Today it’s Tina Rath’s turn, who tells us about a rather notorious pair of cats. Tina lives in London, as an actress, writer, story-teller, and Queen Victoria Lookalike. She’s also the Resident Poet of the Dracula Society.
Tina donated three poems and a short story to our brand-new anthology, Paws and Claws. Not surprisingly, all of them feature cats in one way or another.
We called them Vlad and Boris – Vlad after Vladislavus Drakulya, sometimes called Vlad Tepes, and Boris for Boris Karloff. If we had got their little sister as well we were going to call her Doris (after Herod’s first wife). They are Mau/Bengal crosses, so they have the pretty silvery spotted fur of the Mau, and the Bengal temprament. And Bengals are well known as mad bustards. We were – after we got them – told about one pair who hollowed out the entire sofa to form a den while their owners were out. Having known Vlad and Boris I am only surprised that they didn’t have the electricity and water supply set up as well.
Vlad and Boris are remarkably pretty. They are also thieves. They brought home their first football when they were quite small. I have no idea where they stole it, or how they managed it. Did a snarling Boris fend off its tiny owner while Vlad made off with it? And how did he manage to carry it? Or did they head it from one to the other? Eventually we had at least four quite large rubber footballs, a horrible pair of Marigold gloves (the Twins lost interest in them after I put them – the gloves – through the washing machine), but the weirdest trophy was a rubber devil mask. It was made on the lines of a balaclava, so the wearer put it over his or her head. It was quite elaborate and brightly coloured…and I could not think what to do with it. You can hardly go from house to house asking your neighbours if they have lost a devil mask? Can you? Well, I would rather not… in the end I put it out with the re-cycling, which was then in open boxes, and it vanished before collection day.
Vlad and Boris have also hunted frogs (which they bring home, unhurt, to play with (did you know how loudly a frog can scream?), smashed flower pots in neighbours’ gardens, and done something unspeakable in the raised vegetable beds next door…it was when I heard myself saying ‘People only notice them because they’re Twins, and so pretty…they’re lovely boys, really…” that I realised we should have called them Ronny and Reggie.