Feline Family

Dear All,

Winter has reached South Africa’s shores with a vengeance this year. The silvery sardines have graced the dinner tables well and even now, ardent fishermen can be see hawking them. The cold seems to be here to stay this winter. What also stays and is imprinted in the mind this winter, is the plight of the destitute without the basic necessities of life. Thankfully Mandela Day has come and with that social media recognition, renewed awareness and assistance for our human counterparts.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the animals. Yes, the organisations have spoken, implored for assistance and received some. Still, there is an overflow of animals at the local rescue shelters (most animals are destined to be euthanised) and worse still roaming the streets, cold and hungry. Such is their need that refuse bags have been attacked in search of food and with the waste company being on strike, a mass of black bags strewn on the side of roads. What is it about people that commit their food to the bins instead of donating it to the local shelters, for humans and animals. Ugh.

Internally, I rant on when I see animals fettered by broken chains, roaming the streets, cut loose out of fear, boredom or in search of food. I dread their steps as they progress towards the roads and highway. Since our Labradors have crossed over the rainbow bridge, we have rescued and homed with us, three delightful bundles of fur.

Leo, our tawny lion kitty is our eldest. Snosey, our panda bear kitty was saved by Leo and brought in for company. That has been short-lived as Snosey has developed a lone ranger mentality and favours his solitude, which is broken only, we think now, for his attraction of the opposite sex. He surfaces with a realistic sounding “Mom” to demand for food, a belly rub or an Indian head massage and does his disappearing act. Jag, our little jaguar kitty is our last born, until of course, Husband rescues another. Jag is the epitome of a purring house kitty and favours my bed or my chest as his resting spot. He makes several attempts to draw the other two out to play but being typical older brothers, Leo and Snosey tolerate him in a bored, indifferent manner. Jade, the daughter of the galloping imagination, is convinced that both Leo and Snosey are Russian and should have been named “Ivan” or “Sergei” respectively.

Snosey caused some consternation recently as his absence was more marked and lengthy, which necessitated a Facebook post search. My friend Heather in her experience and wisdom, advised with much amusement, that kitties are quite solitary and independent and given to disappearing acts for days and even weeks.

Like all mothers, this does not sit well with me and I can be heard calling them in to supper often by my other personal pet names (Tutus). The incorrigible daughter, in their favour, cringes with embarrassment, advising that I have now announced to the neighbourhood their names, that their friends are probably cackling with laughter at our kitties expense and our kitties are hanging their heads in mortification.

Night-time’s lullaby is couched in a sermon which surprisingly, the kitties understand. In the interests of feline safety, I shall share it with you :

Here kitty, kitty.
Mommy’s little baby go to sleep.
Go to sleep.

Mind how you cross the road,
Don’t eat from strangers,
Be home before I get home.

Here kitty, kitty.
Mommy’s little baby go to sleep.
Go to sleep.

Imagine my absolute delight when watching the Big Bang Theory with son, Owen and discovering that “Soft Kitty” is sung to Sheldon when he is sick. “Soft Kitty” was the song that Sheldon’s mom sang to him when he was sick as a child. Sheldon’s version is :

“Soft kitty,
Warm kitty,
Little ball of fur,
happy kitty,
sleepy kitty,
purr purr purr.




This song’s tune originates from nineteenth century Warsaw (Poland) and it was used in a lullaby titled “Wlazł kotek na płotek”, written by OskarKolberg and composed by StanisławMoniuszk. However the Lyrics for this lullaby were about a kitten on a fence.

The modern song which we know now is in fact named “Warm Kitty”. The lyrics were written by Edith Newlin and the tune is traditional.[1] It was published in 1937 by Willis Music Co. These lyrics differ slightly to the one used in the show, with the show changing the sequence.

The daughters of the original songwriter filed a lawsuit on the show in December 2015 for using the altered version of the song without permission. Because of that, the song has not been performed after Season 8. The lawsuit charges have since been dropped.”

soft kitty

“Warm Kitty” from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Toss into the mix about 30 random birds who breakfast daily in the Ramlal garden, overseen scrupulously by Leo who is teaching Jag the same ropes. To my dismay, Leo has caught and eaten around three birds in his short lifetime. He condescended to share his spoils with Jag who unwittingly gave the game up.

Priority is given to stealthily feeding at least 3 kitties in the office car park before work. Friday mornings is a veritable feast as I outlay sufficient food for the entire weekend but come Monday morning, I know that they are listening out for the sound of the familiar red car. Leaving from work is no longer an issue as a colleague surreptitiously feeds them on my behalf. The annual leave necessitates a stopover visit to feed before visiting mother in law. The plans work well.

Obviously, my kitties set themselves apart from other felines, being far superior in intellect and grace. Never mind that Leo has adopted my curviness or rolls himself into place rather than walk to his dedicated seat or that Jag has, at 4 months, adopted my curves as well. All have charm and convey their love for our family in many ways, they are adept at blinking their love to me. Family also comprises two cockatiels, Mr Darcy and Miss Elizabeth, another story there all together but all nonetheless live in a happy and habitable zoo. You will now understand why Gerald Durrell’s book, My Family and Other Animals is my favourite.

Perhaps your life too will be enrichened by the adoption of a stray pet? Consider it, it is a life well lived and well loved.

j cup

29 thoughts on “Feline Family

  1. This struck me, “What is it about people that commit their food to the bins instead of donating it to the local shelters, for humans and animals. Ugh.” — and then there are the governments that rule it illegal to give such to those in need. It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad world at times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes Peter. No logic. They perpetuate hunger and other dreaded social issues. I remember reading that fridges were donated and kept in specified locations. That worked too until some people took ALL the food and didn’t bother leaving for others.
      Some of the fridges were stolen.
      The mind boggles.


  2. Your three kitties are so adorable and I’m betting they all have very distinct personalities. I loved the episode on Big Bang you spoke of and didn’t know that about the “Warm Kitty” song. Very interesting! Loved this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Cats, our healing friends | Sunshiny SA Site

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