October 27th, 2011


in praise of little black cats

Twitter took a break from trending offensive bollocks today to tell me that it is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Great! I shared this with colleague R who told me about mystery cat.

Mystery cat won't come into the house, so colleague R lined a cracked chimenera with straw to keep him warm when the nights drew in. Mystery cat (as is only right and proper when a human has Put Effort In) ignored this right up until this week when it was cold enough that a straw-lined chimenera looked v. comfy k thx.

This reminded me of Lol, whose youth, excessive friendliness and intactness had made me think he was another doomed towpath stray. But then he romped up in a shiny new collar and a name tag saying Lol, looking sheeny and gleamy and pleased as punch, charming the boaties and the morning commuters. He was on the towpath this morning, looking moist and a little crestfallen (probably having fallen off something) but a little fuss and he perked right up.

Of course the iconic doomed teenage stray black cat was Amy Winehouse of Rymers Lane. She would scoot around the back garden at insane speed, alternating between crazed affection and hissing standoffishness. She was always tottering across roads and pissing off the bigger cats; she had a home but preferred the street.

The two black cats on my street now are much more easy-going types. Usher is a long-legged lazy handsome cat much given to rolling in the gutter and dissing the other cats; Barack Obama regularly passes through our back garden, an elegant sort with shiny green eyes. Harley has a major kitten crush on him and will bite him on the bum if he lets her (he won't).

Then there was Jimmy Carr, a young tom whose wandering brought him through the garden from time to time, but he's not been by in a while. Harley liked him and would chase him round the big garden behind ours, but Teasel wasn't impressed. Doomshadow, though, Teasel liked Doomshadow, a massive cloud of black fur with two glaring eyes like boiling pits of hellfire. Evidence suggested that he was quite an affectionate cat, despite his terrifying appearance.

Teasel is our own black cat, and obviously the best. He has an amazing tail, and fluffy black bloomers, and is purring next to me as I type.