clive_n_sootyThe Decking Dudes (as I call them) are two unrelated cats that visit our back garden and lounge on the decking area waiting for meal times.  Mum puts food out for them and then they disappear until their stomachs tell them its dinner time again – and they show up again, and Mum puts food out – and so it goes on.

Clive is jet black and he lives next door.  He’s probably about 7 or 8 years old but when his Man brought a Great Dane puppy six years ago, poor Clive spends most of his waking – and sleeping – hours outside, sometimes in his own garden and sometimes in ours. Clive is a POW – Puss on Welfare and with prior agreement between his Man and my Mum, she gives him dinners whenever he asks for them.

Sooty – as I call him – is pure white and we have no idea where he came from. We have a little cat kennel in the garden by the back door which Mum prepared for Clive in case he wanted to keep dry and warmish from our winters. She put a nice fleecy bed and a duvet in there but Clive says he’s accustomed to roughing it, that cat kennels are for wimps, and he’d rather eat his own tail than show any dumb human that he needs any kindness.

sootyOne morning when Mum opened the back door to give Clive some breakfast, she noticed Sooty out there in the cat kennel.  She put food down for him as well and he ate it all without pausing for breath.

I’ve been calling him Sooty because I’m a rebel. (I’m also a doorbell, don’t forget!) Black cats are often called Lucky or Blackie or names associated with witchcraft and devil worship although Clive is a pretty ordinary name for a black cat, I grant you. I daresay Sooty’s real name is something more obviously like Blanco, Snowy, or Angel, but I like to kick with traditional names and raise the stakes a little. It’s like cats that have white paws are always called Socks or Sox or Boots but how boring (and predictable!) is that.  Buck the trend. Walk on the wild side. Open your minds to new imaginative names.

Mum’s been calling him Brando after a famous film star but she’s been doing it half-heartedly so I think she’s trying to think of something else that fits. If you have any ideas of what we can call ‘Sooty’ do write and let us know – let’s see where your imagination takes you!

A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras