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Monty The best cat in the World

Book By: Mark Quay
Memoir


A true story about a much loved pet that came into every ones lives. Every one was his friend he was brave and loveable Monty!


Submitted:Aug 14, 2011    Reads: 17    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Copyright © 2009 Kevin Markey

THE BEST CAT IN THE WORLD

Index

1) Poem Monty

2) First Night

3) First Day

4) Early Memories

5) Xmas

6) Previous Pets

7) Monty & Friends

8) Monty's Injured leg

9) Bimbo, Titch & Ginger

10) Birds

11) Two day disappearance

12) Its not the leaving

13) The end of a life of love

14) Xmas without Monty & memories

15) Other Cats

16) Bimbo Returns

MONTY

On a mild December evening

came into our lives

full of joy

And on a cold November morning

Departed from this world

A life of love

Monty Monty Monty

Making friends through it

You were truly

The best there ever was

No one could love you

No one could love you

No one could love you

More than I do

No one was loved more

No one was loved more

No one was loved

More than you were

"My name is Monty and I'm a pussy cat"

"I sneak up on Kevin's Bed cause I like that"

Some one, somewhere, who know's where? Probable a Gloucestershire cat breeder. Their female produced a litter soon they were all to become house trained, and sold as pets, except one! They couldn't get rid of.

December 20th 0r 22nd 1986 I can't recall the exact date. A typical December night cold. A car pulls stops at a busy junction. The main Dursley to Cam road, Woodfield Road forms the junction, across the road Summerhayes estate to the right Tilsdown and Woodfield on the left. On one corner, number six. A kitten barely six months old is dumped out of the car, it's a mild night but it's on his own now to survive on its wit's. The car speeds of to who know's where? No one knows except the driver. Someone probable can answer that question for he or she missed out on the Best Cat in the world.

First Night

There was something different about that December night. The stars were out, brighter than they had been for some weeks. I suppose the turning point had been reached when the days got longer. It was probable nine o'clock, I parked my Metro in a garage I rented less than five minutes walk from my home. I proceeded down the road known as Norman Hill and then turned left towards the pedestrian crossing where when the lights turned red I would hurriedly cross the silent road. In next to no time I was climbing the six or seven steps to our garden. To my right was number four as these steps were shared. At the top on our end of the garden is a row of conifers,(Xmas trees). Cats loved them for they could hide under their thick bushes. As the cars whizzed down Woodfield road they could watch, or just shelter from the rain.

Tonight I could hear the gentle meow and as my head turned I saw a black kitten, its white patches barely visible. I stopped, to stroke it, soon I realised what had happened, for in a few days' Christmas was upon us. At Xmas people abandon more pets than any other time of the year. I didn't know what to do, for I had no idea how my parents would react. Had I known then, what I know now, he would have been adopted straight away. Even at this tender age he had a way of bring the best out in people. In the words of the song "to know him was to love him" and we did.

As I continued my journey to the house not knowing what to do, He followed all the way. Unsure I let him in the conservatory at the side of the house. First I searched for some milk and a saucer to give him for he was thirsty. What food could I give him? I had no idea, but it turns out my parents had provided milk and bread already. Like most people in the circumstances I hoped after his drink I could turf him out and he would go away, of course life doesn't work out like that. Eventually I placed him outside in the cold night, I hated myself for doing it but what else could I do. He didn't go far and hung around all night.

Mum and Dad had been out that night, when they returned they commented about the kitten. He had already gone next door to number eight but as they already had one cat his charm had failed at least temporarily. My parents did provide a box for him, placing it carefully, on top of a dustbin, which was situated at the back of the house. He spent the whole night in it for it must have been warm compared to the chill of the night. Realising his luck was in next morning he would still be there.

We all asked our self questions. Was he a stray? had he run away from home? Was he lost? But I think we all new he was an unwanted pet that someone got rid of him.

First day

I couldn't get home from work quick enough on that first day. Lloyds Bank in Wotton Under Edge was seven miles away, as normal it took me about twenty minutes to drive. Excited as I was, I did not rush, despite looking forward to reviewing my acquaintance with our unexpected guest. Disappointed! No we were not, for the first thing I asked upon returning home was where the cat was? Monty as he was soon to become known had been around but disappeared, he was soon to return, he must realise he was on to a good thing.

For the first time he was allowed into the house with all present, my parents and two younger brothers' Shaun and Gareth. Dad was resistant but soon realised he was in a minority of one. He cursed Monty later for his visits to the garden, scratching his seeds and doing his business. Dad learnt to accept it. Monty also learnt were to go and were not too. As we all watched television that night in our front room, he moved from one lap to another. Slowly he was winning our affection. I offered my hand; he would lick this with his rough tongue. Monty carried this on for a life time, it was a certain winner. The only annoying part was once sitting on your lap; you could never get up again.

Monty we soon learnt was house trained; this was a good thing as it saved us some difficult training. In the early days a few unwanted deposits were discovered, but most of the time Monty was a clean and obedient kitten. We arranged for him to sleep in the conservatory that night, providing a box for him to sleep in. This was placed on a chair so he could look out the window. Monty seemed to understand this was for him, that night he jumped into this without any problem.

Next morning we were up early keen as ever to see our guest. He returned the compliment although now we let him out more he started to go out exploring the locality. Soon he was to become a brave and fearless animal and even from the start he was never timid. It was perhaps this nature excitable, a cheeky grin on his face for a kitten full of life and energy.

Early Memories

We advertised locally but no one came forward over a missing kitten. It was only later that we discovered that it was a he. The first thing that my parents decided to have done was to sterilise him. The vet informed us he was about six months old.

Deciding a name was always going to be difficult. I wanted to name him after a famous footballer but Kenny didn't seem appropriate, I was never sure what others had in mind.

The eldest lad of the couple living at number eight referred to him as Montgomery that I always assumed was after the war hero. Often when he was around we could hear "Montgomery" being called. Somehow the name stuck although it was shortened to Monty.

At night when we called him in, the sound of "Monty Monty Monty" would fill the night air. He soon got use to it, realising it was his name. Sometimes he would rush back in eager anticipation of food, love and attention. When he was not so keen he would amble back, other occasions he would be plain awkward playing games of chase me. He was impossible to catch when he was in this mood.

Chasing balls and knocking objects was something Monty enjoyed more than other cats I've known. Yes they like balls of string to chase and even keys but he was almost like a dog when chasing after a ball. His teeth were razor sharp; a flimsy object would suffer in his mouth. How easily it would be torn to shreds beneath his razor sharp teeth. On the patio at the back of the house I would throw a bouncy ball against the side of our garage. It would bounce against the wall, then on the patio once or maybe twice. Monty would chase after it like a dog. Using his front paw he would control it and dribble with it, better than Georgie Best. Other times he could catch between his paws, clinging to his claws he reminded me of Ray Clemence at his best.

Biting was another of his favourite pass times. I would often play with him at night; he was lying on my bed while I would tickle his tummy. Cunningly he would grab my arm, licking it gently at first until he got a good grip of my hand. To him it was only playing after all that was what I was doing. It could be painful as his sharp teeth dug into my hand the grip was almost impossible to get out of. The marks on my hand although small and faint were visible for days after.

One of my earliest memories of Monty was one day when he was out; I was walking up our road to post a letter. About four houses up number fourteen was being redeveloped. Now it consists of two houses but on that day it was just garden. As I walked by, Monty was around looking toward the path, I stopped expecting him not to recognise me. I was wrong for he poked his head through the gate as if to ask me to stoke it. It pleased me for many years that even away from his home he new and recognised his friends.

The other memory occurred in the Spring or summer of his first year with us. It was a Sunday afternoon; Gareth and I were lazing about probable watching television. Mum who was probable putting washing on the line came to call us." Come out here and see this she said" not knowing why, we both did. "Look over there" she said pointing in the direction of a large tree growing the back garden of number two. We both looked up high and into the distance. It was a massive tree taller than your average house. The sky was clear blue that day with only white clouds to spoil the view. At the very top we could see a black and white cat. He could see us even at that distance he knew were he lived and recognised the little people watching him. He was proud as punch up in the clouds, The expression on his face said, and look at me. It was a grin and he was clearly showing off.

Why did he go up? Who knows, he was probable chasing a bird. Whatever the reason it was brave, strangely however we never saw him up that tree again. Perhaps this was his one moment of glory. The tree still stands as if to testify to the occasion.

Xmas

December the twentyfifth, Christmas to you and me. To Monty it was like any other day of the year, except with Turkey! He would wake up early and wait for someone to let him out, then off he would go on his morning stroll. Sometimes he would be away for half an hour other times it would be two or three hours before we saw him again.

Christmas being in the cold winter months he tended to come back quickly, returning to the conservatory, maybe finding a chair or even bed to lie on. He would sleep for a few hours.

Around one o'clock we would gather round the table for our Turkey lunch, amazingly this would be the time Monty would wake from his snooze. In his dish we would provide him with some crunches and perhaps turkey flavoured cat food. Not satisfied with that he would come on a vacant chair or my lap. Placing his two front paws on the edge of the table he would stretch up to see what we were eating. The sprouts and roast potatoes were never of interest but the Turkey and gravy looked delicious. He was always good as gold however never touching any food unless it was clearly for him. It was clearly understood he would never jump on the table while we were eating although often would during the day. After lunch mum would cut some Turkey off the bird and place it on his own dish. Monty loved this and often demanded more, his chubby little face was full of delight. Monty loved his gravy too, we would invite him on the table to lick our plates or place it by his dish. To Monty this was turkey flavoured; milk and he lapped it up licking his lips at the end. The dishes were often cleaner than if we had washed them ourselves.

Often after unwrapping our presents we would leave the wrappings on the floor in the front room. Monty wasn't allowed in there at first, but later in his life he sneaked in. I thought he would love playing among the left wrappers like a baby in his element. Surprisingly this was not true. In to the room he would stroll and gingerly walk amongst the mess. He always looked before he would tread on anything, carefully testing the ground to ensure it would take his weight. Obstacles were for jumping over. Finally he would reach the settee or empty chair, jump and curl up before going to sleep. We would ignore him or occasionally some one would stoke him, mostly we however were watching the TV or resting.

The first Christmas after he passed away was sad. It was not long since he had died and outside the conservatory was his grave marked by four posts and a cross I had made. Somehow life was never the same; we all missed him although it did mean there was more Turkey for us.

Previous Pets

To be honest there was only two pets that stood out before Monty. Bobby and Charlie were two Budgies who we owned from our Hilltop View days. Bobby the elder of the two, actually visited Six Woodfield Road long before we moved. That was on the only occasion when he escaped. Mum chased him with a butterfly net eventually capturing him in it. It was a surprise that he should escape for he was the more friendly of the two. Whenever a hand was placed in the cage he would jump on it. Charlie was different he would turn away, refusing to even look at you. He was also the most aggressive.

From memory Bobby was a predominately Yellow coloured chap wise and friendly. He was easy going while Charlie was green. A dull colour than the cheerful Bobby this reflected in their different personalities.

Charlie was mine I saved up my pocket money for a year to purchase him as a companion to Bobby. It was I who chose him from an Avery in the house directly backing on to us at Hilltop View. He was a year younger than Bobby and when it came to passing away the gap between them was not much more than a year. Bobby and Charlie are buried side by side on our side lawn. The exact spot is not marked.

During Bobby's last day's Charlie cared for him, Bobby struggled to eat the seed in the cage so Charlie regurgitated it for him to digest. It was good to see they remained friends and loved each other. Charlie understood when Bobby fell to the floor. The death of Charlie was more of a shock, although with Bobby gone it was not totally unexpected, but we did not notice a decline in the same way.

It was sad but Gareth came home one day probable from school to discover him on the floor of the cage expired. This was a shock to us all but we got over it.

Although it would be good for the three to meet each other, but they would never get on. Monty always chased birds and when captured their time was up, Bobby and Charlie would have to stay in their cage always.

Monty and Friends

During his short life Monty made many friends both human and cat, though I know of no bird that loved him. His first friends other than ourselves must be our neighbours at number eight. The James family (or gang as they sometimes referred to themselves) were an average family with two kids (one of each) and one cat. Monty used to sneak in the house and steal the food. I can't remember the cats name but me, I know she didn't like it although she never sought revenge.

She died in a fire in about nineteen eighty seven. Monty never seemed to miss her.

One of my earliest memories of Monty and his friends was when he was about one year old. I was home during the day on Holiday. Every one was at work and Monty had gone out. During the morning I was looking out towards our back garden, from our kitchen we could see most of it except for the part obstructed by the garage. It was a sunny day and I saw Monty trotting down the garden path that divided two long patches of garden. With him were two of the most beautiful Persian cats, I had seen. They followed Monty as if he was their leader. It appeared as if he had invited them back to his place. Boldly Monty strolled into our conservatory lapping up the milk on his dish and the rabbit dinner. He was bold as brass showing off to his new found friends. They however were not so courageous and just waited a short distance away. From this safe position they could watch their new friend, if trouble arose they could escape easily. Being friendly to a pussy cat was easy especially when there are two of you but a human, well that's a different kettle of fish. I did try to tempt them with all the cunning at my disposal but they would not come to me. Eventually they moved away and sadly I never saw them again.

Though Monty would never admit to it his best friend was Bimbo a cuddly all black cat who moved in next door at number four. Bimbo was a year younger than Monty but the two of them grew up together. We often allowed Bimbo into our house feeling sorry for him as they did not always seem interested in him. I remember once Monty reciprocating the arrangement by climbing on next doors' roof and heading towards the window. I witnessed for my self the lady of the house opening the window and calling to Monty. He waited on the roof not sure weather to proceed further or not. In the end he decided against it. That was one more friend to Monty.

His other friend was Ginger who was about three years younger than Monty. Ginger and his sister Titch ( a small thing who was probable the runt of the litter) moved into number eight, about three months after they lost their first cat. Neither of these two drink milk. They are permitted water only which is unusual for any cat. Even now she is four years old Titch continues to be a tiny cat. Ginger as you can imagine was exactly that all over. He was much friendlier than his sister who was very stand offish. Like Bimbo before him Ginger was granted the freedom of number six, something that Monty despised. With Monty it was this is my house, like a marriage what's yours is mine and what's mine is my own. Titch fancied Monty, for a couple of months. Monty was having none of it, girls are a nuisance.

Even to this day Ginger is friendly. He always comes up to me, when he first sees me of a day rubbing against me, this is his way of saying hello. Some stories of Monty with Ginger and Bimbo, the scrapes and fights they got up to will follow in a later chapter.

On Tuesday 9th May 2006 I received news I had feared and expected. Ginger died that morning he had been unwell for a long time and I expected this to be his last summer. A few days earlier I had seen him for the last time friendly as ever he came up to me. I invited him in to number six and mum gave him some food. I left soon after the last time I was to see Ginger.

Copyright © 2009 Kevin Markey

THE BEST CAT IN THE WORLD

Index

1) Poem Monty

2) First Night

3) First Day

4) Early Memories

5) Xmas

6) Previous Pets

7) Monty & Friends

8) Monty's Injured leg

9) Bimbo, Titch & Ginger

10) Birds

11) Two day disappearance

12) Its not the leaving

13) The end of a life of love

14) Xmas without Monty & memories

15) Other Cats

16) Bimbo Returns

MONTY

On a mild December evening

came into our lives

full of joy

And on a cold November morning

Departed from this world

A life of love

Monty Monty Monty

Making friends through it

You were truly

The best there ever was

No one could love you

No one could love you

No one could love you

More than I do

No one was loved more

No one was loved more

No one was loved

More than you were

"My name is Monty and I'm a pussy cat"

"I sneak up on Kevin's Bed cause I like that"

Some one, somewhere, who know's where? Probable a Gloucestershire cat breeder. Their female produced a litter soon they were all to become house trained, and sold as pets, except one! They couldn't get rid of.

December 20th 0r 22nd 1986 I can't recall the exact date. A typical December night cold. A car pulls stops at a busy junction. The main Dursley to Cam road, Woodfield Road forms the junction, across the road Summerhayes estate to the right Tilsdown and Woodfield on the left. On one corner, number six. A kitten barely six months old is dumped out of the car, it's a mild night but it's on his own now to survive on its wit's. The car speeds of to who know's where? No one knows except the driver. Someone probable can answer that question for he or she missed out on the Best Cat in the world.

First Night

There was something different about that December night. The stars were out, brighter than they had been for some weeks. I suppose the turning point had been reached when the days got longer. It was probable nine o'clock, I parked my Metro in a garage I rented less than five minutes walk from my home. I proceeded down the road known as Norman Hill and then turned left towards the pedestrian crossing where when the lights turned red I would hurriedly cross the silent road. In next to no time I was climbing the six or seven steps to our garden. To my right was number four as these steps were shared. At the top on our end of the garden is a row of conifers,(Xmas trees). Cats loved them for they could hide under their thick bushes. As the cars whizzed down Woodfield road they could watch, or just shelter from the rain.

Tonight I could hear the gentle meow and as my head turned I saw a black kitten, its white patches barely visible. I stopped, to stroke it, soon I realised what had happened, for in a few days' Christmas was upon us. At Xmas people abandon more pets than any other time of the year. I didn't know what to do, for I had no idea how my parents would react. Had I known then, what I know now, he would have been adopted straight away. Even at this tender age he had a way of bring the best out in people. In the words of the song "to know him was to love him" and we did.

As I continued my journey to the house not knowing what to do, He followed all the way. Unsure I let him in the conservatory at the side of the house. First I searched for some milk and a saucer to give him for he was thirsty. What food could I give him? I had no idea, but it turns out my parents had provided milk and bread already. Like most people in the circumstances I hoped after his drink I could turf him out and he would go away, of course life doesn't work out like that. Eventually I placed him outside in the cold night, I hated myself for doing it but what else could I do. He didn't go far and hung around all night.

Mum and Dad had been out that night, when they returned they commented about the kitten. He had already gone next door to number eight but as they already had one cat his charm had failed at least temporarily. My parents did provide a box for him, placing it carefully, on top of a dustbin, which was situated at the back of the house. He spent the whole night in it for it must have been warm compared to the chill of the night. Realising his luck was in next morning he would still be there.

We all asked our self questions. Was he a stray? had he run away from home? Was he lost? But I think we all new he was an unwanted pet that someone got rid of him.

First day

I couldn't get home from work quick enough on that first day. Lloyds Bank in Wotton Under Edge was seven miles away, as normal it took me about twenty minutes to drive. Excited as I was, I did not rush, despite looking forward to reviewing my acquaintance with our unexpected guest. Disappointed! No we were not, for the first thing I asked upon returning home was where the cat was? Monty as he was soon to become known had been around but disappeared, he was soon to return, he must realise he was on to a good thing.

For the first time he was allowed into the house with all present, my parents and two younger brothers' Shaun and Gareth. Dad was resistant but soon realised he was in a minority of one. He cursed Monty later for his visits to the garden, scratching his seeds and doing his business. Dad learnt to accept it. Monty also learnt were to go and were not too. As we all watched television that night in our front room, he moved from one lap to another. Slowly he was winning our affection. I offered my hand; he would lick this with his rough tongue. Monty carried this on for a life time, it was a certain winner. The only annoying part was once sitting on your lap; you could never get up again.

Monty we soon learnt was house trained; this was a good thing as it saved us some difficult training. In the early days a few unwanted deposits were discovered, but most of the time Monty was a clean and obedient kitten. We arranged for him to sleep in the conservatory that night, providing a box for him to sleep in. This was placed on a chair so he could look out the window. Monty seemed to understand this was for him, that night he jumped into this without any problem.

Next morning we were up early keen as ever to see our guest. He returned the compliment although now we let him out more he started to go out exploring the locality. Soon he was to become a brave and fearless animal and even from the start he was never timid. It was perhaps this nature excitable, a cheeky grin on his face for a kitten full of life and energy.

Early Memories

We advertised locally but no one came forward over a missing kitten. It was only later that we discovered that it was a he. The first thing that my parents decided to have done was to sterilise him. The vet informed us he was about six months old.

Deciding a name was always going to be difficult. I wanted to name him after a famous footballer but Kenny didn't seem appropriate, I was never sure what others had in mind.

The eldest lad of the couple living at number eight referred to him as Montgomery that I always assumed was after the war hero. Often when he was around we could hear "Montgomery" being called. Somehow the name stuck although it was shortened to Monty.

At night when we called him in, the sound of "Monty Monty Monty" would fill the night air. He soon got use to it, realising it was his name. Sometimes he would rush back in eager anticipation of food, love and attention. When he was not so keen he would amble back, other occasions he would be plain awkward playing games of chase me. He was impossible to catch when he was in this mood.

Chasing balls and knocking objects was something Monty enjoyed more than other cats I've known. Yes they like balls of string to chase and even keys but he was almost like a dog when chasing after a ball. His teeth were razor sharp; a flimsy object would suffer in his mouth. How easily it would be torn to shreds beneath his razor sharp teeth. On the patio at the back of the house I would throw a bouncy ball against the side of our garage. It would bounce against the wall, then on the patio once or maybe twice. Monty would chase after it like a dog. Using his front paw he would control it and dribble with it, better than Georgie Best. Other times he could catch between his paws, clinging to his claws he reminded me of Ray Clemence at his best.

Biting was another of his favourite pass times. I would often play with him at night; he was lying on my bed while I would tickle his tummy. Cunningly he would grab my arm, licking it gently at first until he got a good grip of my hand. To him it was only playing after all that was what I was doing. It could be painful as his sharp teeth dug into my hand the grip was almost impossible to get out of. The marks on my hand although small and faint were visible for days after.

One of my earliest memories of Monty was one day when he was out; I was walking up our road to post a letter. About four houses up number fourteen was being redeveloped. Now it consists of two houses but on that day it was just garden. As I walked by, Monty was around looking toward the path, I stopped expecting him not to recognise me. I was wrong for he poked his head through the gate as if to ask me to stoke it. It pleased me for many years that even away from his home he new and recognised his friends.

The other memory occurred in the Spring or summer of his first year with us. It was a Sunday afternoon; Gareth and I were lazing about probable watching television. Mum who was probable putting washing on the line came to call us." Come out here and see this she said" not knowing why, we both did. "Look over there" she said pointing in the direction of a large tree growing the back garden of number two. We both looked up high and into the distance. It was a massive tree taller than your average house. The sky was clear blue that day with only white clouds to spoil the view. At the very top we could see a black and white cat. He could see us even at that distance he knew were he lived and recognised the little people watching him. He was proud as punch up in the clouds, The expression on his face said, and look at me. It was a grin and he was clearly showing off.

Why did he go up? Who knows, he was probable chasing a bird. Whatever the reason it was brave, strangely however we never saw him up that tree again. Perhaps this was his one moment of glory. The tree still stands as if to testify to the occasion.

Xmas

December the twentyfifth, Christmas to you and me. To Monty it was like any other day of the year, except with Turkey! He would wake up early and wait for someone to let him out, then off he would go on his morning stroll. Sometimes he would be away for half an hour other times it would be two or three hours before we saw him again.

Christmas being in the cold winter months he tended to come back quickly, returning to the conservatory, maybe finding a chair or even bed to lie on. He would sleep for a few hours.

Around one o'clock we would gather round the table for our Turkey lunch, amazingly this would be the time Monty would wake from his snooze. In his dish we would provide him with some crunches and perhaps turkey flavoured cat food. Not satisfied with that he would come on a vacant chair or my lap. Placing his two front paws on the edge of the table he would stretch up to see what we were eating. The sprouts and roast potatoes were never of interest but the Turkey and gravy looked delicious. He was always good as gold however never touching any food unless it was clearly for him. It was clearly understood he would never jump on the table while we were eating although often would during the day. After lunch mum would cut some Turkey off the bird and place it on his own dish. Monty loved this and often demanded more, his chubby little face was full of delight. Monty loved his gravy too, we would invite him on the table to lick our plates or place it by his dish. To Monty this was turkey flavoured; milk and he lapped it up licking his lips at the end. The dishes were often cleaner than if we had washed them ourselves.

Often after unwrapping our presents we would leave the wrappings on the floor in the front room. Monty wasn't allowed in there at first, but later in his life he sneaked in. I thought he would love playing among the left wrappers like a baby in his element. Surprisingly this was not true. In to the room he would stroll and gingerly walk amongst the mess. He always looked before he would tread on anything, carefully testing the ground to ensure it would take his weight. Obstacles were for jumping over. Finally he would reach the settee or empty chair, jump and curl up before going to sleep. We would ignore him or occasionally some one would stoke him, mostly we however were watching the TV or resting.

The first Christmas after he passed away was sad. It was not long since he had died and outside the conservatory was his grave marked by four posts and a cross I had made. Somehow life was never the same; we all missed him although it did mean there was more Turkey for us.

Previous Pets

To be honest there was only two pets that stood out before Monty. Bobby and Charlie were two Budgies who we owned from our Hilltop View days. Bobby the elder of the two, actually visited Six Woodfield Road long before we moved. That was on the only occasion when he escaped. Mum chased him with a butterfly net eventually capturing him in it. It was a surprise that he should escape for he was the more friendly of the two. Whenever a hand was placed in the cage he would jump on it. Charlie was different he would turn away, refusing to even look at you. He was also the most aggressive.

From memory Bobby was a predominately Yellow coloured chap wise and friendly. He was easy going while Charlie was green. A dull colour than the cheerful Bobby this reflected in their different personalities.

Charlie was mine I saved up my pocket money for a year to purchase him as a companion to Bobby. It was I who chose him from an Avery in the house directly backing on to us at Hilltop View. He was a year younger than Bobby and when it came to passing away the gap between them was not much more than a year. Bobby and Charlie are buried side by side on our side lawn. The exact spot is not marked.

During Bobby's last day's Charlie cared for him, Bobby struggled to eat the seed in the cage so Charlie regurgitated it for him to digest. It was good to see they remained friends and loved each other. Charlie understood when Bobby fell to the floor. The death of Charlie was more of a shock, although with Bobby gone it was not totally unexpected, but we did not notice a decline in the same way.

It was sad but Gareth came home one day probable from school to discover him on the floor of the cage expired. This was a shock to us all but we got over it.

Although it would be good for the three to meet each other, but they would never get on. Monty always chased birds and when captured their time was up, Bobby and Charlie would have to stay in their cage always.

Monty and Friends

During his short life Monty made many friends both human and cat, though I know of no bird that loved him. His first friends other than ourselves must be our neighbours at number eight. The James family (or gang as they sometimes referred to themselves) were an average family with two kids (one of each) and one cat. Monty used to sneak in the house and steal the food. I can't remember the cats name but me, I know she didn't like it although she never sought revenge.

She died in a fire in about nineteen eighty seven. Monty never seemed to miss her.

One of my earliest memories of Monty and his friends was when he was about one year old. I was home during the day on Holiday. Every one was at work and Monty had gone out. During the morning I was looking out towards our back garden, from our kitchen we could see most of it except for the part obstructed by the garage. It was a sunny day and I saw Monty trotting down the garden path that divided two long patches of garden. With him were two of the most beautiful Persian cats, I had seen. They followed Monty as if he was their leader. It appeared as if he had invited them back to his place. Boldly Monty strolled into our conservatory lapping up the milk on his dish and the rabbit dinner. He was bold as brass showing off to his new found friends. They however were not so courageous and just waited a short distance away. From this safe position they could watch their new friend, if trouble arose they could escape easily. Being friendly to a pussy cat was easy especially when there are two of you but a human, well that's a different kettle of fish. I did try to tempt them with all the cunning at my disposal but they would not come to me. Eventually they moved away and sadly I never saw them again.

Though Monty would never admit to it his best friend was Bimbo a cuddly all black cat who moved in next door at number four. Bimbo was a year younger than Monty but the two of them grew up together. We often allowed Bimbo into our house feeling sorry for him as they did not always seem interested in him. I remember once Monty reciprocating the arrangement by climbing on next doors' roof and heading towards the window. I witnessed for my self the lady of the house opening the window and calling to Monty. He waited on the roof not sure weather to proceed further or not. In the end he decided against it. That was one more friend to Monty.

His other friend was Ginger who was about three years younger than Monty. Ginger and his sister Titch ( a small thing who was probable the runt of the litter) moved into number eight, about three months after they lost their first cat. Neither of these two drink milk. They are permitted water only which is unusual for any cat. Even now she is four years old Titch continues to be a tiny cat. Ginger as you can imagine was exactly that all over. He was much friendlier than his sister who was very stand offish. Like Bimbo before him Ginger was granted the freedom of number six, something that Monty despised. With Monty it was this is my house, like a marriage what's yours is mine and what's mine is my own. Titch fancied Monty, for a couple of months. Monty was having none of it, girls are a nuisance.

Even to this day Ginger is friendly. He always comes up to me, when he first sees me of a day rubbing against me, this is his way of saying hello. Some stories of Monty with Ginger and Bimbo, the scrapes and fights they got up to will follow in a later chapter.

On Tuesday 9th May 2006 I received news I had feared and expected. Ginger died that morning he had been unwell for a long time and I expected this to be his last summer. A few days earlier I had seen him for the last time friendly as ever he came up to me. I invited him in to number six and mum gave him some food. I left soon after the last time I was to see Ginger.

Monty's injured leg

Monty used to go out a lot more as he got older, he wanted the adventure and of course we were not about during the day. At the weekend, when we were usually about he didn't disappear for long periods. On hot summer day's he would lie either on the patio or his favourite spot on the front lawn. In the middle a brown patch developed where Monty often sat. At the front of our lawn is a row of about ten trees on especially hot days Monty would sit in the shade under the thick branches. From there, he could see the road and all the traffic that went by. We can only imagine he was recalling the day he arrived. He could also look towards the house, sometimes we would stare out at him and he would respond. Suddenly he would decide he wanted to come in, he darted out from under the trees towards the front door that we would open for him.

Along the side of the house is a wooden fence that divides the gardens of number four and six. This was another favourite spot of Monty's. I rarely saw him jump up, but he was well capable of reaching it's height in one leap. Once on top he would carefully tread along it one paw at a time just like a tight rope walker. From here he could see the front and back door and every one, walking up the side of the house. If we wanted to call him in, if he was there, he would leap down long before anyone started calling him. Some night's I walked up the steps and along this fence I would always go to him and beckon him to me. "Come on Monty" I said however he was always the independent pussy moving further along the fence and jumping off rather than jumping into my welcoming arms.

During the many hot summer days that seem to become a norm from time to time, we used to open all the windows both upstairs and down. Monty had the freedom of the house by now and sought out a quiet spot to rest his tired head. This would often be in my parent's bedroom he would jump up on their great big double bed stretch out and yawns, an enormous yawn. Sometimes we would play with him, tickle his tummy, if he got fed up he would jump off the bed and leave. His other trick was to become angry and viscous. His tail would wag, he growled like a dog and his sharp teeth would dig into flesh. We knew this was the point to leave, even patient stroking of his head did little to cool his anger.

This allowed Monty to curl up and sleep for many hours. One fault that humans have which Monty shared was he snored. Fortunately for those like myself, who allowed him to sleep on their bed he was not very loud, or frequent snorer.

My parent bedroom is situated towards the back right‑hand side of the house. There are two windows situated, in the front and back. From the back window the garden can easily be seen. Behind us was a row of houses on an adjoining estate. Many years before Monty's arrival a conservatory had been built from the kitchen to the side garden. This was situated directly below the back window. When this window was open, the roof of the conservatory was easily reached, especially by a pussy cat eager for a quick escape root. Further more at the far end of the conservatory another roof was only a short jump away. This was the out house, a kind of extension at the back of the house for food etc. Monty proved how easy it was to reach.

On many occasions' he would escape through the open window, we would spot him before he jumped off. The first time he was a little scared, he was only a little pussy cat and it looked a long way to jump. Even the raise patio only a foot or so away from the edge of the house was a frightening leap. We would try to coax him back into the window or climb up a chair or ladder. Ever the independent cat Monty would move to another part of the roof continuing to jump from the conservatory roof to the outhouse. Eventually when he felt brave (also when we were fed up with his game of chase) Monty would jump off and in one movement without stopping would run away. We could never catch him even if we tried unless he wanted us to.

One night he decided to stay away all night refusing to answer our calls. This worried mum understandable however Dad, my brothers and I realised there was nothing we could do, so just let Monty get on with it. The conservatory window was left open so he could get in for food and sleep in the box we made for him. Whether he did or not, we will never know. I only know that he was spotted by mum (the first person to get up next morning) running about outside. She gave him a telling off which he ignored before running away again. Monty enjoyed his night on the tiles although fortunately he did not have too many. Not sure if the female felines enjoyed his company but I'm sure he was as popular with them as his human friends.

One day Monty's expeditions nearly had dire consequences. He was hurt so badly, that he was almost put to sleep. Again we don't know where he had gone but early one morning around ten or ten thirty he literally crawled on three legs struggling into the conservatory. Dad was home, fortunately, for Monty had broken his back right leg. He could have been hit by a stone thrown by a local yob or hit by a car we can only guess, like many an incident in Monty's life. Lucky to be alive, we rushed Monty into the vets, where he was kept in for a few days. When Monty returned home, a splint was stuck up his leg to strengthen it. Under the two seated couch he would lie. Looking at him I could see, he was feeling sorry for himself. We would help him best we could, however as the leg got stronger he wanted to go outside. Eventually against instructions we allowed him out. Monty couldn't go far which was lucky.

The days passed slowly for Monty. Meanwhile after each, the leg got stronger until the day came when the splint could be removed. We were not supposed to allow Monty out. There was no time limit suggested, so as usual it was ignored. However, we relented despite our better judgement. However you can't keep a good man (or cat in this case) down, we had to relent. The vet probably realised for very few people have the discipline to keep a cat in the house even when under orders to.

For a while after that Monty didn't venture far, although as memories faded he began to go further a field. Again, as we all do, slipping back into his bad ways. That was one of the many scraps that Monty got into in his life.

Bimbo Titch & Ginger

Bimbo was the first of Monty's three friends. A cuddly, all black cat, he was a year younger than Monty. Number four was his abode although even at night he was not always there. The lady friend of our neighbour bought him, a tiny furry creature. Bimbo was black from head to toe.

I first recall Bimbo creeping around the patch of garden just outside the conservatory. A timid creature even at the best of times he was still willing to be friendly and was not frightened when I approached. Monty was uninterested at first, he was aware when Bimbo was around but didn't see any threat.

Like most pets they got to know each other by sniffing around, sometimes one would approach the other, sniff the nose and withdraw.

As they grew older and bigger, especially Bimbo who from being a tiny under fed cat became much bigger almost over grown they spent more time together. Most of the time they would chase and fight each other. Although they would cause each other injuries most of this was over enthusiasm. They rarely snarled at each other in the way sworn enemies would.

Bimbo often spent the night outside even in the cold of winter. I would often be the first up in our house especially on a Saturday morning. Monty would usually come round making a fuss of me until I let him out, more often than not by the kitchen door. From that side we could view the side of number four. The other side of the fence was the side entrance that was built over, this led on to the kitchen which was one story high. On the corner of this roof was the second floor of the house with the bathroom on one side and a bedroom on another. Every morning Bimbo could be seen here. He was usually curled up, sleeping. When he awoke, Bimbo would look into our conservatory. On seeing me or Monty he would slide down the roof. At the edge Bimbo jumped onto a wooden pole that led to the fence dividing the two gardens. Like a rope walking cat he treads one paw in front of another before changing direction along the fence. Finally he would climb into the old apple tree in the side garden. From this tree he could climb down into our garden and amble into our conservatory.

Once in I would often give Bimbo some food by which time Monty had disappeared. After enjoying breakfast Bimbo would leave too, in search of Monty. Often they would return one following another.

The conservatory had a window that we often left open so Monty could get in and out, this meant that Bimbo could also. On the outside was a dustbin which they could jump on to get in. Inside was a thin ledge just wide enough for them to crawl along, next to this was an old kitchen table. On this they could sit and stare out viewing all the neighbour hood action.

In the corner on an old spin dryer we placed a box and included a cushion and blanket. This was intended as a sleeping place for Monty who often slept in the conservatory when he was young. Bimbo used it as often as Monty did, often spending the whole day sleeping in it. I do recall one occasion Bimbo was in it, I stroked him as I did often and then disappeared to watch some TV. Returning later I found Bimbo on the floor cowering. I stroked him again, In the box was Monty, although I heard no fight it was the only occasion Monty turfed, Bimbo out.

There were happy more friendly times. I often felt it was possible for both cats to curl up in the one box. It was warm and cosy though I never tried to force them too. One day I returned home from work entering through the front door. As usual I changed before returning down stairs. Entering the dinning room I moved into the adjacent kitchen, from where I could unlock the door to the conservatory. This I did with usual ease, the door opened and I walked through, "nothing there" I thought to myself, although the window was wide open. As I turned to return into the kitchen I glimpsed the box in the corner, in it were two cats curled up, Monty and Bimbo. It was the one and only time it occurred.

Twice, Monty suffered injury's probable due to fighting Bimbo. The same did not occur to Bimbo, although once his paw was banged up this was only a graze and may not have been caused by a fight.

In one fight Bimbo bit Monty on the tail, this was to cause him much discomfort that Bimbo couldn't understand. The first we realised was when our mum noticed Monty walking round with his tail down. It was neither straight, nor curled in the air, in fact you could say it drooped. Most cats happily will hold the tail high in the air. This is a sign of feeling good, when angry they bang it down in a range. Monty showed neither emotion, mum investigated. She soon worked out what was wrong and so Monty had another visit to the vets. It also meant he had to suffer more tablets. Most humans don't like medicine, so I ask myself, why should cats be any different? In Monty's case it was a struggle to open his mouth, pop in a tablet and then poke it in to make him swallow it. Often this meant following up with a drink of milk. Monty loved his milk, he lapped it up spilling as much as he could drink.

Another fight caused Monty to suffer a bruise on the head. It was a lump about the size of a golf ball. We first noticed it because Monty kept scratching and shaking his head. This of course meant another visit to the "dreaded" vet for Monty. By applying pressure in the right places the vet squeezed out the puss and only blood remained. This meant another course of injections, tablets and solitary confinement for our Monty. It was a surprise to us all when Dad posed the question what would happen in the wild? He also answered his own question by saying "I suppose he would shake it out" for Monty scratched and shook his head for a few days that followed.

Bimbo's owner moved away, although not far she (his owner) now lives on an estate just below Woodfield Road. The area had previously been farm land but wasn't much used and like much of Dursley and district was redeveloped. Many cats lived on the estate despite which Bimbo often found his way back to his old home. His owner got used to these journeys and eventually Bimbo would appear at his old home returning at night to his new abode.

I remember one bonfire night Bimbo was on our conservatory all day. At night the fireworks began, from the conservatory the noise of the fireworks could be heard. Bang, Bang, behind us a party was in progress with bright flashing lights and loud bangs. Monty was in the house, well aware of the proceedings; However, he was not concerned in the slightest. Bimbo witnessed all the action from the conservatory. He was a timid creature, who would not dare leave the vicinity. The bangs c





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