Oskar was my very first cat. He was a rover and I convinced him of the amenities of a more settled lifestyle by
dangling sausages in front of his nose when I was
six years old (“Mommy look - he’s following me!”). Although he soon got domesticated he never really forgot his wild past. My brother still bears a reminder of that on his forehead. Oskar fiercely defended his territory against all cats in the neighbourhood and although he wasn’t a tall cat he never lost a single fight. Sadly, he met a horrible end. He died of eating a poisoned mouse. So please never ever put out poison. Think of the cats.
Pucki was a present from some people in the Black Forest. The transport home in 1987 was a real tragedy. I thing none of the other cats became as attached to me as Pucki did. She slept between my feet on my bed and trusted me completely. That’s why she even gave birth to her four children Moses, Wölfchen, Carlos & Tipsy in my bed while I was sleeping in the spring of ‘88! I only woke up when all the kittens were already there. There’s no sight in the world more beautiful than newly born kittens. For a while we had
six cats in the house. That was like heaven for me but we eventually had to give away Moses and Wölfchen. (I’ll never forgive my parents & my sister for naming them in my absence by the way.) When Pucki tried to
wean her children they wouldn’t take no for an answer and bugged her so long that she finally decided to move out. She lived with an old women near the main road for a while and still visited me regularly through
the window but then she was run over by a car and died. She wasn’t even two years old, I think.
After Oskar’s death Carlos took over his territory with equal, if not greater success. He was a huge cat
indeed. His speciality was sitting on the fence right next to the sidewalk and aloofly ignoring the snarling dogs passing by. Soon all dog owners in the village would change over to the other side of the road before
passing our house and even then they had trouble controlling their raving canines. I thing he was attacked by dogs once or twice but always quickly settled the matter with a sharp blow to his opponent’s nose. Carlos
also took part in all our meals, sitting on my fathers lap and always astonished us with his taste for exotic food like Olives, Oranges and even Nutella. He also liked to lie on things like bags , newspapers and
keyboards. Anywhere where he was certain to be at the focus of somebody’s attention. He had to be put to sleep on the 7th of January 2002 because he had cancer in all parts of
his body and could hardly breathe anymore. Nearly fourteen years of age isn’t bad for a cat, though. Multiplied by 7 (which is bullshit anyway) he would have been in his late nineties.
Tipsy was the most intelligent of our cats. At an early age she learned to open doors by jumping on the handle but
later she preferreds to just imperiously look at one of her human valets and then unmistakably at the door. Her tail had to be amputated because it was broken in several places (probably a car) when she was 2 years
old, but she could still climb every tree without problems. She was not as bold as Oskar or Carlos but she liked to annoy passing dogs by sleeping all day under the table-tennis table in plain view of the sidewalk.
She would catch mice and the occasional bird and proudly place the remains on our doormat. She died on the 14th of May 2004. Her teeth had been infected and this infection had damagred her kidneys. She also ate very
little and was just a ghost when we brought her to the vet to get some help, but the injections that were supposed to start her up again were more than shen could take and her body just gave up.
The first time in 22 years, there’s no cat in the house...