Last week my sister Misssy A and her family lost their seven month old ginger kitten, Dougal. They were distraught. None more so than my brother in law The Bearded Liar, who had previously claimed he never wanted a cat in the first place. For the five days wee Ginge was missing the man could barely function for worry. Over the week posters were displayed around the village, flyers were distributed and housecalls were made. Where was the ginger boy? They were frantic.
The whole episode reminded me of my little female cat Molly (sadly now no longer with us) who lived with Meeester M and I when we were first together. We lived in the top floor flat in street in Aberdeen’s Torry area. Torry is known for a few things- fish markets and giant pterodactyl sized seagulls as a result of the fish markets. It’s also the butt of those jokes you get relating to places where the residents have a savoury reputation. Replace Torry with Essex, Liverpool, Easterhouse, Westie, Compton- whatever. It works.
Question: What do you call a Torry girl in a white shell suit?
Answer: The bride
Question: How can you tell when a Torry girl has had an orgasm?
Answer: She drops her chips.
Me, I liked living in Torry, but yeah, it’s not the safest place for a ten week old kitten to get lost in, what with the knife wielding fishermen protecting their catch, giant prehistoric seagulls, chip dropping ladies with loose morals and three or four main bus routes crossing through the town. But that’s what happened. Molly, who had never been outside in her whole life, found herself out in the mean streets of Torry.
We think she escaped through the attic loft. We’d left a ladder up to our floored loft, but we knew that you could sneak through to our neighbour’s, because they once got locked out and Meeester M did some cat burglary on their behalf to sneak along, jump through their loft hatch and let the couple in. On the way over the rafters Meeester noticed that our neighbour’s skylight was broken. Our neighbours were quite hygenically challenged and we'd had words several times about how they would allow black bags of their rubbish to build up to city dump proportions in the shared hallway. When feeding their cats whilst they were holiday, Meeester had taken the opportunity to notice how filthy their bathroom was. He claims he saw something unsavoury on their toilet seat, but I can neither confirm or deny this. So the broken skylight was just another item in our list entitled called “Our neighbours are minks”.
When Molly disappeared we knew she could only have jumped through that broken skylight and onto the roof of the building; a roof populated with the nests of giant pterodactyls protecting their eggs, that were known to divebomb human sized passers-by at certain points in the bredding season. Molly would be like a one of those kids in Jurassic Park who get chased by ferocius dinosaurs. She would be lucky to make it a metre across that rooftop with her little life.
The day after she escaped we were relieved to hear of a sighting of her at the far end of the roof, “Miaowing her head off” according to a neighbour . Like my sister and her family we put posters up, and gave flyers out. Soon the whole of Torry knew about Molly. But of course, this being Torry, a couple of things happened that hampered the search. Suddenly, with rumours amongst the local kids of a five pound reward for Molly’s return we were having various moggies brought to our door for inspection almost on an hourly basis. It didn’t matter that our posters described Molly as being tiny and grey, we had gint beasts ranging from tabby to ginger to some things that might not even have been actual cats.
And again, this being Torry, and it being a trying place for foreign nationals to make a living, it took me a good minute or so to realise what had made the Chinese Takeaway owner so angry about me popping in to ask her if she had seen my lost cat. Of a late night in this area, Chinese Takeaway owners have to put up with a lot of slurs on the possible ingredients of their dishes. Little did she know I was actually looking for a lost cat rather than making assumptions about the real source of her Char Sui pork. Oh dear. She actually chased me out of the shop.
Nearly a month went by and there was no sight of the wee thing. I was having dreams about her every night and Meeester had given up hope and had started eating the cat biscuits we took on our rounds of the neighbourhood every night calling her name. They apparently tasted “just like Scampi Fries”.
Almost on the cusp of a month the phone rang. “Are you the girl looking for a lost grey cat, cos I think we’ve caught her”. No not the lady from the Chinese takeaway; I could never go in there again, but the chip shop. I was invited round to one of the chip shop girls’ flats where they had taken a wee cat in a cat carrier that they had been coaxing towards them over the past week with bits of food out the back of the chip shop. It was her, my wee Molly. She was thin and dirty and stank to high heaven of rotten fish. What stories she could have told.
She didn’t run up to me, she was too scared. But once I got her home and she remembered the smells of home, she was all over me like a fish flavoured rash. I cried with relief.
And last week the same the same thing happened as the Bearded Liar and Meeester M went down to investigate a sighting of a wee ginger cat in a lady’s garden. Two bearded beasts of men, not known to be phased by anything stood and tearfully hugged each other with a wee ginger cat clutched to their hairy man bosoms.
Welcome home Doogie!
Don't ever miss a Misssive, subscribe!