Inherited Kittens – Jonty Bloom

Inherited Kittens: Jonty Bloom

I fell in love with a 93-year old house in Cygnet in 2003. It needed a lot of work, but I loved it, and I bought it.


My New (Old) House

On the day before the purchase was final, I did a last inspection with the real estate agent. It was then that I found out that along with the house, I was now the owner of “a little brown cat.” I had not seen her in my previous visits to the house, but I was willing to bet that I was now a familiar figure to her.

The house was mine on Friday, and the removals truck was due on Tuesday. On Saturday morning, I loaded up my car with those items that are a bit awkward to pack and move, plus some cat food and a bowl, and I drove to the house.

I started unloading the car, walking in and out, and there she was!

Sitting very calmly and looking at me intently was a little gray tabby cat. She looked like a smaller edition of the cat we grew up with. I would later describe her as a “junior Musshie” to my sister. I fed her and watched her eat. She was not afraid of me at all and concentrated on eating.

She watched me unload the rest of the car. Then I started working my way through the house, taking up nails left behind when the putrid carpet was removed. She followed me around and rubbed my hand, even though I was doing things with a hammer.

I opened all the windows to let in the welcome breeze.

The New Neighbor

I encountered my new neighbor outside. We chatted for a while and she welcomed me warmly. Apparently, the people who had been living in my house used drugs. She told me that she was afraid to go out into her own backyard because a few times she had found a confused drug addled person wandering around.

The former tenants had purchased two kittens for their large dog to "play" with, and the gray tabby was one of them. The kittens spent most of their time under the neighbors’ veranda in order to get away from the dog. She said she and her husband had wanted to report these people, but they were afraid of repercussions.

My lovely neighbors fed the kittens. They had had three cats previously, but all had been run over on the busy road, and they had made the decision to have no more animals.

My new neighbor agreed to feed the gray girl until Tuesday, and then I would take over. She welcomed to the area me once more.

I went and said goodbye to the kitten and told her I would be back on Tuesday. She looked at me with big sad eyes, but taking her back to my apartment was not a good idea.

Naming The Kitten

I returned to Hobart to finish packing. I started to try to think of a name. My favorite journalist, David Bloom, had just died tragically in Iraq. But I thought David was not a good name for a cat, nor was Bloom.

I heard a birthday wish on the radio for Jonty, who had just turned three.

So that was that. Her name was Jonty Bloom.

Jonty Bloom appeared on Tuesday as soon the movers left. She helped me unpack and didn’t seem to mind that the house was terribly untidy. We fell into a routine, and she started sleeping on my bed at night.

I unblocked the hole in the back door which was meant to be a cat door, so she could come and go as she pleased.

A Rough Sea Tonight

Winter had just started and there was no heating in the house, except for the electric heater I had brought with me. The window in my bedroom had refused to close all the way on that first day, so I had stopped the icy wind with old towels and packing tape. It was definitely snowing somewhere.

It was the first Friday night in the new house, and Jonty Bloom and I were snuggled together for a warm night’s sleep. At about midnight both of use were awakened by a very loud crash. I patted Jonty Bloom in the dark, who was amazingly still beside me. I groped for the bedside lamp.

There was a very cold breeze blowing over us. My sleepy brain struggled to work out what had happened. When my eyes got used to the light, I saw it. The top half of the window had collapsed to be next to the lower half, and the wind was roaring thought the hole.

I got up and put some warm clothes on and thought about what to do. I retrieved some garbage bags from the kitchen and used a chair to stick them up with my trusty packing tape.

I asked Jonty Bloom what she thought. She was still on the bed and looking at me with black eyes. I got into bed with my warm clothes on and pulled my robe up over me. Jonty Bloom moved as close as she could and we settled down.

I was lying there thinking that I should have put on a woolen hat when the garbage bags started to come loose. They were flapping around and the wind was rushing over us. I covered my head and tried to go to sleep. With the icy wind and the sound of the bags flapping like loose sails, I imagine this was what it was like to sleep on a yacht in high wind.

How To Make An Entrance

Jonty Bloom was a very neat little girl, always sitting with her tail placed just so.

However, coming through the cat door was a different matter. She would never walk through the cat door, she would launch herself through it. Then she would immediately jump onto one of the chairs under the kitchen table. She thought that they were there just for her. She would joyfully run around the chairs a couple of times before running over to greet me.

Jonty dancing

Speaking of entrances, there was an unexpected entrance about a month after I moved in. I was in the lounge room watching TV. I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, and I thought it was Jonty Bloom. But it was not Jonty Bloom. It was a black and white cat that looked about the same age. I stared at him. He looked around the room, saw me and hightailed it out of there and right out the cat door.

Lobo had made his first entrance into my life.

I'll tell you all about him in a future post

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