The Phone Box Assassin

I’d like you to meet Joey .

Here he is , channelling the Emperor Nero , in our back garden .  Isn’t he gorgeous ?

Joey condescends to live with us . 

Here he is looking like Lady Muck , as my gran would have said . And it would be Lady Muck , in Joey’s case .  Joey is an effeminate ginger tom .  He knows it , and I know it . I could explain why , and how , but it probably wouldn’t translate .  He really, really loves his mum (that’s me) . He is extremely affectionate , and demonstrative , especially when he is hungry . And he has some very flowery paw language . 

He is trying to Man Up in this photograph .  He’s not convincing anybody , bless him .  Joey is the gay son that I never had . I’d have made a great gay mum . Joey loves his musicals .  Sits on my knee all the way through The Wizard of Oz . Honestly , he does .  And High School Musical -1,2 and 3 – with Eldest , which he deserves a bloody medal for.  Mind you , there is always Zac Effron , which does ease the burden some what .  We all love Zac in this house . Even Joey .

He’s a lovely boy (Joey) despite looking rather officious in this photograph .   Soft as a mop .  I love ginger toms . I’ve met  a few in my time . 

Most of them have been  a bit on the naggy side .  I particularly remember one called Chester , who used to haunt the backstreets around Smithdown Road in Liverpool , where we used to live , pre-children , when we had a social life .  Chester only had one full ear and was something of  a bruiser .  He wore a permanently pissed off expression.  My gran would have said that he looked like he was sucking a lemon .  Mr T said something altogether ruder , to do with sphincters.  

Chester’s penchant was for lounging on top of the public pay phone on Arundel Avenue and pretending to be asleep.  Upon his victim  approaching , Chester would suddenly awake from his slumber and deliver a ferocious clawed left hook to the poor deluded fool that was under the illusion that they were about to make a ‘phonecall . 

Mere passers by not requiring the use of a public payphone would more often than not be let off with a cursory bat . Claws In or Out would depend entirely upon the vagaries of Chester’s unfathomable moods on any given day , or maybe upon if he liked the look of you or not , or if he could be arsed .

Those that were wise to Chester’s ways would cross to the other side of the road just ahead of the payphone . 

We usually remembered to do this , and on the rare occasions that we forgot , Chester , I like to think , seemed to deliver us a grudging respect and , on the whole , keep his batting tabs to himself . Either that , or it was just all too much effort .  Chester’s Phonebox was eventually removed . I don’t think that it made much money. 

Other gingers that I have known and swooned after have been equally arsey .  It is part of their charm .  They are Alexandra Burke’s Bad Boys ,  the cat equivalent of Bad Lads .  Loveable Rogues .   Arseyness on four legs .   But gorgeous , always gorgeous .  And with great , vanishing-behind-things , stripey bottlebrush tails .

Joey was one of three boys .  They all used to live here , with us .  Before that , they lived at our local Cats Protection ( being looked after by Megan – foster mum , patron saint and fairy godmother to  lost and abandoned kittens everywhere .   Before that , they lived in a battered cardboard box dumped by a roadside .  And before that , they lived with some arse of a person who I would have some very strong words for if they ever had the misfortune to run into me .   

Joey had a ginger bro , Ozzy .  Ozzy met a  stomach grippingly predictable end on the busy road outside our house last year .  Ozzie was a cocky , arsey , Alpha Tom .  Ozzy was his brothers protector . He was the Hisser At Strangers ; the bearer of scared proud fighting eyes and fronting up .  He was Sid James to Joey’s Kenneth Williams .  The ultimate foil ; yin and yang .   

Ozzy is still with us .  He is in one of Joey’s butcher moments or frolicking around the garden with his brothers on a good cat day.  Occasionally I sense a flash of ginger out of my peripherals or I’ll be in the kitchen and feel an impatient Feed Me tail swish against my legs .  I will look down and there will be no cat there .  Ginger Joey will be fast asleep  upstairs , on our bed , when I go to check .  

There is one more brother who lives with us , a black cat , called Carlos . Carlos is an Enigma with pointy ears . 

Here are the boys  before three became two

 It’s like a bloody roman orgy . Allo grooming gone mad .  

They often used to curl up together like this . I would see them all together in their mothers womb , in their membrane sack .  Then , frightened , mewling , huddled up together in a battened down , damp, soggy box ; cars intermittently roaring past .  Then I would feel angry .  

There was no more curling up together after Ozzy died .  Joey and Carlos sleep separately now . As does Cassie ,our arsey lady cat .

Cassie Black Cat : knowing , haughty , regarding the boys with the contempt that they deserve ; tolerating them on a good day ; hissing at them on a  bad .  Cassie Black Cat : A Foundling , one snowy morning, long ago ; she found me , not the other way around .  Cassie Black Cat : Off handedly beautiful green full moon eyes , black shiny fur coat , red patent heels , and pearls .  I might have made the last bit up .   

So .  Joey , Ozzie , Carlos , Cassie and Chester , the Phone Box Assasin .  There is one more Lost Boy , Sandy , the First Ginger .  I cannot write about Sandy .

I love cats . I love my cats .  Not that they are mine .  They are free spirits . They live along side us . They are our equals . They share our lives . We share theirs .  They are part of our family . We are part of theirs .  They keep asking us for food . We keep giving it to them . Sometimes they bring us some .  We aren’t very good at catching our own . They are . Maybe they feel a bit sorry for us .  They probably do .

I love other peoples cats too .  I love All cats .

I feel that I should be wearing an I * heart * cats badge .  Maybe I should .   Maybe I will . Who knows .


About In a Welsh Garden

Artist,Illustrator,Pro-face and body painter,Blogger and Happy Gardener : )
This entry was posted in Alexandra Burke, Black Cats, Cat Blog, Cats, Cats Protection, Dewey the Library Cat, garden, gardening, Ginger Cats, Ginger Toms, green living, Kittens, nature, sustainable living and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Phone Box Assassin

  1. Sandie says:

    …………absolutely agree about cats – all cats – I always think – ‘aw – one more isn’t going to make any difference’ and now have 5 – oldest (ginger tom) must be wqell over 20 years old and totters about demanding treats that the others don’t get – every time he sneezes I feel my heart twist – but he is happy and secure and that’s all that matters –

  2. Another multiple cat household , yay !! I have come to the conclusion that same rule goes for cats as does for children – that if you have one then you may as well have five : D Your old ginger boy sounds like my ginger Lost Boy x

  3. Caroline says:

    Greetings from another multiple cat household, including a dog who helps lick the cat too. It’s all a bit wrong!
    If Joey was ever to perform in a play, then he’d be the gold lion in the one I saw yesterday… Oh yes he would! x

  4. Ooh hello love , fancy meeting you here : ) What you’ve got there (the licking thing)is a fine bit of Allo grooming – I looked it up , when they all have a big mutual lick-fest and apparently it is a behavioural trait when they all live together and are part of same tribe , a bonding thing , bless them .

    Joey would enjoy being a camp lion . He isn’t far off already ! x

  5. As you might have noticed we are a 2 dog house, and I have never shared with a cat, though I know plenty of cat households.

    I lived next door to a little white tabby lad called PJ (after Peter Jones the dept store) who looked as if butter wouldn’t melt when I lived in student world a few years back and PJ would sit on the pillar between my house and his and miaou at the students passing by, they would stop and stroke him, then he would whack them. Sitting in my room I would hear this little sequence over and over again…

    Miaou, miaou!
    Ah, isn’t he cute? Aren’t you lovely?
    Aah! Aah! Ow!!! Why did you do that?

    He would also follow you to the pub and sit outside and wait till you came out. I dreamt once about the other cat next door, Emily. In the dream I met her waiting at the bus stop, I asked her where she was going, she told me she was running away to join the circus. What would Freud make of that I wonder.

    Those are my cat stories anyway !

  6. I think he was related to your assassin. That’s what I meant to say in the first place…

  7. Awww ! Those are gorgeous stories . This is the thing with cats I find ; they are all different and have their own little quirks and foibles . I can see why the Ancient Egyptians worshipped them ! I don’t find cat stories boring at all – and I love hearing other peoples stories about cats that they have known and loved (or otherwise lol).

    PJ was a definate relation of Chester I think ! They obviously had an assassin posted in every port : D

    I do love dogs ; I am just not so familiar with them as I have always had cats . If we had dogs with us , I would love to have either a border collie or an ex racing greyhound (because I feel sorry for them). I also adore Irish wolf hounds , jack russells and shaggy heinz 57 old mutts with Dennis Healey eyebrows : D What kind do you have ?

    Thankyou for posting , you are a star : )

  8. I agree . I think so too .

  9. What kind of dogs? – well, they’re poodles – there’s a pic or two of Zeb on the blog, we have another one as well who is brown. ….I know, poodles have a funny reputation, but they are smart, funny, neurotic, don’t shed fur, loyal and loving and people start off despising them and end up admiring them. What more can I say?

  10. Aw . They sound gorgeous . I don’t despise poodles at all . Never met one to be honest , and you can’t go on other peoples opinions : ) – They alwys make me think of those 1950’s skirts with poodles appliqued on them – therefore , I Like : D

    I am going to keep an eye out at your blog for piccies of the lovely Zeb x

  11. We too are a multi-cat household. And of course, with two sisters and a mum our boy is gay, or thinks he’s a girl, or something – until another boy comes along. Then he gets a swagger and a growl to scare the bejeesus out of any average moggy. (And the chunk out of his ear proves he can butch up when he wants to.)

  12. Fabulosa ! – that seemed like the appropriate response : D I love a gay cat , you can’t go wrong . It makes sense though ; it is a naturally occurring thing in humans after all, and we are all animals at the end of the day . They can butch up though , when they have too , Joey has a go at that but he is very quick to come running back to me with the big scared eyes after ,bless him : ) He’s here now actually as I’m writing this ,rubbing up against my leg ! I think he is telling me to write something good : )

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