I miss my cat.  When we moved back to England after years in Hong Kong, Mum always promised to get us a cat.  So, one day, my two brothers, mum, my two friends Helen and Sarah and I moseyed down to the R.S.P.C.A in Southport, which my 4 year old brother read as ‘recipe’ to select a cat.

We were shown all different kinds of cats and kittens and settled on a tabby mackerel, who my littlest brother wanted to call Jerry and my other brother and I wanted to call Pepper on account of his flecks of black through his colouring.

He ended up being called ‘Mush’ – in fact, he didn’t really end up with a name at all.  Sometimes we just called him ‘cat’.

He was generally a friendly creature, but always made an attack on your ankles as you came down the stairs.  Especially after we had left him to go on holiday or something.  He used to lie on his back, legs a-kimbo baring all and caring none.  He was downright lazy.  But oh so cuddly.  You could wrap him around your neck like a scarf.  He just didn’t care.

You know how in the circus the lion tamer usually puts his head inside the lion’s mouth?  Well my littlest brother tried it the other way around.  Once day in the morning room, he was trying to put our cat’s head in his mouth.  So funny.  Another time I remember was when my middle brother and I watched a TV show where they hypnotised rabbits for a few seconds by blowing up their nose.  Needless to say, we tried this on our cat – I don’t really remember if it worked.

Our cat was curious and was not a killer by any stretch – why bother when you’re getting 3 hots and a cot daily?  We were in the garden one summer and cat was scrutinising this field mouse.  He patted it with his paw – nothing aggressive, just cos he could.  And would’t you know it, the mouse pounded him right back on the nose!  It was so funny!  They played tit for tat for a while and finally the mouse just got fed up and ran away.

Our cat looked like the kind of cat you see on traditionally set Christmas cards.

As the family split up and went their separate ways, our cat began to feel it.  I remember returning from Dubai one Christmas and noticed how incredibly thin and immobile our cat had become.  I urged mum to take him to the vets.   Turns out that he had severe kidney failure which could not be treated so we put him to sleep.

Mush was with us for almost 12 years.  I miss him.


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