Friday, July 03, 2009

The 'stupid cat' is dead

Let me tell you about Harry.

A long, long time ago, Harry arrived in our family quite by mistake and with an ultimatum. My brother was involved in a church outreach programme on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast and the team were having lunch one day when there was a knock at the door.

My brother and the leader in charge went to see who was there, but were a bit puzzled to see nobody on the step. About to turn round and go back to their lunch, the leader in charge heard a faint sound. On closer inspection, he noted that the sound was coming from a plastic bag at the doorstep. On closer listening, he decided it was a baby abandoned for them to take care of.

And then that big strapping (now lawyer) leader in charge showed his true leadership qualities and ran and hid whilst my brother was left to investigate the baby in the bag.

The 'baby' turned out to be a wee new kitten, orange and white and completely feral. Everyone oohed and ahhed but at going home time nobody stepped up to the mark to take the kitten home.

By happy coincidence, mother and I were in Crete that week on holiday, so the kitten was smuggled into our garage, where it lived in blissful ignorance for four days until we got home. We first knew something was a bit odd when we saw a note sellotaped to the garage door that said 'Do Not Open'.

Brother introduced us and mum told him he had three days to find 'it' a home. He was canny, my brother, and didn't bother his backside doing anything about it and soon three days turned into a week, a fortnight a month and then Harry (so named as he was dumped in a Harrods plastic bag) was a permanent fixture at home.

So permanent in fact, that nine years ago when my brother moved out into his own house, Harry stayed with mum. Showing that, despite the fact dad insisted on renaming him 'that stupid cat' and chasing him out of the house every opportunity he got, Harry was indeed a very clever cat!

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