This is an easy one. That would be Carl. He was my cat and I would’ve liked to have kept him for a few more years. A lot more years actually. He was only eight when he died. That was four years ago and it was very sudden and very unexpected and a big bloody shock.
He was such a character. I’ve known a lot of cats and I’ve never known two that were the same. I used to sing to him and he loved it. I used to sing this song called The Special Special Special Boy of Love. Obviously I wrote it myself. The lyrics changed from day to day but he didn’t seem to mind as long as you sang it in a fairly high pitched voice. I usually sang it to him while I was cooking dinner and he sat on the kitchen table.
Yes I know, I know, probably some hygiene issues there. But it was impossible to keep him off the kitchen table. We tried for ages but he was so pig headed about it that in the end we gave up and just let him sit there. Except when visitors came, then we’d act like he was never allowed up there – Oh Carl, what are you doing up there we’d say as we shoved him off. That used to piss him off. But anyway I’d cook dinner and sing him the Special Boy of Love song and he’d purr and tap my arm with his paw and smooch my arm.
He used to sleep in bed with me as well. Flat on his back with arms and legs fully relaxed flat out. Sometimes I’d shut the bedroom door and lock him out but he’d just sit there and rip up the carpet until I let him in. Or he’d do what we called Commando. He’d lie on his side on the floor and use his claws to pull himself around the corner lounge until I let him in. As soon as I opened the door he’d be sitting there in the middle of the lounge room cleaning himself as if it hadn’t been him and what was my problem.
And if he didn’t like someone, he’d make it clear. When they came in and sat on the lounge, he’d sit really really close to them but face the other direction. We called it giving them the pig, or showing them the arse. He used to sit in the bean bag as well which was pretty funny. We called him Carl Bond.
He was our Big Beautiful Boy. And then one day he was a bit off, the next day he was throwing up, the next day he was dead. We got him to the vet on the throwing up day but he had massive kidney failure. They think it might have been because he was such a good hunter. He was full of toxins. They said the hunters often have kidney failure. He used to catch bats. He brought one in through the cat flap one night and ran with it under our bed. I shut the bedroom door and said – Daz, there’s something in there you need to deal with. Maybe he ate mice or rats that had been poisoned.
Betty misses him as well. We bought them at the same time so they grew up together. They were always playing together. And oh my, he led her astray. Got her into all sorts of tricky situations.
He used to squeeze in under the steps and she’d follow him but then he’d get out but she’d be trapped. We had to pull apart the steps a few times to get her out.
He was called Carl because we bought him from Carlingford shopping centre. We already had three cats so it’s not like we needed another one but Lizzie was about eight then and she cried and carried on and wanted a kitten so we got him. It was new years day and we’d been in Sydney for 1999 new years eve. So then we had the long car trip home with him. She picked a little grey one to start with but someone else had it reserved so she went for the little ginger.
It turned out to be a good choice in the end.