Over three years ago, he prowled through our forest and undergrowth, stealing hunks of bread left out for the birds and foxes. He walked low, hunched, a skeletal being.
In the door of our garage, there is a small square hole. No memory of how it came to be, but what I do know is that, once upon a time, three beautiful four-legged creatures who once lived among us had a vested interest to keep the hole the size that it was. Four years on since the last of those three passed, there the hole remains.
More and more, the hungry creature would visit, but fear kept him at bay, until one day a trip outside unearthed a little secret: our garage had a lodger. The clue? Little black hairs on a tired yellow blanket in the deepest corner of the garage.
We thought food would tempt him out. He ate it. But showed no signs of moving.
The heaviest snow this country had seen in decades fell in 2011. Eight feet of snow (probably more) over three months. And yet, he wouldn’t move. But after a year, enough was enough. A freezing winter was due, and it was time to come in. Less skeletal, more cat shaped, and it would seem this creature once had a home (neutering strays isn’t exactly common here).
Three years ago, this was a different cat. Hell, even three months ago he was different: he has now finally learned to play. Plastic is amazing, that chair is amazing, and he dribbles when he’s happy. He has no name, other than Big Cat or Black and White Cat, and he has the strangest meow.
I don’t often show off about the animals of this house, but the pride I have had for this guy recently just keeps on growing. We’ll never know his past. Was he thrown out, or did he simply lose his way one evening stroll? Who knows. If he’s anything like my partner, this photo may suggest he is drawn to bright lights…