Wilted White Whiskers – Dead Deer

Picture: Malcolm, b. 1994 Kingston upon Hull d. 2009 Santa Tecla, here pictured in Lowestoft 1998

The old man lies now, would you believe, under a banana tree in a garden in Central America. What a life for a cankerous, wonderful old cat. He’d seen a bit of the world, had he, and he didn’t, if truth be told, think much of any of it.

Bad tempered and cold, certainly, haughty with other cats at best. His disdain for any non feline organisms put this deep into the shade, however. Yes he would often be seen waiting by a door merely to lash out at any passers-by. But he was amongst the truest and dearest friends I have ever had.

A black cat at heart he had been dipped in snow white fur much further than he may have wished. As his whiskers became greyer his white belly sagged and flopped as he walked increasingly. His broad black back had that unique white circle about two thirds of the way back, slightly to the left.

Those so, so, rare occasions where he would lower himself sufficiently to sit on a human would be golden. Despite his lack of tactile affection me and he were great mates and I would talk with him for hours. He would be up – always the higher the better, always searching for a loftier throne to look down at the world from, somewhere worthy of him – sitting on an open door, or a tall cupboard and watching with keen interest. In a species know for it’s knowingness he stood out for his intelligence and that look he would give you. “I see you. I know you” he would be saying.

Well, I was lucky to know you, Malcolm, and still I miss you every day.

Today I wrote from 21:04 to 21:14. I was prompted by ideas here. My other writings here. All my prompted writing here, and my tweets here

Nov 27th – Wilted White Whiskers

November 27th – Wilted White Whiskers

17.32-17.42

In human years, White Whiskers was 128 years old. Which made him, at an estimate, 832 cat years old. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for him, White Whiskers had been dead for the last 114 years, having died, been mourned and then inexpertly stuffed in a hectic three weeks just after the turn of the century, somewhere between the original Bloomsday and the opening of the St. Louis Olympics.

White Whiskers had, in turn, been Elsie’s cat, while alive, then Mother’s cat, Grandmother’s Cat, Great-grandmother’s cat, and now his care, such as it was, had passed to Louise. White Whiskers was Louise’s cat.

Louise didn’t really want the cat. She wasn’t the biggest fan of cats when they were alive, but this one, 114 years dead, with its remaining three eponymous whiskers wedged into unfeasible spots on its cheeks, the hint of sawdust whenever it was so much as touched, and the unfortunate effects of gravity (and stuffing) on an already prodigious stomach, combined to make something definitely unsavoury.

“Your Great-grandmother left him to you. So you’ve got to look after White Whiskers.”

Louise’s mother knew she had dodged a bullet. She had always dreaded visits to her Grandmother’s as a child, wary of, and then embarrassed by, her Grandmother’s habit of addressing questions to the off-white former creature, and then pausing, as if in expectation of a reply. So, while she shared her daughter’s revulsion of the object, she stressed family loyalty and the respecting of wishes, just in case her daughter ever considered returning it to her care.

So Louise was stuck with it.

She’d put the thing in many places around the house, but none seemed to fit, until, after a visit from the girls and a lot of wine, someone made the suggestion that White Whiskers looked quite regal next to the fire, and so, with a hint of sawdust and some delicate readjustment, White Whiskers was a lion, sentinel, guarding the fireplace, and by extension, the house.

Or he was.

Because last night Louise fell asleep with the fire blazing, with far too many logs to die down in any great hurry. It had been a cold day, a hint of snow in the air, and the fire had been on all day. All day, and most of the night.

And in his place of honour, too close to the heat of the fire, White Whiskers had wilted. At first. Wilted, then swelled, then burst, then collapsed. Whiskerless, White Whiskers was nothing more than a sad pelt of a very off-white. Louise was going to have some explaining to do.

 

Inspired by a prompt from here