Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cats... I love 'em!

I like cats; I love ‘em! All my life I have never been away from a feline pet. I remember a cat we had at home when I was about four or five years old. He was called ‘Ginger’ and we had him for quite a long time.
When we were first married, Barbara and I moved into a house we had bought and we hadn’t been there for more than a couple of weeks when a stray cat wandered in, sat down and miaowed to be fed! Naturally, we took him in and he was the first of a succession of moggies over the years.
I had a friend, Jean, who bred and showed cats. These weren’t the run-of-the-mill flea-bags but pedigree cats worth quite a lot of money. I would take her to cat shows all over the place and she won quite a few prizes.
.Jean’s house was where I had first met Iris who used to baby-sit for her so they knew each other very well. Iris loved cats but her mother had never allowed her to have any pet at all. One day, Jean asked me to take her to the National Cat Show in Leicester at the De Montfort Hall. It was a very important event in the cat world so I agreed. The three of us set off early on the Saturday morning with three show cats. Two were Silver Tabbies and one was a Tortie-point Siamese.
It was a very successful result with Jean winning ‘Best of Class’ for the Silver Tabbies and a Commendation for the Siamese. Armed with the awards, she decided to breed one of the tabbies as she had orders for the kittens even before they were conceived!
The queen had six kittens; all healthy and in perfect condition. Two of them, however, were not up to show quality as they were a little darker than the required standard. As soon as they were old enough, Jean offered them to me. I snatched her hand off. Iris had one and my mother, another moggie fan, had the other. Iris called her kitten ‘Smokie’ and mother named hers, Sophie. They were both spoiled absolutely rotten!
Sadly, Smokie was run over two days before Iris died. I took her home and buried her in the back garden. She was a beautiful creature and I still have a couple of shots of her with Iris. Some of you will remember the photographs published on here last March. You can also see Smokie in the pics that I use as avatars on MSN and Yahoo Messenger. Even today, I still have a cat in the house. I have mentioned her before; she is called Tiffi and is absolutely boofuls!

Smokie with Iris in 1974. 30 years later, Tiffi sitting on my printer

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