ASTAIRE was a personable cat. He had great eye contact and that was when you felt it, the presence, the calm, the charisma, the hypnotic zing. I called him Astaire because he wore a kind of top coat and after all had managed to dance his way out of the pound. I often said had he been human he would have worked for a corporation.
Have you ever worked for a business where you were part of the wallpaper and just a cog in a wheel, albeit a necessary one? You were most of the time a happy cog, knew your place, knew how it worked. Then in comes someone new, he's got the gift of the gab, the smile, the front. In no time at all he's best friends with everyone from the cleaner to top management and appears to always be in the office joking with the boss.
My brother told me an account of one who rose so quickly that he went through the roof. An indiscretion here and there. Sold himself too well, especially to the boss's wife.
So back to Astaire, the cat.
He claimed to have been framed and we were inclined to agree when we heard the facts. Nevertheless his libido had caused him problems because if the hat fits nobody wants to hear that the hat might have fit several others too. A scapegoat was required and Astaire and his wife were trapped by the ranger and ended up in the pound on death row. Which is where we came in. We knew their owner and felt bad for her, not to mention the cats, so we followed the trail and had them released. Astaire didn't mind coming to Catmint Cottage. He wasn't allowed to go back home, the mud had truly stuck. We were happy enough to have him. He wasn't sick, his teeth were good, a handsome chap all round. His health check revealed his FIV status and he wore it like a badge: proof of his earlier battles and conquests.
The amazing thing was there was never a hiss or a raised paw from him with the others. If there were objections from them over some minor infringement, Astaire merely gazed back at them with his guileless eyes. He really should have been in politics!
I often caught the others looking at him. There were questions. Where was he from? Why was he here? How did he so quickly manage to squeeze himself on to my lap while their guard was down? He not only managed to be head of the queue, he arrived there uninvited and proceeded to lie back with a smile on his face.
On the arms of my chair and the backrest would reside some very unhappy looking cogs in the wheel of rescue.
This personable chap scored himself a great home with a private garden at a very nice northern suburb where he continued to amuse his new owners with antics I did not hear the details of. Should I?
On the day we took him there I came home, put his photos up to look at and cried.
Astaire had risen so fast he'd gone through the roof.
We invited Astaire's elderly owner to come and visit. This lady had raised Astaire.
She had found him in the shrubs of the compound, an orphan of a few weeks of age and they were very close.
It was nice to see them together again.