…. or another tail of the unexpected ….. or of two tails wrapping round each other:
Young Jake started coming downstairs a while ago and after a bit of hissing with the residents started to get on ok with them. That was the first step to being allowed out into the great outdoors. As we hadn’t had chance to chip him yet he was fitted with a collar complete with bell [courtesy of kitty collars] and an ID barrel with my phone number in it. He loved going out to play, would follow me up the road when I was going to the shop, and return, rattling loudly when I called him. On Sunday afternoon I was engrossed in setting up my new phone. It was nice weather, the back door was open and I wasn’t taking too much notice of the feline comings and goings.
On that very same Sunday morning, on a street not far from here a lovely young lady had been told that she could have a kitten for her 8th birthday. Her family had had cats for many years but sadly the last one had died at a good old age a while ago. They’d thought it through carefully, knew the responsibility of having a cat, had checked with a neighbour that would care for the cat if they were to go away on holiday, and then said to the birthday girl to be that they would start looking for a kitten to adopt.
About 6pm on Sunday my new phone rang. Eeeek …. I’d worked out how to check the weather forecast in Phnom Penh and listen to The Archers podcast, but I’d not got around to checking out how to receive calls. Fumble, fumble, tap, tap, slide … finally connected to a number I didn’t recognise. And a bit confused by being asking if I’d lost a cat – it didn’t help that I’d not worked out that I needed to take the plastic off the phone in order to hear properly through the receiver. Er … no … I don’t think so (rapidly scanning memory …12 + cats is a lot to keep track of … Oscar went AWOL yesterday but he’d come back). Which confuses the woman on the other end of the phone ….. um ….. he has a green collar with a name barrel and a bell …. and he’s been here since lunch time. Penny drops – JAKE!
Apparently the little monkey had been sitting on their wall when they came home at lunch time, and strolled into the house with them as though he owned the place. He’d hung out with their daughter all afternoon,, having a great time, but now they were concerned that he could be someone’s cat and they would be anxious about him. After a bit of (very pointless) gesticulating on my part (I don’t know yet whether there’s an app which translates pointing down the garden) we established that they lived on the next road …. or as Jake would have it – through our garden, through another garden, across the road and through another garden.
And so I walked round to collect him. I wish I’d had the camera … perfect picture of cat who manages to look immensely happy but slightly sheepish at the same time (ex partner take note! cats really do have facial expressions!). While cat (about 8 months old) plays with, and is carried around by girl (about 8 years old), mum and I swap stories. They’d approached a large rescue (big enough to be arrogant, small minded enough to not think out of the box) about adoption and been refused point blank because the birthday had been mentioned. Girl walks by with dangling purring cat tucked under arm. Seems a good moment to mention that Jake is up for adoption.
Long story short – we agree that Jake will come home with me that night but go to stay with them forever on Friday when they can be around to help him settle in. Jake dutifully followed me home and stayed the night, got up this morning, had his breakfast – then quietly packed his bags and left, muttering something about not actually needing any help to settle in. Bless him – I think he’s sorted.
It made me think of this picture which has done the rounds on facebook several times and I’ve always loved: