Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This post is brought to you by Mooky

Have I ever told you the story of Mooky? OK, get your coffee. We'll wait.

Nearly five years ago, Bill and I were living in the Okanagan valley in B.C. Some friends of ours had a neighbour who refused to have her outdoor cat spayed; in turn, the cat produced litter after litter of kittens that summer. These kittens lived outside, often coming to our friends' place to be fed. It was an area with few houses, mostly orchard, a good deal of passing traffic, and plenty of coyotes in the hills. Eventually the kittens would get bigger and stop coming around. (Let's imagine that they all moved to better neighbourhoods, where they slept peacefully all day and romped in a garden of catnip all night, OK? OK.) And then there would be more kittens.

Our friends were livid about all this, and complained to authorities, but nothing was done. They already had two cats of their own, but still put food out for the orchard kittens from time to time. Come November, the four kittens from the last litter were still hanging around. Snow was on its way, and Bill and I decided to kittynap one of the kittens. I don't remember why we chose to only take one. Anyway, we went to our friends' place to see the kittens -- there were two boys (one black, one grey/white) and two girls (both grey/white). The black one marched right over, while the other three semi-hid in the garden, so we decided he would best be able to leave his siblings. And we took him.

At first, I thought he might be a Spike, but the name just didn't catch on. It turned out that he was a Mooky. (Movie trivia: There's a connection between the two names. What is it? *)

Just over a year later, we took Mooky to live with friends in Montreal before we set off for Taiwan. And that brings you up to date. The Mook is back. And, for the record, he did not weigh eighteen pounds back then! But he does now -- must have been all that red wine, brie, and baguette, I guess. C'est la vie.

(There is a postscript to the story: The cat next door continued to have kittens for a few years, and one of them now lives comfortably with our friends [the accomplices in Mooky's kittynapping] and their two cats, Oscar and Twinkie. Her name is Toby, and she looks exactly like Mooky. But smaller, bless her.)

* Yep, Spike Lee's character in Do the Right Thing is Mookie.

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