A little over fourteen years ago my girlfriend Maree rescued two tiny kittens from the RSPCA and introduced them to her home. These tiny balls of fluff would often sleep in an interconnected shape, much like the Yin Yang symbol of Chinese philosophy, and so the brothers became MisterYin and MisterYang.
As they grew MisterYin adopted the Alpha-male role, and it was after only a year or so that he kicked MisterYang out of the home.
MisterYang didn’t travel too far though, taking up residence across the street from Maree’s home. Here he spent the next thirteen years or so, and, rarely allowed in the house, would often be seen lurking on the footpath watching the world go by.
From their respective front gardens the protagonists would often watch each other, taking an interest in each other’s daily deeds but never exchanging pleasantries. The bond of brotherhood was severed for all time.
MisterYang was a very sociable cat, and on our frequent walks we’d stop and give him a cuddle and ask how his day had been. He relished the attention.
Occasionally school children would stop to pat him, and there were many occasions where Maree would receive a phone call from the local vet advising he’d been handed in. He’d follow the kids to wherever they were going then forget how to get back, and since the microchip details were never adjusted by the new owners all the records pointed back to his original home.
Maree would sometimes get a phone call from the local school’s Principal, asking her to stop allowing her cat to wander into the classrooms. MisterYang was such a social beast that he’d follow the kids to school, and then wander around their feet as they sat at their desks doing their work.
He was fond of breaking the rules.
Fast-forward thirteen years and MisterYin has left us. He passed away last September from lymphoma and is buried in our garden.
After a few months, when the time was right, we visited the RSPCA together and adopted a 14-month old girl with a glossy black coat. They call her a domestic shorthair and she’s lovely. She does, however, have the amazing knack of showing up unannounced when we’re busy cooking, or reading, or minding our own business, almost as if she’s materialised out of the quantum mechanical vacuum. We named this stealth bomber “Miss Ninja”.
We thought that would be that, however over the last couple of weeks we’ve been tossing up whether we should adopt a second cat to keep Miss Ninja company. We came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea for her to have a companion.
Now for me this is a Really Big Thing, because, as I’ve told you in previous stories in my blog, I really didn’t like cats all that much. In my opinion they were just vandals who killed the native animals at every opportunity and put hair all over everything.
I’ve mellowed – MisterYin managed to change that point of view.
Life’s weird, isn’t it?
Life got weirder for us when a few days ago Maree received a letter from her old vet. It seems a lady had found old MisterYang wandering the streets and had handed him in. His home has been bulldozed to make way for a multi-storey housing development and it seems his owners had moved on, leaving him behind.
The microchip records had still not been changed, and although Maree’s phone numbers were no longer correct her mail was still being redirected to the Blue Mountains home we now share. We made an appointment to go and see him.
I watched Maree as she held MisterYang after all these years. It was as if she had never been away from him. Her smile said it all, and he seemed very content to stay with her. The purrs were coming thick and fast.
The years have taken their toll on the old bugger. He’s a bit skinny, has a cataract in his right eye, and has arthritis. A blood test ordered by the vet shows he also has hyperthyroidism, but we can treat that with medication.
We brought him home.
Miss Ninja’s slowly getting used to an old man sharing her domain, and whilst there have been a few hissy fits, things don’t seem that heated. We are, as they say, “monitoring the situation”.
MisterYang’s no threat – he just wants to share the lounge, watch the world go by, and chill in his twilight years.
Miss Ninja will need to show some respect to the old digger; he’s had a hard life in the mean streets of Carlingford and we intend to make sure he lives out his remaining time in peace in a loving environment.
We don’t know how long we’ll have him, but he’s one of us now.