There’s me, Lee, a lady cat. I’m the one telling the story.
Mom and dad, my human parents.
Tom and Sukie, my best feline friends.
Woof, a visiting Persian kitten with a daft name.
Hello. My name is Lee and before I go any further I have to tell you what a pretty cat I am. I’m mainly white but I have some very fetching black markings on my back and the top of my head. I’m a ladylike cat, or so my owner keeps telling her friends and neighbours. She’s right, of course, I am very elegant and apparently royal because she keeps saying when I sit my front legs look like Queen Anne’s. I don’t know the woman but she must be okay if I sit like her.
It feels like forever since I arrived here in my third home, fourth if you count the market. I don’t remember much about the first one because I was shoved out when I was very small. Me and seven others. I think we were related but it’s too long ago to remember exactly. We ended up at the market, cooped up in a cage. Even now I recall how hot and smelly it was and sometimes I wake in the night thinking I’m still there. I was rescued for a while by an old man who died a few months after I got there. It was just my luck to be whipped back to the market. What a relief to know those days are over. Now I live in a proper house. Brick built, carpets on the floor, a garden to explore, and toys to cuddle up to.
My favourite toy is a tailless, one-eared mouse and that’s because I attacked it on sight. I wasn’t used to such things, you see. Not even real ones. Dad thought it would be great fun to roll the lifelike toy towards me and, of course, I went berserk. Pulled the ear off in one bite and felt victorious doing it. It was only afterwards I realised the mouse was a toy. Obviously I know the difference now, I’m not entirely stupid. Every night I chew off a bit more of the fur while imagining it’s the real thing.
Mom likes to kit me out in new collars. I’ve had four or five since I arrived here but most of them were lost while climbing trees. You should see the present one: state of the art tartan with a silver medallion bearing my name. I don’t think it is real silver but I like to think mom gives me the best. I don’t have a pedigree or anything to say I come from a good background. In fact I don’t think even Mom knows where I originated. For all I know I might have unsavoury parentage but I do my best to act like I come from good stock.
You’ll have gathered by now that I’ve got human parents and I have to say it’s no bad thing. Mom and dad look after me well, good food and plenty of attention which I return whenever I can. If Mom picks me up I always put my paws round her neck and nuzzle into her. She adores that, she goes all soppy and tells me how much she loves me. You can’t blame me for stretching it out, can you? I like being told nice things. It’s good for my ego.
It’s a bit different with dad; all he wants to do is play with bits of string and rolled up silver foil. I join in, of course I do. It would be silly not to. I mean what would be the point of watching the foil ball roll past and not try to stop it. Actually I quite like the way my claws sink into it. It makes a soft crackling noise, the sort of noise that makes me want to do it all over again. Another game is called catch the pea but this drives mom mad. Dad will insist on throwing me an odd pea or two when they have them for dinner. Old as I am I never fail to catch one which is probably a good thing since mom keeps warning him that if she finds peas on the floor she’ll kill him. I’d hate to be responsible for that. When I hear the tension rise I disappear inside my paper bag. It’s peaceful in there. I usually have a sleep until the atmosphere changes.
I only have one complaint about living here and that’s the frequent visits of a Siamese cat called Smokey. Daft name for a cat but I suppose it describes his appearance. He has a cream body and a lilac face, ears, legs and tail. Sounds more like a flower than a cat. Well, this Smokey comes through our fence and gazes round, positively radiating his snootiness. Even if he’s out of sight we know he’s there, that stupid bell around his neck gives him away every time. He thinks he’s important, walks up the path as if he owns it. I tell you, I may be a lady cat but I know how to fight and I won’t let that upstart put one over on me.
One day, when I was lying in the sunshine, there was a right kerfuffle on our lawn when Smokey intruded on a tête-à-tête between big black Tom from next door and ginger Sukie from the other side. I saw it happen from my spot by the laburnum tree. They were minding their own business, planning a love tryst for all I know. They’d been pretty friendly for a while and I couldn’t fathom why they didn’t get together. Anyway, Smokey walked up the path in that highfalutin manner of his and barged in between the two of them. I put my head down. I knew what a temper Tom had and didn’t want to get involved. That’s the beauty of being an older cat; I can keep my distance without offending anyone. They just think I’m past it; little do they know what I’m capable of when roused. We’ll keep that bit of info between you and me, if you don’t mind. I don’t want all my secrets revealed. There are occasions when the surprise element is a valuable thing.
Generally speaking I can tolerate foreign cats but the Siamese gets on my nerves. There are two more in the road but they don’t ever step outside their boundaries. It’s only Smokey who does that. He acts like a grandiose VIP so it’s no wonder he rubs animals up the wrong way. Mom doesn’t like him either. She hammers on the window whenever she sees him, while dad’s face turns puce with temper. He rushes out and yells at the top of his voice ... Smokey soon disappears when he starts, as well as all the birds. The reason dad doesn’t like him is because he drinks the water in the birdbath and pinches the apple cores that are thrown out for what dad calls his feathered friends. Aren’t humans funny the way they conjure up silly names for animals? A cat down the road is called Charlesworth but I’d better not go on about him ... I’d probably die laughing.
On the day of the fracas Sukie actually made a play for Smokey. Well, not exactly a ‘play’ but she definitely gave him the eye. Now I know what mom means when she uses the expression fast cat because that’s what Sukie was being, a fast cat. She actually nuzzled Smokey’s ear. I was about to look away when I saw Tom’s paw fly up. His claws looked wicked as he struck Smokey on the nose. That did it. I flew into the house where it was safe. Female cats are difficult to understand sometimes. I mean, why eye another cat when you’ve got a good steady male who dotes on you? Daft, if you ask me. Yes, I know I’m a female feline as well, let’s just say I have no tendencies for flirting. Come to think of it, I don’t have tendencies in any direction. I’m content as I am, with just a mom and a dad to please. Can’t be doing with all that hanky-panky the youngsters get up to.
Oh well, that’s enough storytelling. I need my sleep. I might even go upstairs to lie on the bed, or inside it if mom’s forgotten to tuck in the sheets. It’s my favourite sleeping place, especially at night when the folks are in it. There’s nothing like nestling between two humans even if dad does moan about it.
Maybe I’ll catch up with you some other time.