Thursday, January 07, 2010

three old presidents

Mr Samuels is as lean and wiry as any of the three Maine Coon cats that stand about the kitchen ignoring us. Great curls of wild silver hair spring out from his eyebrows, his tufted ears, and from a beard that even Blackbeard, the fiercest and least kempt of all the pirate kings, would have taken the fireworks out of and combed a little. But amongst all this exuberant display, Mr Samuels peeps out with a glittering blue warmth that makes light of his difficulties and the obvious pain he is in.

‘Great stupid that I am – I was taking the decorations down, standing up there on the table to reach the holly on the conservatory ceiling, when I lost my footing and fell off onto the concrete floor. I landed on my right shoulder and by Christ it doesn’t half hurt now. Anyway – what am I thinking? Come on in! Don’t mind the cats.’

They certainly don’t mind us. Three of them, artfully arranged around the old country kitchen, waiting to be introduced formally.

‘This is Thomas Snifferson. He’s the oldest. Rules the roost. Too cool for school. This is Theodore Snoozevelt. Smart enough to write a book. Walked in from God knows where. And last but not least, Rinsey Adams – don’t ask! Three of the most gently intelligent beasts ever to menace a chicken run. Talking of which – who's going to feed my chickens when you haul me off to the Bone Doctor?’

‘Can’t you get a neighbour to come in?’

Mr Samuels studies me for a beat.

‘Unfortunately, I am that neighbour that comes in,’ he says. Then gives a laugh as vigorous as his beard.

Rinsey Adams sits.


Baglady said...

I absolutely love the picture you paint or Mr Samuels, his beard and his cat. So warm!

How was his shoulder?

lulu's missives said...

What's in a name, eh?
Fantastic names and probably completely suitable and appropriate for each cat.

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks BL
They were lovely - all four of them!

Don't know about his shoulder - but it was quite a distance he fell, and his shoulders lacked symmetry, so although I don't think he dislocated his shoulder, there's a good chance he fractured something.

Hey Jo
Yeah, great names - for a bunch of very distinguished cats. I'd not heard of the breed before. I think he actually called them Mancoon cats, but I looked it up on Wiki and I think it's mostly Maine Coon.


Rach said...

What wonderful names and so fitting to the picture you always manage to paint...I have one that is definitely like the

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks Rach

He was as proud of the names as he was the cats! They were lovely, though - lots of character. Such an idyllic life for them really. Lazing around the kitchen range on old rattan chairs, wandering outside now and again. Perfect!

I know you're supposed to be either a cat or a dog person, but I must admit I like both (for the different aspects of their characters). x

haveyouseenthisgirl said...

wow, amazing writing.

I've only read two of your entries and already bookmarked your blog. Can't wait to read the rest, you are obviously an excellent writer. Fantastic!

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks v much HYSTG! :) x

cogidubnus said...

Maine Coons are neighbour has two (among her collection of thirteen)...My half dozen aren't half so distinguished...

kmkat said...

A non-crazy, non-depressed, non-pitiful client -- hurrah! All your stories are vivid and wonderful, but this one is also smile-worthy. Thanks!

Spence Kennedy said...

Cogi - your half dozen?! Really? Them's a lot of cats, mister...

KMK - I second that! I know I tend towards the tragic on this blog. I think I need to invest in a few brighter colours for me paintbox! :) x