Sunday 10 December 2017

The adventures of Arthur the Cat

Arthur, Colette Farrelly's cat
Arthur, Colette Farrelly's cat

Colette Farrelly, Malahide, Co Dublin

He arrived tiny but perfectly formed. A small bundle of white silky fur framed with luxuriant 'tortie' tones.

He had upwardly slanting amber tiger eyes. All this splendour paled against his wonderful temperament. Arthur the Cat was indeed Mr Personality.

Arthur thought he was human and at that, infinitely superior to most humans. Within a short time, he grew to be a big strong mouser. We lived by the sea and he was often seen going for a dip.

We had fanciful thoughts that he might be descended from the noble Turkish Van breed, far removed from the normal Malahide Moggie that he actually was.

Often young Italian students would pass the gate. They loved Arthur and greeted him with "Bello gatto". Arthur would swell up with pride and purr. Those who neglected to notice him were treated with feline scorn.

They say cats leave gifts for their owners. Amanda came by to feed him when I was away on business. He showed his gratitude by presenting her with a live, freshly caught crab.

Arthur's adventures were legendary. One time he disappeared for three whole days. Tired from searching, I suddenly heard a faint mewling from the direction of the Marina. There he was - clinging desperately to the gantry under the pontoon out in the bay. A passing sailor remarked "aren't you a very kind person to rescue a poor kitty in distress!"

Next time Arthur became more creative in his nocturnal endeavours.. On day three, the search party detected a faint sound - under a manhole cover. The rescue was quite dramatic - involving Dyno-Rod, who managed to flush the slightly stunned Arthur to safety.

Another time a visit to the vet was deemed necessary. Arthur discovered that Chinese shell gatherers had left bait on the foreshore - chicken legs.

Always on the lookout for a free dinner, he proceeded to ingest the chicken parts along with copious amounts of pebbles and sand.

Gary the vet had to shovel the debris from Arthur's poor stomach!

Arthur led a charmed life and it wasn't surprising that, as a spry elderly gentleman of 12 years, he was found to be a diabetic.

He bore the discomfort of twice daily injections with stoicism. His condition deteriorated but he handled his illness quietly until, aged 13 years, nine months and one day, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was put to sleep on that day.

What a wonderful companion he was.

Name: Arthur

Finest hour: Giving Amanda one fresh crab (minus a leg) in the garden

Likes: Beef in any shape or form

Dislikes: Car journeys, Hoovers

If you would like your pet featured in this column, please send a story of 440 words and a photograph to snews@independent.ie clearly labelled MY PET

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