“They are brothers” he said

catbrothersWe lost our 20 year old cat and we were not going to have another; or so we thought.

A photograph in the local paper showed a man with a beautiful cat asking for a home; that did it. One little phone call, a long drive and we reached the farm cat rescue, long barns with the doors open and clean cages on view, the sound of cats calling “me me me.”

“Look at that large ginger one,” I said. “He has a brother and they have got to go together.” “I can’t see the other one,” said my wife, “unless that large black bundle in the corner is a cat.” Marion, who falls in love with anything that needs love and attention (that included me) went up to smooth the thick brown/black coat. As those dark eyes looked up at her we knew that we had found something special. So there they were, one ginger, the other a dark brown tabby, both Maine Coons, a breed unknown to us. The ginger one became ‘Milton’ and the other one that loves sleeping on Marion’s bed is now ‘Winstone’.

Life with our new cats was going well, too well. Something had to happen and it did. Winstone found the smallest gap in our trellis fence, but his foray into the wide world ended in disaster when he returned home screaming in pain. Our first thought was that he had been run over by a car, with blood flowing all over the place and Winstone now hiding behind the sofa, but we managed to get him into a cat box. When the cat was inspected at the vets it came as a shock to be told it had been shot in the eye. Winstone would have to go to Bristol animal hospital. We left one very sad looking cat in their capable hands and, after the swelling had gone down, the pellet and the right eye were removed.

Life continued. Escapes were thwarted, intruders frustrated, fences strengthened and burrows filled. Now Ginger and I have long conversations – he asks and I answer; he tells me when the post arrives and I say thanks, he asks me to open the door and I say no, use the cat flap and he says no, now the brown-tabby has started to complain if his food is not put out on time; I tell him to wait. Then they both (big brown-tabby and the red-tabby) look at both of us as though we are mad. The truth is Marion and I are both mad about Maine Coons, why did we not find them sooner?

Tony Clark

December 2017 – January 2018