So at about 1 am a few mornings ago I awoke to an awful noise.A loud blood-curdling noise. A noise that evoked terror to my very core. A noise that had me praying for the life of one of my bestest , coolest friends. Right outside my bedroom window , my beloved cat Ziggy ,was protecting his territory and his family. Keeping the evils of the neighbouring cats away from his precious loved ones. I listened to the deep hateful exchanges between the two cats. Hisses and growls that would have sent shivers up the spine of Chuck Norris . And then……..the part of the fight when one of them makes the actual move and it’s all on. As I listened to the hissing and screaming and banging and crashing on my deck, my darling Ziggy’s life flashed before the back of my eyelids.
Now I have had a few cats in my life. I am by no means a Crazy Cat Lady type. I don’t spoil or live and breathe for my cats. I have 3 children.There is simply no time for that claptrap. I do love feline company however, especially if they are independent. Needy,timid, over affectionate, foot weavy, yowly little cats don’t get a look in.They have to be big strong, chilled and mostly do their own thing. Much like my men.
There was Tyson. The psycho tabby that adopted me in my early flatting years. A lovely cat until you looked at her the wrong way. She would then maul you.Your hands rucked and bitten to pieces quicker than you can say “Do you mind if I just rest my lips on your ear Mr Holyfield?”. Tyson was a bitch.Though I did soften to her when I woke one morning to discover a dead bird next to the gifts at the bottom of the flat Christmas tree. I adopted her out when I moved to Australia. There was Thomas the family cat. A ginger Tom who had been a stray. We inherited him with a house Mum and I moved into when I was 14. He was the human equivalent of someone who should always have been a completely retarded and socially inept cat. There was Knickers whom ,as a kitten I saved from the bottom of a pub I was working at. She was a lovely cat.I was very fond of her. My heart really did break the day we had to have her put down due to liver failure. That poor cat died whilst being showered in sobbing tears and the snot of devastation.Then there was a pure black cat we adopted from the SPCA for Tahi’s 6th birthday. We named him Richie McClaw. A fine young fellow. The kind of cat that would attack your feet in the middle of the night and would actually laugh at you when you awoke screaming in surprised pain. A cat that would leave a decapitated Hare lying in a bloodbath in your lounge for your arrival home from work. A chap who would hide behind doors and ambush you. Flying at you with all four legs, claws out for the attack, from a horizontal position when you entered the room. Again he would retreat laughing manically. A real character of a cat. Also a real wanderer. He wandered a lot. One day, sadly, he just didn’t come home. Being that I reside in a rather small town, I later learnt that his wanderings had him stumble across a couple of hot middle-aged lesbians with no young children to cramp his style. They adore him. He is happy and now named Malcom.
After Richie I thought my cat days were over . That perhaps it was just going to be me and my small army of boys for a while. One Easter Sunday , I was lunching with my dear friend Lulu at her mother’s house. Her Mum runs the local SPCA. After a filling lunch with their friends and family I suggested to Lulu that we just go and have a ‘look’ at the cats. It would be good to walk around a bit and digest the lunch for Baby Jesus. She kindly obliged and off we went. Now I really was JUST looking. no intention of taking anything away with me. I walked into the shelter and there he was. A handsome adult Tabby/White prince. Majestically sitting there, watching us as we entered. He was built like an over sized All Black. We made eye contact, him and me. He held my gaze , smiling at me with his princely cat eyes, as the other willing cats weaved around my feet relentlessly yowling at me. I walked over to him, in slow motion, through a patch of daffodils and I swear I could hear Roberta Flack singing ‘ Fist Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ from the lounge of Lulu’s house. I put my hand out. He immediately stood and head butted my hand.The cat is 6″3 ft!!! Seriously. He is HUGE!. I think he might have originally been a Lion, but after years of soul-searching, he finally accepted that inside there was a domestic cat just dying to get out. I pass no judgement on gender change. I picked him up thinking ” Girl, don’t use your back like a crane”. We had a moment. I fell in love. Right there, right then, that cat won my heart. In classic Me style, I ran. Told Lulu I had to go and skidaddled. ( Gawd, you know you have serious commitment issues when the love of a good cat sends you running for the hills) I was NOT going to get another bloody cat. ! No Sir-ee!
I thought about him allll week. The feel of his soft white belly. His Goliath pink nose nudging my face. It really was love. I spoke to my boy Tahi to see how he felt about getting another cat. He was dead keen…..as long as we named him after David Bowie. We had a deal. As we drove to the SPCA we threw around names. Bowie. Major Tom.Gene Genie. Jareth . McJagger Shagger,etc. Through it all we came up with Ziggy Stardust. And so it was we went and collected the delightful Ziggalicious. Upon collection we saw that he has a big brown patch in one of his eyes. Different eyes. Just like David Bowie!!! Totally meant to be, or what?!
He has been awesome for this family. He is super chilled with the boys. They pull his tail and pinch his ears. He takes it. They pick him up and drag him around the house. He takes it. They love him and squeeze him and sit on him. He takes it.He sleeps on their bed. They take it. He does his own thing during the day and at night comes in and lets me scratch his belly whilst he lies all over my computer keyboard. He doesn’t yowl and weave through my feet in the kitchen telling me he’s hungry. Though he does eat a lot and talk a bit. Due to his gargantuan size, he can tend to be clumsy. He provides the family with endless giggles as he constantly misjudges the height of things and crashes head-first into said object or only JUST makes his mark and has to use his back legs to scramble up just that little bit more. As we shriek with laughter at him he will regain his composure and look at us with indignant exasperation . He also does that cat thing where he sits outside at your ranch-slider just looking at you, willing you to let him in. We open the door for him and he will then spend 10 minutes deciding if actually does want to come in. Half in and half out. Just looking around. He has a cat door. Asshole. Otherwise he is the most chilled cat with the oldest soul I have ever met. We were destined to find each other.
As I listened to the brawl happening outside my bedroom window , I contemplated going out there and scaring the other cat away. My gut tells me in these situations tho, that we are to leave them. That perhaps if I was to go out there and interfere in his man fight time, he would become the laughing-stock of the neighbourhood cats. That even his stray friends whom he goes and hangs out with on Friday night to do a bit of Catnip, listen to some Cypress Hill and play some poker with, would disown him ( he does do catnip. I found some in his basket once. I’m not sure how to broach it with him though). So , I lay there and listened. Feeling tense and scared for my cat. It went on for about 30 seconds. I have never heard anything like it since last time I heard it. Then…….. Nothing.
When I got up the following morning, awaiting me outside on my deck was a pile of cat fur. It was everywhere. White. Black. Grey. Cat Fur. Everywhere! I called out for my man. I heard a meow then strutting around the corner came my 6″3 ft cat. Not a scratch on him. My Ziggy had kicked some serious butt! I know I live in a hippy town and all, and violence is not cool, but seriously….my cat must be MAD scrapper. I am confidant , that if any gang of local Pirate cats get together and decide to come to my house and rape and pillage this family…That my Ziggalicious Rockstar of a cat will handle it. In fact…I think he would probably take on the local Rugby Team too. Take that shizzle in his stride. He is sooo the Chuck Norris of cats. Hells to the YES people. My cat is a BOSS. Period!