The Supermarket Cat

Our kitten is swiftly turning into a Catton.

I know because I lifted to eject him from the porch during his hourly attempted jailbreak and he was heavy. I’m hoping this is pure muscle. He looks innocently slim and sinewy.

These days when he goes to the porch it is not to sit and gaze fixedly outside, but to climb on the handlebars of the bikes with intent. We believe he really means to ride them. We never fear his dash out of the door; we just go to the bikes and there he is, Kitty Wiggins without the cycle helmet and skin-tight shorts.

Against all the odds, the dog and the cat are firm friends. After years of living with a cat who was the heart of darkness, a tortoiseshell comprised of haughty rage, Macaulay the affable terrier has been gifted a blokey cat who shares all his interests: stealing food, play-fighting, invading sofas, companionable smelly cushions.

And as a bonus, the cat produces the kind of smells which, to a terrier, are the equivalent of Chanel.

Symbiotic? I’ll say so. Clive Bond discovered where the plastic individual food pouches were kept, and defied his lack of opposable thumbs by securing one and mauling the packet before throwing it to the floor so the dog could act as a Heavy. It was but a leap, skip and a sniff to join Macaulay at their contraband meal. Clive got most: the dog loves licking the wrappers.

He’s the one that gets caught, of course. The cat looks so innocent that only our Clouseau detective work divined Clive’s ability to extricate packets from drawers.

And so Clive Bond’s eccentricity is developing nicely, under the delighted gaze of his equally eccentric owners.

He would have a long way to go to become as eccentric- yes, and as beloved – as Brutus.

Once upon a time, in a little village called Saltney, just outside the English city of Chester, a passer-by stopped a group of boys engaged in the kind of incomprehensible cruelty one hears about from time to time: they were kicking a small stray cat, aged about eight to ten months old.

We bless the day that passer-by stopped them and rescued the little chap. Brutus was taken with all speed to the local vets where a veterinary nurse called Claire fell head over heels in love with him.

After a couple of days, when Brutus was not claimed, he came to live with Claire and her partner Adam. They had been reading Conn Iggulden’s Emperor series of books, and felt this regal feline should be called after the best friend and betrayer of Caesar, Brutus.

And sure enough, after a little while, Brutus developed the kind of habits which delight humans: the idiosyncratic kind.

He developed a liking for the large local supermarket, Morrison’s. He would potter past the stream, over the bridge and settle himself in the foyer.

Supermarket manager, Les Williams, told the Chester Chronicle: He’s just our little resident cat.If the sun’s coming through the window, he just lies down. If the sun’s not coming down, he sits on top of the recycling bin. When he first started coming, I thought ‘I have got to throw him out nicely’. But now I’d end up doing it 10 times a day.”

The answer phone machine at Claire’s says it all. It goes like this:

“Thanks for calling about Brutus. I assume you found him in Morrison’s car park and are concerned that he may be lost.

“He actually goes to Morrison’s every day as I only live across the road and he goes under the bridge and across the stream, so he’s unlikely to cross the road.

“He will make his own way back home later. I really do appreciate your call and the fact that you care, so thanks.”

You can visit Brutus’s Facebook page here.

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50 thoughts on “The Supermarket Cat

  1. I love cats and miss ours. We’ve always had cats until now. Clive seems to be turning into a proper cat under your, and Macaulay’s, guiding influence. Brutus,on the other hand, sounds a singular cat although I question his choice of Morrisons.

  2. Your hits will shoot through the roof today. No sane person can resist a cat story, which sometimes causes me to question my definition of sane.

  3. Dear Kate, I went to Brutus’s facebook and so no entry since an October one saying that he hadn’t come home. Did he disappear? I’m not used to Facebook and so maybe there are more recent postings there that I missed.

    I’m glad to learn that Clive is eccentric. Eccentricity always attracts me. That began with my Aunt Dorothy, who when she was a little tipsy would take the sombrero from the wall and do a dance around its rim. She delighted my cousin and me into suppressed giggles. We didn’t want her to stop but she looked so wild dancing that we felt transported to giggle land. Peace.

  4. Love your cat and dog tales, Kate.

    I’m glad Brutus was rescued from his abusers. I’ll never understand that sort of cruelty toward defenseless animals. :-(

  5. I’m not at all surprised that Macaulay and Clive Bond get on so well. The Shrewsday household strikes me as one of the warmest, inviting and just the right amount of eccentric places in the entire UK. Animals are smart. They know when they have it good.

    • Hi Lame :-D Sooooo good to have you reappearing in cyberspace. Thank you: there are not many households who provide a full-size bike for the household cat to ride on. He has lost interest in the door to outside, and instead jumps on to the nearest bike and sits at the handlebars with an intense Bradley Wiggins stance. He’ll be wanting lycra shorts and a cycle helmet next.

      • If you can I’d love to see a picture of Clive Bond sitting on those handlebars. What’s Macaulay doing while Bond is doing his balancing act, feeling forlorn that they can’t ride tandem?

  6. Clive is getting clever! We need a similar message on our voice mail for Patch who prefers the places along Beach Road to home, but she never comes back :)

  7. Oh God! The two species have started working together as a team! A much bigger threat to the Shrewsday environment than mere opposable thumbs….!!! :-)

  8. That is a terrific telephone message. There was a time when I needed the same regarding my two Westies. And I never cease to be shocked by the damage the lack of opposable digits creates.

  9. A catastrophe aided by dogged persistence! What characters!
    I was cross with our Mac today – he was chasing mongooses.
    Love the supermarket-addicted Brutus.
    Children can be horrible little brutes – that is one time where blow all the modern ideas; a really well-tanned bottom works wonders.

  10. What a great story all around, Kate! I love the friendship formed between Macaulay and Clive Bond. It must be so amusing to watch them work in synchronicity! And I stopped by to click on Brutus’ Facebook page. Isn’t he just adorable? :-)

  11. Just catching up, Kate, and enjoyed this immensely. This brought to mind our first cat, who I think I’ve mentioned before. Zoe. She was a wedding gift. A calico who loved Ben Gay and Greek olives – and entertaining us.

  12. Purrrrr! I adore these peculiar characteristics that present themselves with great aplomb. I’m trying to figure out what motivates Duc le Chat to shift sleeping spots while in the house – all very comfy. Then yesterday, I discovered he has created a new spot – in a cave of pillows on the spare bed. The little mutt! I’ve now had to line the spot with old towels unless I want to do a massive laundry!

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