Life Lessons From A Cheshire Cat
A Story About My Marvellous Magnificent Cheshire Cat Ginger
Ginger was my cat and I adored him. A great big larger-than-life stripy ginger bona fide Cheshire Cat with thick, short, shiny fur, big round paws, a very long, strong, ringed tail and a great big Cheshire Cat grin. Whether I had just come back from school, been out for a walk, come out of the house or just arrived back from an errand, no matter what the time or circumstance, there he would appear, as if by magic. Absolutely Archetypal. All smiles and purrs, and soft warmth, and as I reached down, pushing his head into the palm of my hand to travel it along his back horizontally, before meeting the right angle of his tail and following up the entirety of its’ length, it to its very tip where it would curl around my hand. Oh, how he loved me!
As a young girl, I was utterly charmed by this. As of course were all the females, both feline and human within, ooh let's see, probably a good five mile radius at least. Naturally, they all knew he was free and easy with his affections but somehow he always got away with it, him being so affectionate and charming and all. Who but who, could resist him? He had lovers in every bed, every in outhouse, in every cat house, no one was beyond his capacity for charming. And charm them he did, and most assuredly so. He loved all the women of the world, no matter their shape, size, and colour. It did not matter if they had half an ear missing, had six toes or no tail, all were totally irresistible to him. This of course meant that he was literal cat nip to the ladies. Even Miss Haversham, a rather strange, dusty, musty looking tortoiseshell cat was not immune to his considerable charms. (Although I did suspect she was having an affair with James Bond The Black Magic Cat also at the same time.)
Of course, only being young I did not understand the intricacies of lovers, feline or human. I did not understand the insecurity of ladies who want to possess someone, doubtful as they are about their own worth. But Ginger had that knack of understanding them and making them feel so utterly adored that they would forgive him absolutely anything. Anything at all. What did it matter that he had other lovers when it was them he made feel so special? And they knew, they absolutely knew for fact, that he completely and utterly adored the women in his life as much as he relished a tasty midmorning mouse snack. Consumed with a crunch and a crack and teeth satisfied with the snap of small bones swallowing succulent juices with a smack of his lips. Really, there was no difference in his lovemaking and his consuming of other delicacies. Both were to be relished with absolute delight, fully present in the moment of being at one with the world. That was Gingers’ secret, and that was why he was irresolutely a lovable charmer without an ounce of fidelity, yet adored by all.
He would leave his lovers with tribes of children. Disappearing, reappearing, disappearing again yet each time welcomed back as if no time had passed at all. For it is true that for many females, including humans, that a male who is sure of himself, secure in his own being, is indeed someone who proves to be very desirable. Even more so when, despite legions of admirers, it is they whom he looks right in the eye. It is they with whom he chooses to spend a night under the stars. There are not many of either species, feline or human, who do not secretly yearn for such trysts in the velvet dark.
It is said that cats are solitary creatures, that they dislike each other’s company. This of course is said by those who have not observed them, not seen them on a daily basis, not loved them. Ginger not only had outliers such as Miss Haversham he would pay call to, he also had his harem. A harem that disproved the theory utterly. So charming was he that many of his lady friends were happy enough in each other’s company to share him without a shred of jealousy between them. Even going so far as to take care of each other’s babies. They were all his after all. Puddles of warm lazy cats in puddles of warm lazy sunshine. Tails curled around each other, high on cat nip and full of mouse morsels and sometimes surrounded by clouds of feathers, lulled by songs snatched from out of the rosebushes.
So here was Ginger, appearing out of nowhere with his great big grin, smiling in a tree, on a wall, a roof, by the gate, and then he would not so much jump, as somehow glide down to earth to weave himself in and out and around my legs, purring and purring and purring. And I? I would put my arms around him breathing in his thick, golden, syrupy coloured sunshine fur, like a jar of marmalade held up to the light, thick between my fingers, feeling him warm and weighty and affectionate in my arms and all was well with the world. Here was someone who was pleased to see me. My beautiful Cheshire Cat.
One day he went missing, and there was no more Ginger. No more lazy-sunshine days. The worst of it was the not knowing what had happened to him, and for all his wanderings he was faithful to his home. When he did not return we of course knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was dead. My tears were shed not just for missing him, but for the thought of all the myriad deaths, each more terrible than the last, one of which he undoubtedly must have endured. The not-knowing was the worst thing to haunt me. That is no way, no way at all, for a child to think about the death of a loved one. My family of course hadn’t thought to care for him properly and responsibly as a kitten. To get him neutered to stop him reproducing myriad tribes of babies. They hadn’t thought to create for him a beautiful secure catio full of activity to keep him safe and amused and with a beautiful lady cat for company. Had they done so, I at such a young and tender age, would not have had my heart broken and tormented, a whole lot more wildlife would have survived, and he, my beautiful Ginger, Marvellous Magnificent Cheshire Cat would have lived, as every cat should – happily ever after.
Amanda Claire x
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I live with hidden disability and I'm passionate about enabling people to 'Live With Art And Soul.'
I'm the founder of Ancient and Sacred Trees that plants & protects trees in the Tropics & the UK, an MA Archaeology student, artist, teacher, healer and land guide. I love trees, history and the healing power of Mother Nature and sacred connection.