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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Cat Lives Matter

Since I was a child I have always adored cats. They are my favourite animal. I have a ‘cat book’, like a scrapbook, but with pictures and poems and cut outs of cats; domestic cats, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, jaguars – the lot. My family always knew to give me cat-inspired gifts for my birthdays and Christmas. As a child I used to believe that I was a cat inside, or that I had special cat powers deep down and that I could talk to cats. (I still talk to them sometimes). I love the way they look; their faces, eyes, whiskers; I love their lean bodies and tails and their soft fur. I love the way they purr, the way their mouths open to yawn and their little sharp teeth and the way they rub against your legs to say they like you. I love that they’re independent creatures that can be with or without you, that they’re affectionate one minute and then sleepy the next. I find cats beautiful as well as adorable.

I have never actually owned a cat; my mum has always been allergic to them, and when I have a bad cold or a low immune system they make me sneeze and flare up too because of the hair.  Not that I minded much; my brother and I amused ourselves by playing with the cats that came in the garden, namely a lovely ginger one called Boris. Besides, I probably would’ve forgotten to feed them and take care of them, though cats are great at fending for themselves. It sounds odd but I still feel a weird connection with cats (probably in my imagination). Perhaps I was one in a past life (assuming ‘past lives’ are real).

I know the 2004 movie Catwoman with Halle Berry got terrible reviews, but I really liked it. I thought it was fun and action packed. It’s not a great movie like Whiplash or Pulp Fiction or American Beauty, but it’s fun and has a simple (albeit contrived) storyline. Yeah, I know it doesn’t follow the DC Selina Kyle type catwoman, but I think the point was to create a spin-off version of the character. I loved the fact that Patience got rescued and brought back to life by cats.

Cats have always been revered as ‘magical’ creatures throughout History; we’re all aware that the Ancient Egyptians used to worship cats, and the Egyptian Mau is one of the rarest breeds of these felines. Cats have also been associated with witches and ‘black magic’, which I find pretty cool. There are loads of tales and myths and folklore involving kitties. In some countries they’re associated with luck; if a black cat crosses your path in this country it’s lucky (though not if it’s a cat that lives down the road that happens to see you all the time), and in other countries black cats are considered ‘evil’ and white cats are the ‘good’ one. Needless to say, these are all myths and I’m definitely not superstitious. I just think cats are beautiful, intelligent creatures and my favourite species of animal. My parents even used to record ‘Big Cat Diary’ for me. Maybe one day I’ll own my own kitty. But for now I can content myself with writing stories about cats and saying hello when I see them on the street.

Me in a cat outfit as a child

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