I want to tell you a story about a cat. There’s probably some subtext to be read into it but fundamentally it’s about a cat. My cat, Regie.
I don’t remember when he was acquired but my earliest memories involve him. He was a Burmese short hair who’d been neutered as a very tiny kitten and was therefor confused about what his role was.
He decided that if he was not to reproduce then he was to make nests in the pantry out of paper towel. He loved people and being cuddled and wasn’t very fussed about going outdoors, he was a bit fat. He purred often and slept in the bathroom sink. He was the least cat like cat, I’ve known.
We had another cat with an odd name that I can’t spell so I won’t bother. She ran away without much fanfare and as she’d always been a bit scratchy, no one was particularly bereft. Even my mother, who is notoriously mental when it comes to the death or disappearance of family pets seemed to accept it with good grace.
So it was me and my mum, my sometimes absent sister, Melissa and Regie. Andrew, my stepdad who I’ve written about previously wasn’t yet on the scene and life for the most part was harmonious. We made dressing gowns by hand and watched The Three Amigos repeatedly with Regie on our laps.
Andrew then arrived and brought dogs with him. Big ones. For hunting. He was a bit of a wildman. So were his dogs. Regie had always been a house cat but we took extra care to ensure that he wasn’t let out. We were very careful.
Travelling forward several years after the two families had somewhat successfully integrated, my sometimes absent sister, Melissa, was getting married. The reception was held at our house, with a jazz band and a horde of guests. Even I’d been allowed to bring one of my little friends along. Altogether it was a lovely day.
Evening descended and it was discovered that a guest had left a door open. Regie was missing. Everyone was drunk. We stood in the room, me, my mother, my sometimes absent sister and my little friend, wondering where he’d gotten to. We all heard the savage shrieking. The nauseating sound of Regie’s neck being snapped. We watched as Andrew carried his small, limp remains back to the house.
One of the dogs, a dog I’d not liked much even prior to this to be perfectly honest, had done what hunting dogs do. I can’t remember whether my mother screamed or if the room fell immediately silent. I think both but I don’t recall the order. The remaining guests left and my little friend never came to stay again.
We didn’t get anymore cats.