WARNING: This is the first of several messages concerning cats. You
won't be missing much if you hit "delete". (I am presently away from home
and have time to indulge in posting such trivia.)
My mother was an oxymoron (*) incarnate: she loved native birds yet she kept
cats. But it wasn't really her fault that she got stuck with one female.
She had asked a neighbouring family for a kitten of a somewhat unusual, and
in Mother's eyes, beautiful silvery-grey. in due course, the daughter of
the household phoned to say that the kitten was ready to be collected, but
that "it's a tabby."
"Oh, I particularly wanted a pretty silver one," says Mother.
"Well it is silver, but its a tabby cat," came the reply.
In some confusion Mother collected the kitten, and only later discovered
that "tabby" in that child's parlance meant 'female'.
Poor Dad. He was a kindly man, and he didn't enjoy drowning kittens. (This
was c. 70 years ago - no RSPCA.) The biggest litter was nine, and the most
productive year, 27! "Frosty" was still producing at regular intervals when
(we think) she died of snake-bite, the tally then standing at 108. Someone
to whom Mother mentioned this tally told Cine-Town News who wanted to come
and film them - until they found that Mother had not actually kept all 108!
(*) And to save Tony commenting on my ancestry, the obvious has already
occurred to me! Ozemoron? I deny the charge.
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