I alluded to Ratbag earlier, he was my ginger tom, the first pet I had that was mine alone. And I had to wait till I was an adult until I had that exclusive pet to owner relationsip!!!
I got him as a kitten, I can’t even remember his early days, sheesh, let’s face it was a loooong time ago.
He was ginger, of course, as far as my Dad was concerned there are only two tolerable colours for suitable cats. Ginger and Grey. Some of that rubbed off on me (until Tinker and Taylor the black and white bandits) and so my first choice for feline family was a stocky little ginger tom…
Ratbag was the only name that worked, which for those who may need a translation, is an english description for someone a bit naughty, a bit cheeky. If I remember correctly it is a lot more affectionate in its NZ usage than it is in the UK. Still, it’s a good name, and he totally deserved it…
I kept him as long as I was living away from home, and before I went to the US… so around 2 years… when, of course I phoned home and asked if they’d be willing to foster him till I came back.
Actually, you know that sense of unreality that pervades the days preceeding long distance travel? All the packing and planning and before you know it the time has come to leave and it doesn’t all feel real? Well I was leaving off on my big oe and we left home the night before my flight out of Auckland so we didn’t have to get up so early in the morning. It was a family excursion… Sis and Lil Sis and Hun came too all piled in the back of the car, nudging each other trying to find room… man, in those days it was 6 of us in a station wagon with bench seats… these days no one would put up with that!!! 8 seaters all the way!!!
Anyway, we piled in the car and as we were about to leave I couldn’t find that darn cat so I could say goodbye…
That was it, Niagra Falls… leaving, may never see him again… sob, sob… (Actually, that’s pretty much what happened. Dad and Mum split up while I was o/s and the cat went with Dad. When Dad moved north Ratbag took very unkindly to being moved again and split too.)
Anyway, that was much later, at the time Chrisp made this decoration and hung it in his honour that Christmas. He was very much a part of my family and was always the first thing I asked about on phoning home!