I never meant to have four cats, it just happened. It took a little time to adjust our household, introducing the two little ones to our bigger girls was not a roaring success, but with the right amount of food dishes, litter trays, scent exchanges and of course, plenty of love and attention, our four girls live together happily enough. The younger ones will still get a slap and a hiss from Charlie usually, if they don’t move quickly enough, but all things being equal, they have adapted. Indeed, Ting follows Charlie around like an annoying younger sister.
“Hi, where are we going then? You’re going over here? Right, I’ll come too, it’ll be fun, we can pretend we’re having an adventure!”
And of course, if you have real cats, what’s the ideal gift for any occasion? An ornamental cat, naturally! I am not a collector of things generally, but refusing gifts meant with love and thought is hard to do. So I have ornaments. Lots of them. Now, cats and ornaments don’t really go together and after Charlie jumped on the unit where my Poole collection was carefully displayed and sent a dolphin and a frog hurtling to their doom, my ornaments were temporarily re-located to a safe box with plenty of bubble wrap. However, since my oldest son has left home, I now have space to display and admire…
I must thank the lovely garfieldhug’s blog for the inspiration for this post – she recently went on holiday and one of her travel blog pictures showed these fabulous coloured pottery wares, gem like colours shining from the display, not unlike some of the more modern glazes that the Poole factory uses.
This red cat was a Christmas present from my mother. The glaze is Red Delphis and I love the contrast of the deep tomato red with a turquoise tear-drop collar.
The blue cat, also Poole, was a present from my partner, again, although slightly plainer, I love the depth of the blue-green glaze, which was a popular choice of colour for the rest of the animal range, like the dolphins, seals and frogs.
I love the shape of this vase, the Galaxy glaze and the deep dark glaze, against which the smooth teardrops stand out like comets.
Again from the Poole range, this glaze is brown lustre glaze Precious, chocolate brown with a golden overlay, I’m thinking of expensive truffles here…
This little white cat is actually a perfume bottle by Avon – surprisingly collectable now!
A selection of Siamese: from left to right, my mother was given this one about fifty years ago after she was involved in a motorbike accident, then a signed Mike Hinton limited edition cat, and another little vintage Siamese.
Then some tinies: a little black plastic cat that came off a Halloween pen and I couldn’t bear to throw it away, a tiny tabby made of Tiger’s Eye and a lucky cat, then a crab, my son and I were both born in July so this is our horoscope sign.
And of course, my real cats in order of seniority.
So whether real or ornamental, cats are both beautiful and decorative. (I saw an ornament of a slug the other day…) Both need care and attention and do not necessarily mix well, as I have discovered to my cost. ‘Cats are intended to teach us that not every thing in Nature has a purpose.’ (Garrison Kellor). After tubes of superglue and hours of patient repairs, I can see that my cats do indeed regard ornaments as pointless… Why do I need them when I can gaze upon the beauty of real cats and stroke real fur… I do wish they’d leave them alone though!
All photographs Copyright © 2016 Alex Marlowe