Dora's Memoirs - March 2009

Being the senior citizen of the village, I thought I ought to tell everyone about my life. I'm not sure exactly when I was born but I think I will be about 19 years old this coming summer. I am still, touch wood, very well and still potter happily around, that's if you can call sleeping for 23 hours a day, preferably on Paul's lap pottering around.
Anyway to my history. In the summer of 1991, I turned up in Paul and Heather's garden one day, I was fully grown and have no recollection of how I got there. They lived in Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire which makes me a Wesy. They looked at me very strangely and kept calling me Precious which I thought was a bit familiar! I now realise why, as you can see from the photo on the right I appear to have a twin - but no. Precious already already lived there and was some years older than me. I'm actually the one at the back. Now a little biological diversion, Precious and I are/were ginger, white and black, and according to Paul's sister Edwina who is a Biology teacher, only female cats can be this colour, hence why Tinker is only ginger and white. Talking of hair colour, you can tell how long ago this photo was taken as Paul actually has dark hair!
Precious (silly name for a cat!) and I didn't always get on, so this is a rare photo. She was very short tempered and usually known by the more appropriate nick-name of Misery. We did however have a lot in common, both being very good at catching rats and mice. We lived next to a disused railway line and always found a plentiful supply of prey. Precious used to think it was great fun to bring her catch home alive and let it go in the house, I however was much more considerate and simply use to lay them out neatly dead on the doorstep.

Paul and Heather always seemed to think we needed company. The next to turn up in in January 1995 was Tinker. At the time he was a very tiny kitten. I wasn't overly bothered but

Precious, who thought she owned the place did not take kindly to other cats cramping her style, and so needed to impose her authority. So Precious would bat Tinker across the room which usually had the desired effect, but Tinker would simply get up, shake his head and go back for some more. So in the end Precious gave up and moved out for a while, she often did this anyway whenever someone new moved into the street as she'd go and see if they were any better to live with.

The next newcomer was even stranger - a dog! This one called Sam, some of you in the village will remember Sam as Paul used to walk him around, he was particularly fond of Dawn and Mike's Barn. Now Precious could always sort out dog's, a few carefully placed claws on the nose - sorted. However I'm not sure if this was all too much for Precious, she was old (about 17) she did go off one day and didn't return. So a degree of democracy returned  - well with Sam at the bottom of the pecking order where dogs belong!

Well Tinker and I moved to Withernwick in 2004, and had the occasional visit from Sam. Tinker was especially fond of bugging Sam as you can see from the above photo. I don't think it was affection, more likely something warm to cuddle up to. The disgusted look on Sam's face is genuine. Given such torture he would generally get up and leave a nice warm spot for Tinker move onto. Tinker would even try to pinch Sam's food, Sam would growl but to no avail - I'm afraid dog's are genuinely second class citizens.

Anyway poor Sam did pass away in 2006, he was probably aged about 14, and despite grief from cats he lived a good long life. Tinker also passed away in December 2009, he also had a good life being an expert at sleeping and annoying me; so there's only me left now and I have retired from catching rats and mice. Paul has gone off to somewhere called Kuwait, I wish I could go too, I'd love all that sunshine; all that I've had this year is snow which isn't good for cats. Life is getting even slower now I'm nearly 20, but Paul says if there is such a thing as reincarnation then he's going to ask to come back as me - I've no idea what he means!
And finally on 29th March 2010 I went on a trip to pussycat heaven. It's great, there is 24 hour sunshine to sleep in and a plentiful supply of mice to catch if I can be bothered; it did briefly pass my mind where was mouse heaven but being a cat I didn't worry about that for long. Also I now know for sure what I always felt that cats are the superior species on Earth; we just haven't yet worked out a way of getting those useless humans to look after the planet a bit better.

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