Seamus is Sick by Leslie Monk
Cat and Mouse with Charlie
12 Jan 2005
Seamus the Cat died last October but before we got his ashes back from Margaret, the vet, a new cat had moved in uninvited. We call him Charlie.
Charlie was a sometime pal, but also a tormentor, and a territorial fascist over Seamus' turf. Seamus belonged here at Beach House. Charlie does not, even now.
Like Seamus, Charlie is a black cat, and as I type he lays in Seamus' Chair in the bay window. He is so similar to Seamus in appearance, that he has been called the ghost of Seamus.
But they are quite different in every other respect.
Seamus made three recordings in his short life. Charlie has yet to impress us with a musical offering. Yes, he can purr just like the rest but that merely shows potential. Seamus did it. Seamus was a natural.
Seamus was always there giving up the love and purrings, in exchange for some pretty disgusting cat food and was, on the whole, a contented friend that made very few demands upon us. He did not consider it his job to entertain us, since he was here in this house before we were. He made us welcome.
Charlie, however, has imposed himself upon us, but then only when he sees fit to put in an appearance. Charlie is a fair-weather friend in reverse. In a cold snap, as of late, and/or if in the need of a nap, Charlie knows that the foolish Monks will provide him with home comforts hitherto offered to Seamus. Thus Charlie will breeze in like he owns the place. However on a warm day, he will bugger off after breakfast without saying goodbye.
Last night, Mrs. Monk, who had a bad day, was missing Charlie. Charlie had gone absent without leave. She took it out on absent Charlie and charged him with being good for nothing, and how he had never even tried to catch a mouse.
This morning I lay in bed as Mrs. Monk got herself ready for school. I was somewhat confused by Mrs. Monk's excited noises from below stairs. First she was delighted, then horrified, then excited, then relieved, then excited some more.
Mrs. Monk reappeared in the bedroom to explain.
Delight, excitement: Charlie had returned to the homestead.
Horror : Charlie had brought a mouse into house. Confused and horrified Mrs. Monk screamed, naturally.
Delight, excitement: Mrs. Monk witnessed Charlie picking up the mouse and tossing it flamboyantly into trash bag which was by the front door ready to put out for the bin men. What a trick?
Charlie has redeemed himself, because for once I did not have to raise myself from bed to deal with early morning mouse in house crisis.
The mighty Seamus never managed that trick. He caught them but never bagged them.
Seamus did however have his balls removed, not by us so he had no reason to hold that against us, but I am told that this is what kept him domesticated and less inclined to roam.
Charlie however remains intact, and is not afraid to show us what he has got, particularly when aroused by whatever does it for him. Charlie is no gentleman. He is a show-off and a cad.
One day before Christmas, Charlie turned up wearing a necklace with a would-be tiny barrel attached. Within the barrel was a message written in very tiny letters. We expected it to be from Charlie's owner, since cats are property. In fact we learnt that Charlie was also visiting another house, a block away, where there is another cat flap, more cat grub, and more to the point, where two lady cats reside.
In my naivety, I assumed that this other couple of cat lovers were in competition for Charlie's loyalties and affections and that they wished to adopt him, as we did. After some time we realised that they were trying to contact the owner in order to tell he or she to get Charlie fixed, so that he will then stop making advances on their girls.
What this exchange did seem to indicate is that Charlie is indeed a stray.
We have been in touch with the cat protection league and Charlie will soon be castrated.
A happy end?
The Story of Seamus and other cats will be serialised on these pages, but if you cannot wait for the whole story you may read all about it here in one helping.
Seamus is Sick