Dennis the cat got run over. The dawter identified him by opening the black plastic sack he’d been put into by the neighbour, she held her hands aloft like an orthopaedic surgeon aftershe’d been through the bloody remains. She’d remember the markings just in case she had to identify him. Four little markings that revealed it was Dennis, his head and eyeballs had been separated from his body.
The guy who put him in the bag offered to bury him by the pond, but we took him home. The old git and the brave dawter buried him behind the studio.
There’s about four cats and two dogs buried near the hedgehog house behind the studio, near the water butts.
There was also a metal angel deepen the soil, we were told to get it away from the house since it had bad vibes.
Dennis was special, long legged and vocal. He shouted at us for not feeding him, he scribed for feeding him, he shouted good morning and he chirruped when he was happy. We didn’t have him for very long but he made his mark. He slept on the top cushion of the armchairs. He often slept in between me and the ‘oosbind. He liked to be near us so wherever we went he followed. The bathroom, the garden, the kitchen, the roof. But he was also a scardy cat so when we had visitors he would disappear. The minute the house was clear of invaders he came back. Yowling for food and attention. He didn’t like men but by the end he would bound onto the settee and jam himself next to the Northerner.

After he was buried the offspring decided that Dennis would approve of another rescue, coming into a loving home. We visited three places the final one was down a haunted lane on the left. Shetland ponies, sheep, a dog and 18 cats. The 85 year old woman who owned the bungalow and outhouse introduced us to two domestic blends. A black and white female and a jet black male with runny eyes. She loaned us a basket and we came home with two moggies.
They were quiet, weird not a patch on the noise of Dennis. She hid behind the piano and he lay on the floor between the two armchairs.
We named her Philomena after the old git’s mothers confirmation name, and him Rudimental – cos he’s a rude boy and often mental.
He is curios and she is spiteful. Rudi has eaten a box of mince pies, half a pack of crisp breads, and whatever he can lay his big paws on. As rescues they are always hungry, they haven’t got used to being fed regularly. This evening whilst watching Jools there was an almighty crash and the boycat smashed a Chinese umbrella stand. Broken into pieces, the ‘oobind said he’ll superglue it together. But they are a handful, nothing like Dennis.
I have to shoo them away when I’m cooking and be mindful not to step on them. Slowly they are getting used to us. Philly will sit on your lap until she realises that you are a human and then springs off. She’s taken to sleeping on the armchair. Rudi will snuggle for fifteen seconds then take his place on the fur throw by the window. She sits on the window sill and looks out.
They have to stay in until Thursday the 4th of January and then we’ll release them into the wild. The two litter trays will be removed from under the piano and I’ll spray the area with a fancy home perfume bought at great cost from ‘The White Company’, the preferred retail outlet of affluent women in gilets and faux leather trousers.

So far its cost an arm and a leg on food and litter bark, then Rudi’s watery eyes demanded the vet. £95 later he has to have antibiotic cream squeezed into his gummy eyes. He fights to be released and his claws are sharp.
I haven’t bonded with them quite yet, and their skittish ways have tested the Saint of the house. But after they discover the garden and the neighbours, the mice and the birds, after they realise the we’re the boss I think they will settle down.

So 2024 starts in chaos. Broken vases, spilt water bowls and the potential for the Christmas tree baubles to be ripped off. Dennis smelt good, these two still have the stale smell of abandonment. I hope these two little terrors will settle down and enjoy the Chinese Year of the Green Water Dragon, which according to the Chinese Horoscope the dragon represents authority, prosperity, and good fortune. I hope they’re listening.

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