26 December 2010

“I’m sure my little red cat has gone away to die somewhere.”

My mum has a ginger cat. She adopted him from an animal shelter a few years ago, which was run by an eccentric old dear whose house was full of fostered felines. Some of them were slightly feral from lack of human contact. Fizz was one of those. I don’t think he even had a name back then.

When she brought him back he would flee from people, but if you managed to catch him he’d relent and sink into your arms, purring. She bought a novelty cat-bed for him that was in the shape of a sneaker. Of course he never went into it, preferring instead to use the dog’s bed, which was far too big for him. Sometimes I’d grab him and put him in his shoe-bed but he’d only sit there for a moment before darting off.

He used to be very cute, ridiculously fluffy, bright orange with a white chest and white paws and a pink nose. These days his fur is a bit shaggy and liony. You could easily trim him down and leave a mane round the neck and he’d be like a pygmy lion. In recent times he developed tiny black spots on his skin, so it looks a bit like he has some kind of mould growing on his face and ears. I think it might have been from the sun, poor li’l ginger guy.

When she brought him in the other day, he was very sedate but full of purrs. He was in an old towel that she keeps just for cats - when she brings him in, she sometimes swaddles him in it so she can cuddle him without getting orange fur all over her clothes. He loves it.

Yesterday I saw her hold his mouth open and force an antibiotic down - he’s very tame now and doesn’t put up much resistance. Still he hasn’t eaten for a few days and he didn’t touch the cat-milk I put down for him. (I have no idea how the good people at Whiskas get cat-milk, by the way.)

He has an old duvet by the logs in the shed where you can find him tucked away in the centre if you unfurl it. Not today though. He hasn't been there for ages. The other cats seem to know something. They are sitting in his usual place. He might be out in the snow somewhere, paws up, pink pads showing.

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