My friends Mr & Mrs GM told me today that their cat Wellington had died. He was 20.
When their previous cat died, they were so upset that they decided to get two replacements — brothers from the same litter — in the hope that it would not be as traumatic when one of them died. Wellington’s brother died five years ago.
In the 1970s, the Old Man and the Deceased Lady gave houseroom to a stray cat. The Deceased Lady reckoned that originally, the cat had belonged to the family at number 12. When they moved house, they didn’t take the cat with them. The Deceased Lady said this must be because they hadn’t been able to find it, or persuade it to return to the house, when the time came for them to go. Perhaps her view of human nature was over-optimistic.
Mr & Mrs PG took pity on the new stray, and started putting food out for it. Mrs PG called the cat “Jake”, but I don’t know whether this was the name that the people at number 12 (if they did own the cat) had given to it. (Mr & Mrs PG were strange people — Mrs PG especially so. When they moved in, they said that they had come from Surrey; but eventually we learnt that they had come from Brixton.)
The Deceased Lady noticed that in wet weather, Jake could be seen sheltering under the Old Man’s car which was parked on the drive. “He’ll get rheumatics,” she worried.
It soon became clear that Jake preferred the company of the Old Man and the Deceased Lady to that of Mr & Mrs PG. So after several months on the streets, Jake took up residence with us. This must have been sometime in 1976. “Jake” turned out to be a neutered female.
To be continued…
[Original posting 19 February 2012]