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ColinI once awoke in a bar in Manila that was on fire (1998 in fact now you’re asking).

At the time I didn’t laugh, but looking back, in retrospect, it probably was quite a funny situation. I had no idea how I got there or what I was doing (honest guv), but the upshot is that is where I first fell in love with cats (or ‘a cat’ singular to be precise, but hey, jeez, who is being precise when there’s people running and screaming and bits of flaming wood literally falling from every angle and burning down all around you). Out of my slumber I saw my pal Josie (a third rate drinker, second class officer navigator, but truly first class at making soufflés (oh you haven’t lived until you’ve tried one), she was a genius, her main talent (aside from being a cracking partner in crime and of course the soufflé thing) was to find her way out of any situation. There we were randomly in bedlam, I literally thought ‘this is it’, when she slurs out “Follow the cat.”

Now look here. Follow the cat? She was ordinarily totally madder than a rabid ferret on acid, but on this particular moment of hatstandedness she couldn’t have been more righter. Follow the cat, follow the cat? I saw the cat, bombing through Hades at Hundreds of miles per hour, and I followed that moggy. It ran through various naked people scrabbling for clothes/drinks whatever came first, and then found a way out to the utopia of the outdoors. We followed and we made it, and so did Colin (the First).

Quite illegally (& most definitely breaking at least two of the fiercest of ship regulations) we smuggled Colin (the First) on board. He was incredible, we were like brothers, we did everything together (in fact I barely saw Soufflé Josie after that). It wasn’t long alas where me and Colin (the First) were found out, and literally ejected from the ship (which I later found out Josie had steered us deliberately into a remote part of Malaysia to ensure maximum difficulty in my getting home), butttt I didn’t mind, I had Colin (the First) by my side. We said our goodbyes at Kota Kinabalu airport (well, more of an aircupboard really), and neither of us looked back, I still can see his little whiskery face being brave trying not to cry.

When I eventually got home I got another cat, Colin (the Second). Colin was amazing. He was a trick cat that had multiple personalities. If you shouted urgently ‘Splitsss’, old Colin (the Second) would splay out instantly paws outstretched both front and back and freeze cold. I was his third owner, and each time it transpired the owners had given him different names. First he was ‘Andre-the-Giant’, then ‘Arnie’, then (of course) Colin (the Second, although he didn’t know about ‘the second’ bit, we never told him that). When Colin passed away (I know I know) some said it was because of the copious demands on him to perform the splits on demand, not a bit of it, Colin (the Second), like Colin (the First) was a soldier of evolution, he had evolved, he had a rich long tapestry of change, of development, it was in his soul, in his being, in his DNA if you will, to be the best Colin there had ever been, that was his and every other cat called Colin’s mission, it’s in their soul to be ever changing ever adapting. I have never forgotten Colin (the First) and Colin (the Second), and what they’ve taught & inspired me to be.

The world, I have often thought, is like Colin (First & Second) in many ways, full of richness, a rich tapestry of tales (huh hhmmm), evolution, a deep rooted soulful passion with love & fire embedded into its very core structure. If Colin were here today he would be proud, he would steer us through the fires of a bar on fire, he would steer us through gale force 10s, do the splits whenever you wanted him to without a second doubt, and deliver us to the sunny tropical paradise islands where you can have more fruit for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, second dinner, and for midnight feasts.

Please take time today to do the splits in honour of Colin (the Second).

2 thoughts on “Colin (the cats)

  1. Nice story. We had a cat called Rodney but everyone called him Dave. He ran away from home after we had him neutered. Can’t for the life of me think why.

    1. Martin Skate Martin Skate says:

      I have nightmares of that happening to me one day

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