Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Clarice

One winter's Saturday at the end of July 2003, my son, Angus and I drove to the pet palour in the city to collect my three dogs whom we'd left there earlier that morning. As I got out of the car, a beautiful cat jumped up onto the passenger seat and purringly rubbed herself against my arm. I picked her up and walked to the office to pay for my dogs' grooming. Still holding this gorgeous cat, I asked the palour owner, Albie, if it was her cat. She said no, she'd seen it around a few times, but it kept disappearing into the veld/grassland beyond her property. I then asked her if she had a travel cage which I could borrow. Before she could answer, Angus said: No Mom, we have five cats at home already." So I placed the cat on the floor of the office and began to write out a cheque for Albie's services. Meanwhile the cat had strolled over to Angus who'd sunk into an easy chair at the back of the office. She jumped onto his lap. A minute later I heard him say: "Albie, do you have a travel cage for me?"
As they say in the classics, "The rest is history". (Angus later named her Clarice and she is technically HIS cat, but has remained in my home.) We loaded the cat in the borrowed travel cage on the back seat of my vehicle and she meowed all the way home. To this day, when I take her to the vet, she meows all the way to the appointment. My vet's wife says she always knows when I'm coming around the corner with Clarice, that's how loud her meowing is. Strange that she jumped into a car that first day and now when she has to travel in one, she protests. My friends and family say she knew a good owner when she saw one; just didn't realise a periodic car ride came along with the good life!
Clarice is a really good cat. She is well-behaved and a real lady. I always say she has no claws. When I have to administer worm or other medication to the cats, I normally get clawed and scratched to ribbons. Not so with Clarice; she swallows her meds without a murmur and not a claw is raised.
Clarice is not afraid of any dog. When a new dog is introduced, she, unlike the other cats who resemble toilet brushes until they get used to the canine intruder, walks up to the dog and rubs herself against its legs. The dog immediately shows her respect and consequently she is never chased or harrassed by the dogs.

On the other hand, when I spot a bird corpse in the garden or in pool room, I know Madam Clarice has been hunting. Above is a photo of her lying in the rocks between two of my ponds. Just to the left of her is where the pigeons come to drink and then she pounces.

Darling, beautiful Clarice, we still wonder where you came from; did your previous owners move away and just leave you, as people are wont to do? Well,we're pleased that you chose to come and live with us. May we have many happy years together.

Happy seventh birthday, my beautiful kitty!

For other stories and photos of pets, click here.


  1. Such a sweet story. . .somehow I am not surprised that someone with your big heart has a house full of pets! That is one majestic looking cat!

  2. She is a lovely placid looking cat. I'm not all that fond of cats but I love dogs. We had a silly stray dog once and she hated being in a car too. She would run round in circles barking the whole time.
    Thanks for following.

  3. Happy Birthday, Clarice ! What a wonderful story about how she came to live with you, Jo - she looks like such a dignified, elegant cat from the photo's you've posted. She really is lucky to have chosen you as her owner, she certainly knows a good person when she sees one ;)

  4. Clarice obviously was meant to live with you. That's a wonderful story. Hope she has a long and happy life.
    Bon Anniversaire, chère Clarice!

  5. Clarice is a beauty. They say cat's are the masters and she obviously knew whom she wanted.
    I really chuckled thinking about the cats looking like a bottle brush. ;-)

    Happy Birthday Clarice.

  6. Clarice sure knew how to pick people!!

    Happy Birthday Clarice

  7. What a wonderful story about a beautiful cat ! I think both parts were lucky. My cats are opera singers when I have to drive one to the vet ! I need earplugs it's horrible, even Rosie with her tiny soft voice suddenly sings like Whitney Houston !

  8. Thanks Sandy, for popping in and visiting my blog. Yes, Clarice has grown into a beautiful cat. I'm thinking of you travelling from your vacation back home and pray for a safe and comfortable journey. (((Hugs))) Jo

    Hi diane;) LOL at your erstwhile dog jumping all over the seat barking. Thanks for popping in.

    Hi Lynda;) SO good to see you. Yes, Clarice is a really elegant cat. When she first arrived, she'd sit on the stove hob and watch the other cats eat. It seems as though she was watching her figure. Nowadays that she's middle-aged, she guzzles all her food and looks for more. (LOL!) (((Hugs))) Jo

    Hi Dedene;) thanks, I've passed all the good birthday wishes onto Clarice!

    Hi Gaelyn;) I agree, cats are masters. Apparently dogs have owners, cats have staff! LOL

    Oh Gattina;) ROFL! at your cat singing all the way to the vet. Thanks for visiting.

  9. Hi Diane;) thanks for visiting. I'm off to visit your blog.

  10. Hi Diane;) thanks for visiting. I'm off to visit your blog.

  11. Nice post ...great composition with nice photographs...
    thanks for sharing

  12. Hi Sharodindu;) welcome to my blog, Thanks for you kind comments.

  13. happy birthday clarice! am glad you bonded with that wonderful human!


    Pet Pride


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