Thursday, 14 May 2015


Cats certainly do have some interesting personality quirks. Yet there was one kitten I knew who had some extremely quirky habits. He was one of a litter born to my mom's Siamese cat named Cocoa.

Because of his grey fur, we called him Cloudy. The other three kittens in the litter were black. Cloudy also had a dark grey Hitler mustache.

Adding to his quirks was that he had a speech impediment. Instead of meowing like a normal cat, he'd say, "Gow!" That was handy since we didn't even need to wonder which one of Cocoa's kittens wanted attention.

Cloudy also loved to retrieve woolen flowers. My sister Diane had bought them to decorate her knitting projects. Cloudy discovered one on the floor and dropped it at our feet as we sat and watched TV. "Gow!" he insisted and pawed at the flower. Diane tossed it across the living room and Cloudy chased after it. To our surprise, he came trotting back with the flower in his mouth. "Gow!" he exclaimed as he stared at us again.

WE soon tired of the game but Cloudy didn't. We'd be engrossed in the program on TV when We would hear "Gow!" behind us. If we didn't respond, Cloudy would paw at our feet until we complied with his wishes. Never have I known of a cat who retrieved toys to be tossed again by his or her humans.

We all missed the kittens when they were given away by Mom.  I think we missed Cloudy the most. He was so loveable and eccentric that we often spoke of how silly he was. Forty-one years later, I still remember that spring and the fun we had playing fetch with that silly grey kitten with the little mustache.

I haven't written much about my family's pets but I did write a memoir of my rabbits which I had as an adult. They too had their own quirky quirks. For Example, Gideon hurled rolled-up socks between his hind legs like a football quarterback. Harry was so self-possessed that he often fell asleep on his side in the kitchen doorway. Neutrino was a little bunny with a huge attitude. These stories and more are told in When A Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies. Check it out on my Bruce Atchison's books link.