Friday, 16 August 2013


Would you believe we got our Siamese cat from the local post office? It really did happen. A girl was giving away kittens and my sister Diane brought one home. Mom wasn't at all pleased but she decided to let us keep our new feline friend.

Cocoa, as Diane named her, was quite a character. Apart from the usual cat characteristics, she had a dignity about her that made us nickname her The Queen. She also had the odd habit of hiding under the phone table when somebody called us. I suppose she figured that we ran there to stop that frightening thing from ringing.

Our cat had a unique voice too. Instead of meowing, she'd say, "Nam." Consequently, we often spoke of her "namming" for something or other. She could make it sound like an imperious command too. That often made us laugh, though she wasn't amused.

Cocoa was also an excellent fly hunter. Whenever one landed, she'd stalk it and pounce. Sometimes her hunting expeditions weren't successful. Cocoa once caught a fly between her paws in the bathroom. When she parted them to eat her prey, the fly walked under the door and flew away. Cocoa stood in the doorway when I opened it, scanning this way and that for that pesky insect.

One sunny evening, she spotted a black dot on the rug. She crept up to it and pounced. Much to her surprise, it was only a watermelon seed. She ran under the couch, doubtless feeling embarrassed and frustrated. Our boisterous laughter didn't help her mood at all either.

Our cat was a graceful animal when she wanted to be. Diane and I were playing a game of Risk on the living room floor one morning. Cocoa walked across the game board without disturbing a single piece. That really impressed us since the board was covered with small plastic cubes representing troops on a world map.

Some pleasures were too hard for our feline friend to resist. Cocoa adored going outside. When she wasn't allowed to, she often jumped and clung to the screen of the door. We had quite a hard time keeping her from escaping whenever somebody opened the door.

Cocoa's penchant for escaping became her downfall. In the autumn of 1980, a dog attacked her. She crawled under a bush and expired there.

Though I like cats, rabbits are my favourite pet. Visit Bruce Atchison's Books page. Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School is also featured there.

My newly-published memoir is called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.


  1. It is tough to keep a cat inside. They don't see a backyard, they see a jungle that calls to their wild side!
    Funny you should mention a board game. We play backgammon and cards, and sometimes we play by "Bunny Rules", which means that if a bunny disturbs the pieces, that is the way they stay, to our failure or benefit. It adds quite a bit of chaos to game playing.

    1. I too was laughing at the cat attacking a melon seed, thinking it was a fly. In a way, it's really not funny because it's sort of like laughing at a blind person who makes a similar mistake, but it's a sweet story.


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