called Snipe and Wigeon. Within a week or so of getting them, Wigeon was diagnosed with cat flu; the vet didn’t sound very optimistic but my mum told me that when they die of feline flu, it’s usually dehydration so I stayed up with a pipette force feeding him liquids for three nights. I had a special love for Wiggie Woo. He loved us back in that special cat way – cursorily - but he smiled when he loved us. I couldn't find a picture of him smiling though.

Snipe loved me in desperate and needy way, which, to my shame, meant I sometimes found him irritating. He thought I was his mummy and nobody else would do. He wanted to sit on me ALL the time. I think I broke his heart when I had a baby. Over the following months, other people would do… because I wasn’t available.

Then we were given a cat for a wedding present by our best man. (Don’t ever do this!) We renamed him Devil or Devvy so we didn’t upset the neighbours. He had character… all the while he was opening your arteries. He was stroppy, arrogant and selfish; and a real Six Dinner Sid. Despite having had him neutered he continued to provide a friendly service to the local female cat population. I took him to the vets about this and his aggression problems.  The vet thought Devil might have had an undescended testicle and tried to examine him. Devil didn’t much like that and while the vet mopped up his own blood he told me he’d have to do the procedure under a general anaesthetic.  When we moved I put a notice up explaining he was our cat, but that I understood he was living in various other homes. I wanted people to know that he would leave with us, unless they wanted to offer him a permanent home. I got a phone call from a neighbour begging me not to leave him in the neighbourhood.

Finally we got Benny and TC. It was awful when we moved to Bangkok but luckily they were offered a home with Sister in law so we can keep in touch with them. (They write great letters.) If we'd known how long we'd be living in Bangkok, we would probably have got a couple of cats from the Soi Cat and Dog Rescue... but because our contract has been renewed year by year we haven't.

I've never lived for such a long period without cats in my life.


Caroline said...

Snipe looks like a tiger. Love this post x

JJ Beattie said...

Thanks. It was meant to cheer me up but it's made me a bit sad. I want cats...

Harriet said...

Aww. Mum, What a lovely post. I miss Benny and TC and desperately want new cats too.
Lovely pictures. xx

Lane said...

They're all gorgeous - apart from perhaps Devil:-)

Hope you're ok over there.

Take care x

Flowerpot said...

I can't imagine not having cats in my life -yours are a lovely collection!

Queenie said...

They're so varied, aren't they? My family never had cats when I was growing up, although I really REALLY wanted one. Since I became independent I, too, have had a succession of cats. Luckily my Paramour is also a cat-lover and currently we have three young adults who I hope will be with us for a long, long time. I hope you can have cats again in the next place you live.

Carol said...

Aww, yes cats are lovely but remember the cat sick, the litter tray, the scratches and the fur that managed to get absolutely everywhere!!

C x

Chris Stovell said...

Ooh, that Devil sounds like one! Now you've made me think of all my dear departed cats!

Debs said...

Your cats look so lovely.

I had three cats, all called Smokey Joe. What an unoriginal child I must have been.

HelenMHunt said...

Ah. My four send hugs to their Aunty JJ.

JJ Beattie said...

Awww, thanks lovely daughter. Me too and me too.

Lane, thank you. Devil, bless him, was rather cross eyed! Not the prettiest cat.

Thanks Flowerpot. No, I hate it.

Queenie, yes, so varied. I think that's why TS Eliot's poems were so wonderful. He really understood the different personalities of cats.

Carol, nice try hon... but no, I've blanked it out!

Chris, I'm a bit tormented by the one or two I can't remember. I can't remember the name of Jaffa's sister!

Debs, lol. We had a cat called 'Tigger' before Loppy Lugs came along. What a cliche!

Awww, thanks Helen. I needed that.

Queenie said...

My first cat was called Tigger! I've branched out a bit since then.

Suzanne Jones said...

They're all gorgeous.