'Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.’
– Robertson Davies
My cat Betsy is 17 this month.
She came from the pet store up the road as a kitten, one of many tabby cats in a large cage in the window.
For a long time she was an 'only cat' and had the run of the place. Then a black male stray, Little Boy, came on the scene. Before I could control him, he had defiled all of Betsy's favourite places with his malodorous male-ness, spraying high and low. Even after being 'fixed' Little Boy retained his evil habits, dousing and beating Betsy into submission. Her new home became the roof of my house, and in wet weather, the garden shed. Despite my pleadings and actually carrying her fighting and scratching into the house, she would not stay, preferring to remain aloof , alienated and indignant in her lofty perch.
Little Boy passed away a couple of years ago and now Betsy has reclaimed her rightful place. In her twilight years I give her as much love and care as I can, because she deserves it. She has good food, warm places to sleep (inside) in as many locations as she desires, she is brushed daily, and in winter time has a delightful fire every night to sleep beside.
Most days when I am writing she spends some time sitting on my printer, being close, as if to say, 'You are mine. I will not share you. I tolerate your writing because that is how you earn money to pay for my food and comforts.'
Ah but I think it goes beyond that. She is my companion, my friend. We chat throughout the day and in the evening we settle down with our glass of whiskey and talk about the day. She tells me about the lemons ripening on the tree and I share my stories with her.