Friday, October 29, 2010
So, to continue with the stories of the pets in my life....
I left Germany in October 1980 and headed for Melbourne, Australia. Luckily, I had found a partner who loved animals almost as much as I do, and soon enough, a little tabby kitten adopted us! Fritz came from the Lort Smith Animal Hospital in De Villiers Street, so he got a fancy name - "Fritz De Villiers". Fritz was a cute tabby, with a white tummy and four white paws. He grew into a magnificent cat, with a big tabby purrsonality! Fritz was up for anything - I could wrap him around my neck, carry him, he'd sit on my lap quite happily, I danced with him, and took silly photos of him. He wasn't a very domineering cat, welcoming new arrivals without much fuss. My mum loved him when they came to visit, and called him "Fritzl Schnitzel". We moved into a bigger flat with a balcony, and he enjoyed sleeping on an old chair in the sun. By that time he had been joined by Muesli, a dainty little black cat lady from the Cat Protection Society. Her fancy name was "Muesli of Greensborough". She and Fritz got on quite well, they were both kittens together. Muesli was very affectionate, and loved hiding under a blanket. All one saw was a small lump in the bed! Incidentally, there's a hill near Euroa which we refer to as Mount Muesli, because it looks like Muesli under a blanket! We eventually moved to Sunbury, into our first house, and were joined by a little ginger tom, Morris (of Kingston). Morris spent most of his kittenhood draped around my neck! Fritz and Muesli were quite accepting of the newcomer, and it was fun to see the three cats lines up in front of their respective food bowls. Morris disappeared when we first moved into the house, for about 3 days. We thought he had gotten lost and were very happy when he did turn up, meowing loudly and VERY hungry NOW! The three cats lived happily together for a while, and then one morning I found poor Fritz, run over in the street. I took him home, and we buried him in the garden. Morris was with us for about 10 years, then he became sick with kidney disease. Muesli was with us for 17 years. She was later joined by Silvester (The Brook Street Cat - more about him later). Another cat we adopted was (Sunshine) Gomez. Gomez (aka Smokey) lived at Sunshine Hospital while I worked there in the late 90s. He lived in the hospital gardens, and people fed him, with the catering staff looking after him quite well! He was a very friendly cat, looked like a Russion Blue, with dense blue-grey fur, fat chipmunk cheeks, and startling green eyes. Eventually, the hospital was renovated and Gomez lost his habitat. I offered to give him a home and he came with us to Gisborne, keeping Silvester company. The thing about Gomez was - he was a full tom, and the first trip he made with me was to the vet, for a little 'snip'! Well, almost overnight, his personality changed! Gone was the laid-back, relaxed, friendly cat, and here was a pouncing, playful, cat monster that swiped at you when you walked past and loved nothing more than rough play! We recognised his 'moods' eventually and stayed out of his way when he had that telltale gleam in his eye! Poor old Silvester would have rolled his eyes if he could! We don't know how old Gomez was when we adopted him, but he lived a good many years, outlasting Silvester. Now Muesli, Silvester, and Gomez are all buried in the left back paddock - and do you think the birds feed in that paddock? Nope! Not a one. I sometimes like to imagine the three cat ghosts making mischief together.
And now we just have the one cat, Mitzi (of Burwood), a black and white long haired domestic cat. She came to us from the RSPCA, and looked very much like Silvester, which is probably why Wayne picked her. Her personality was VERY different from Silvester's, however! She is a bit of a grumpy cat when not getting her way! She doesn't like being picked up, and never sat on my lap until just recently, when she started to realise it's not all that bad. It's only taken her 6 or 7 years to figure that out. She likes a pat though, and has a lovely purr. Mitzi always sits behind me on the chair, sticking her foot into my ear or cleaning my hair along with her fur! She's very sedentary and sleeps a lot; I guess she's getting quite old now. Wayne sometimes takes her out and sets her down in the paddock. And she sits, and sits....the cat that sat!
So, that's the story of our Aussie cats. Next time, Silvester's story.