When I was a little girl...
Although it’s my day to blog, I haven’t a clue what to blog about.
I guess I could tell you a story about when I was a little girl growing up in England and I thought Snow White was a real person. I really wanted her to come and live near me and bring the dwarfs and the prince. But I didn’t know her address or phone number and no one I knew did, either—come to think of it that was way before ordinary people even had phones, at least they didn’t in England. Anyway there were no empty houses for them to live in, so I got myself an imaginary friend instead—a panda bear (I’ve always loved black and white and still do—I have two black and white Persians). The village school I attended had this big old beech tree in the playground and in the bottom of the tree was a hollowed out space like a small cave. I told my mom the baby panda bear lived in there and all the kids took it in turn to bring it bamboo shoots to eat. Where one would find bamboo shoots in England, I cannot imagine, but my mom, bless her heart, just swallowed it all whole and said, “Really, lovie. Isn’t that nice.”
Needless to say, the panda bear thing soon lost its appeal since I couldn’t take it out and show it around to my friends. So that’s when I took up with kitty cats—a neighbor’s cats to be precise: Martha, a pretty tortoiseshell, and her husband (I was a very moral child), Basil. Basil and Martha had kittens and I was ecstatic when I was allowed first choice. I chose a black and white female and named her Mischief. What happened to her siblings, I dread to think—getting pets neutered was unheard of even if the pet owner could afford it. Anyway, I lived in a country village where farming was the main industry and the life and death of animals accepted as the natural order of things. A bucket of water and a lid was the usual form of cat population control back then.
Unfortunately, the next winter, poor little Missy, as I called her, had a nasty encounter with a rat and became terribly sick. I remember my aunt wrapped her in blankets and put her in a basket so I could take her to see the vet. But that day, we had one of the worst snowstorms England has ever seen. It was 7 miles to the vet’s office and the busses had stopped running, and since there was no way I could make the journey through the snow drifts on foot, I returned home. Like all kids, I thought all I had to do was say my prayers, tell Missy how much I loved her, and in the morning all would be well. The next morning, Missy was dead and I cried for days.
Over the next few years, I had an assortment of cats. I loved them all, but none of them made up for Missy. When we came to Canada, then were so many rules about apartments and no pets, we didn’t bother—until the day I discovered Chinchilla Persians who are the most beautiful cats in the world: turquoise eyes, pink noses, and long white fur that looks as if it’s been stroked with a sooty hand.
We got our first chinchilla when we lived in Montreal, and we called him Moustique. But Mouki died of kidney failure when he was six and literally broke my heart. Then we had a shaded silver, Dondi, another chinchilla, Raja, a black Persian named Koko who liked to wrap himself around dh’s head once he was in bed, then Furrari—a cream Persian who we bought as a male and turned out to be a female. Currently, we have two black and white Persians: Texas aged 12 who was born in Fort Lauderdale, lived in Dallas for a few months, then flew to Canada on American Airlines; and my baby, Toby, who is 4 this Saturday and the most affectionate, cuddly little guy I’ve ever had.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for letting me ramble on about my babies, but now it’s time for me to wind up this little cat-tail and go do some real writing.
If you want to see some pics of The Boys go to www.chrisgrover.ca