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On Missing Mr Pussy In Summer

August 14, 2020
by the gentle author

In these dreamy days of high summer, I often think of my old cat Mr Pussy

While Londoners luxuriate in the warmth of summer, I miss Mr Pussy who endured the hindrance of a fur coat, spending his languorous days stretched out upon the floor in a heat-induced stupor. As the sun reached its zenith, his activity declined and he sought the deep shadow, the cooling breeze and the bare wooden floor to stretch out and fall into a deep trance that could transport him far away to the loss of his physical being. Mr Pussy’s refined nature was such that even these testing conditions provided an opportunity for him to show grace, transcending dreamy resignation to explore an area of meditation of which he was the supreme proponent.

In the early morning and late afternoon, you would see him on the first floor window sill here in Spitalfields, taking advantage of the draught of air through the house. With his aristocratic attitude, Mr Pussy took amusement in watching the passersby from his high vantage point on the street frontage and enjoyed lapping water from his dish on the kitchen window sill at the back of the house, where in the evenings he also liked to look down upon the foxes gambolling in the yard.

Whereas in winter it was Mr Pussy’s custom to curl up in a ball to exclude drafts, in these balmy days he preferred to stretch out to maximize the air flow around his body. There was a familiar sequence to his actions, as particular as stages in yoga. Finding a sympathetic location with the advantage of cross currents and shade from direct light, at first Mr Pussy sat to consider the suitability of the circumstance before rolling onto his side and releasing the muscles in his limbs, revealing that he was irrevocably set upon the path of total relaxation.

Delighting in the sensuous moment, Mr Pussy stretched out to his maximum length of over three feet long, curling his spine and splaying his legs at angles, creating an impression of the frozen moment of a leap, just like those wooden horses on fairground rides. Extending every muscle and toe, his glinting claws unsheathed and his eyes widened gleaming gold, until the stretch reached it full extent and subsided in the manner of a wave upon the ocean, as Mr Pussy slackened his limbs to lie peacefully with heavy lids descending.

In this position that resembled a carcass on the floor, Mr Pussy could undertake his journey into dreams, apparent by his twitching eyelids and limbs as he ran through the dark forest of his feline unconscious where prey were to be found in abundance. Vulnerable as an infant, sometimes Mr Pussy cried to himself in his dream, an internal murmur of indeterminate emotion, evoking a mysterious fantasy that I could never be party to. It was somewhere beyond thought or language. I could only wonder if his arcadia was like that in Paolo Uccello’s “Hunt in the Forest” or whether Mr Pussy’s dreamscape resembled the watermeadows of the River Exe, the location of his youthful safaris.

There was another stage, beyond dreams, signalled when Mr Pussy rolled onto his back with his front paws distended like a child in the womb, almost in prayer. His back legs splayed to either side, his head tilted back, his jaw loosened and his mouth opened a little, just sufficient to release his shallow breath – and Mr Pussy was gone. Silent and inanimate, he looked like a baby and yet very old at the same time. The heat relaxed Mr Pussy’s connection to the world and he fell, he let himself go far away on a spiritual odyssey. It was somewhere deep and somewhere cool, he was out of his body, released from the fur coat at last.

Startled upon awakening from his trance, like a deep-sea diver ascending too quickly, Mr Pussy squinted at me as he recovered recognition, giving his brains a good shake, once the heat of the day had subsided. Lolloping down the stairs, still loose-limbed, he strolled out of the house into the garden and took a dust bath under a tree, spending the next hour washing it out and thereby cleansing the sticky perspiration from his fur.

Regrettably the climatic conditions that subdued Mr Pussy by day, also enlivened him by night. At first light, when the dawn chorus commenced, he stood on the floor at my bedside, scratched a little and called to me. I woke to discover two golden eyes filling my field of vision. I rolled over at my peril, because this provoked Mr Pussy to walk to the end of the bed and scratch my toes sticking out under the sheet, causing me to wake again with a cry of pain. I miss having no choice but to rise, accepting his forceful invitation to appreciate the manifold joys of early morning in summer in Spitalfields, because it was not an entirely unwelcome obligation.

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You may also like to read

Mr Pussy, Water Creature

At Odds With Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy Gives his First Interview

The Ploys of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in the Dog Days

Mr Pussy is Ten

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the Sun

Mr Pussy, Natural Born Killer

Mr Pussy takes a Nap

Mr Pussy’s Viewing Habits

The Life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a Dog

Mr Pussy in Spring

In the Company of Mr Pussy

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20 Responses leave one →
  1. August 14, 2020

    He was a good cat and well loved. Who can ask for anything more?

  2. August 14, 2020

    We delight in remembering dear Mr Pussy!

  3. Wendy permalink
    August 14, 2020

    Ahhh I love your perfect descriptions of your languid cat. It’s exactly how I wish to describe mine but lack your beautiful vocabulary and eloquence. I miss your Mr Pussy almost as much as you do.

  4. paddy kerr permalink
    August 14, 2020

    I miss Mr Pussy too!! I have a copy of ‘Life and Times’ which I keep with other much loved books near my bedside.

    Why are cats so comforting? They are not as affectionate as dogs – nor always as loyal – but they seem to speak to us on a much deeper, almost prehistoric, level. Aloof and majestic, when they do show affection it feels like an anointment of grace.

    I am sure cats have very ancient souls and that their spirit lives on – hovering always around those they loved – and who loved them. Mr Pussy is still with us. Forever curled up on his favourite chair.

  5. paul loften permalink
    August 14, 2020

    The comfort lies within his wonderful life, and the pleasure that he brought to you .

  6. August 14, 2020

    A fine and emotional Article about Mr Pussy. I didn’t own a Cat, but my Neighbour’s Tiger CHICO visited me several times. And what could I say: I fell in Love with him!

    One Day he came to me, examined one more time my whole Living Room. Then he curled up on my Sofa, put his tail around his Head and fell asleep for nearly twenty minutes.

    As I was told: Cats don’t need any more sleep than this!

    Love & Peace
    ACHIM

  7. Adele permalink
    August 14, 2020

    Ah, your memories of Mr Pussy – which only a true cat lover can appreciate. I lost my Tuppence several years ago, but still take comfort in memories of her jumping into my lap when I arrived home from work and we savored our 4 o’clock cuppa together. Most beloved pets leave their memories with their owners, but some stay with you a lifetime.

  8. Margaret Robertson permalink
    August 14, 2020

    I so love to hear about your beloved Mr Pussy. your descriptions are intriguing, I can’t express my pleasure in your writing enough. Cats are the perfect medium in which to enter your enchanting world, but I love your other wanderings ie London by night walks etc.

  9. August 14, 2020

    It defies logic but it’s often their absence which makes them seem ever more present, even though they’re not.

  10. Virginia Heaven permalink
    August 14, 2020

    What a lovely surprise to read of Mr. Pussy again. I miss him too, even though we never met; I felt I knew him. Thank you for briefly bringing him back.

  11. Penny Gardner permalink
    August 14, 2020

    Strange,Uccello’s advance into the perspective darkness symbolises death and annihilation.

  12. Steve Baisden permalink
    August 14, 2020

    Loved this remembrance. Makes me think of my old cat, Jack who was a constant companion for many years. He was quite small for a tom but had an enormous voice. His howl would bring me to the back yard where he would be faced off against a much larger tom. He would then run to me to be picked up and we would together lumber over to scare off the intruder.

  13. Debra Matheney permalink
    August 14, 2020

    Lovely remembrance of a well loved cat. I have been the guardian of 9 cats over my life and each holds a special and separate place in my heart. Each cat has had unique characteristics which endear them to me. My current three have been great company as I remain in my home during this virus. Buster, Lulu and Boswell get along well and keep me laughing at their antics.
    Cheers from California

  14. August 14, 2020

    I really enjoyed reading your loving memory of Mr. Pussy dealing with the dog days of summer.

  15. Charlotte Browne permalink
    August 14, 2020

    A beautiful, poignant read on the day we said a final ‘goodbye’ to our beloved Frank – described by my sister as ‘a gentle feline’. He enjoyed many similar routines to Mr Pussy – the mornings sound particularly familiar! RIP two beloved boys.

  16. August 14, 2020

    He was So Beautiful!! I still miss He!!!😢💖👼🙏

  17. Helen Thompson permalink
    August 15, 2020

    Beautiful writing about a beautiful Cat <3

  18. Dr Jonathan van Halbert permalink
    August 15, 2020

    I was so sorry to learn of your lose of Mr Pussy. However delighted to learn that

    you know and understand that he has done nothing more than leave his mortal

    body behind! You will both live in his Memory… Been there done that.

    Got the Tee Shirt and still wearing it, after 30 years..

  19. Fran Tucker permalink
    August 15, 2020

    Oh Mr Pussy I do miss you and those beautiful eyes. I hope Schrodinger is looking after your friend.

  20. Jill Wilson permalink
    August 15, 2020

    My new cat also has the hindrance of a black fur coat and spent most of last week’s heatwave lying stretched out in the flying leap position on the kitchen floor in an effort to keep cool (almost invariably in the way!)

    Yesterday he celebrated the cooler weather by catching and bringing in a baby shrew to play with and torture, and has just sicked up some grass.

    Ah – the joys of having a feline companion… xx

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