Sleeping Kitty

Author: fraise

Sunday 13 July 2008, in Cats, Journal

Sleeping Kitty

Once upon a time, in the kingdom of chickpeas, stockfish and daube, a white kitten with an orange tabby tail was born. He was not born to a king and queen, just a mother abandoned when her pregnancy was discovered. He had no pedigree and was the smallest of his siblings; there were no fairies at his bedside, good or evil. On a sunny day in July a man came, along with a tall woman who had a funny accent and said she would adopt him. Two months later, they brought him to the Villa Frédéric, which was not a palace, but a real home. The tall woman gave the white kitten a name that was not magic, but had the power to make people smile when they heard it.

Le chat Malo grew up learning how to leap and dance and pounce, how to sleep on laps for hours on end, how to swat at dogs from behind a fence and at the mailwoman’s hat from atop a wall. Three Julys and an April later, the tall woman decided she had to live on her own. She wanted to stay in her home, but learned it had never been hers. She also wanted Malo to remain with her, but the lively kitty was given to someone else.

Le chat Malo was no longer allowed to dash and pounce, nor could he sleep on laps since his fur was undesirable. He became afraid of human arms and hands, learning to hide from them in fear.

But a flower-and-arabesque-covered home had found the tall woman, and the person with le chat Malo was exasperated with his fur. The white kitty with the orange tabby tail was returned, to the joy of the tall woman.

It took many careful months, but slowly le chat Malo relearned that he could trust loving hands and jump onto a welcoming lap. Eight Julys after the first, in their third new home, the tall woman hung a mosquito net. On seeing how happy her sleeping chat Malo looked beneath the sheer canopy, she took a photograph to immortalize the moment. Le ChatMalo au bazar dormant (bazar because it’s still a bit of a mess, and certainly not a bois, forest).

8 responses to “Sleeping Kitty”

  1. hammy Says:

    I can’t remember, how did Malo get his name?

  2. fraise Says:

    My ex-family-not-quite-in-law came with us to pick him up from the pound, and since they loved word games I told them I was looking for a cat name to which you could add the sound “chat” at the beginning to make a real word. We found lots, I mainly remember Mo (“chameau”), Pito (“chapiteau”), Lumo (“chalumeau”) and Todo (“château d’eau”). Touille and Malo were my favorites; since Malo is mostly white that’s the one that stuck :) It’s funny because now I have a colleague with a cat named Touille!

  3. hammy Says:

    So what word do chat malo make?

  4. Nathanael Says:

    Somehow the bébé chat Malo could detect that the tall woman had a funny accent, even then. Meaning that chat Malo really truly is French, despite being raised by his American… governess? caretaker? roommate? feed-and-pet-me machine?

    Or is he one of these slightly mixed up multi-national youngsters, really adoring foie gras, with flawless unaccented gaullic meowing, but also liking ice cubes in his water dish (yeu-uck!) and licking happily away at peanut butter?

    So when he walks down a sidewalk, does he walk in a straight line on the right side… or does he weave all over the place, to and fro?

  5. fraise Says:

    hammy — chamallow, which is marshmallow :)

  6. Mar Says:

    The photo you took of Malo at the age of 4 mo is so cute… I would have taken him home too! :)

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