We have a new cat. Well, not really a new cat, because she has lived with us for some time. But certainly a different cat, as you’ll soon discover.
In case you’re wondering why in the world I would be writing about something as commonplace as acquiring a new pet, the fact is that our cat’s arrival makes for a pretty interesting story.
Souci is our first indoor/outdoor cat, our first all-French cat, and the first cat who chose us (or at least, chose my wife Jan) instead of us choosing her. And she could well be known as the cat who came in from the cold.
Inevitably, however, this story includes another pet — our handsome and beloved male cat Scooter. Here’s how I described him in a blog posting of March 30 this year, called “Good-bye to All That:”
Scooter was from Toronto, but he travelled with us to Daglan when we left Canada in the summer of 2010. That involved a transatlantic flight to Paris; a night in our favourite Paris hotel; a long train journey to Brive; and then a drive down through a tourist-packed Sarlat to reach Daglan.
First in Toronto and then in Daglan, he was with us for more than 13 years in all, and he became an important — and often quite visible — member of our family.
As you may have gathered from the tone of this, Scooter is no longer with us. Our vet put him to sleep on March 29 in Gourdon, because Scoots was suffering from severe kidney failure. This photo shows him in one of his favourite positions, sitting on Jan’s knee:
Scooter was always an indoors-only cat — as the humane society in Toronto advised us that keeping cats indoors was the best policy in a big city. So he never ventured outdoors, except for short periods in our fenced-in back yard in Toronto.
Now keep Scooter in the back of your mind, as I proceed with the story of how we acquired Souci.
It all goes back to a sunny day in the late summer of 2016. As I was about to drive away from the house for an appointment, I heard a strange squeaking/chirping sort of noise. It could only be baby birds, or else brand-new kittens. Because I had to leave, I asked Jan to investigate.
As it turned out, the squeaking was coming from a nest of kittens, which the mother cat had deposited in a neighbour’s back yard.
And here, the story takes a very sad turn, although there’s eventually a happy ending. But we’ll save that for Part II.