a Claytons cat

Just as negotiating our work-life city-country balance leaves us feeling we have a Claytons life, we now appear to have, for the moment at least, a Claytons cat to go with it.

Both the G.O. and I are cat, and dog, lovers and have in the past shared our lives with domestic four-legged-furry-ones. Since then, all the while we’ve been muttering our mantra we do not have room in our life, literally, for a cat, making do with pats from neighbourhood cats and befriending a couple of strays around our city apartment locale.

Late last year at Taylors Arm a little black cat started hanging around between our and both neighbours’ yards. Not uncommon as there was always an overflow from the too-numerous cats belonging to a house further up the road, and we’ve taken a couple of kittens to the local RSPCA. Around the time that house burned down is when the black cat started hanging out with LHS neighbour’s cats (of that same origin) but towards the end of our late January Australia Day long weekend stay she started waiting outside our back fence for food but wouldn’t come in. On our last day she waited and would only eat inside the fence near where the G.O.’s ute was parked.

Upon our return a few months later at Easter, Black Cat promptly appeared in our carport, waiting expectantly. After being fed, she settled in for the short duration of our stay. LHS & RHS neighbours said they’d seen her on our verandah and had been feeding her but she was too wild for any other contact. Hmmm, this is the same Black Cat, which we now called Soossie-Dorrie-Floss who meowed for food, followed the G.O., jumped on laps, wandered through our house and annexed the comfy pozzies.

A Soossie-Cat's life
A Soossie Cat’s life

Not sure that Soossie Cat’s attachment to us was permanent (after all we’d had LHS neighbour’s grey cat aka Crazy Cat as a holiday houseguest before she gifted him to friends when he couldn’t cope with the two old semi-stray cats in her keeping) we ascertained from LHS neighbour that Soossie Cat was being fed, found out the RHS neighbours continued to be a food source also, and returned to our city life.

My familiarity with the city strays thankfully had given me some independent living cat perspective, and allayed the G.O.’s concerns about me getting attached and possibly broken-hearted. In our absence Soossie Cat selected our house & inhabits it of her own free-will, and has other choices should she exercise them. So we left her with food and assurances from the neighbours, whom she seems disinclined to move in with, that they will feed and look out for her.

When we arrived for the June long weekend visit Soossie Cat wandered out from the sunny verandah greeting us like we’d only been away for the day… quickly drew our attention to the empty food bowl and resumed her occupation of the interior comforts, now accessible. LHS neighbour reported that in our absence Soossie Cat was hanging out with her cats and being fed.

I like it!
I like it!

Soossie Cat is very much at home in the country so taking her to the city isn’t an option. I had hoped, and still do that Soossie Cat will shift camps to LHS neighbour. But just in case not, I offered a little extra comfort (mostly to myself, I think) providing Soossie Cat with an old flannelette drop sheet at the spot she’d been sleeping in the G.O.’s shed, and unearthed for the verandah a cat igloo & crochet rug I’d stored since Baddy Cat left us over 11 years ago. The G.O. said of the igloo, she won’t go in there. We’d barely turned our backs and Soossie Cat proved him wrong.

What does the future hold? You never do know, sometimes things you really want happen but not the way you think…

Note: Claytons  is the brand name of a non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beverage coloured and packaged to resemble bottled whisky. It was the subject of a major marketing campaign in Australian and New Zealand in the 1970s and 1980s, promoting it as “the drink you have when you’re not having a drink”… the name has entered into Australian and New Zealand vernacular where it represents a “poor substitute” or “an ineffective solution to a problem”. It can also be used to describe something that is effectively in existence but does not take the appropriate name, e.g. a common-law couple might be described as having a “Claytons marriage”.


26 thoughts on “a Claytons cat

    1. Thank you 🙂 I had 2, and a dog, and my heart broke a little more with the demise of each. Sensibly, I’m not keen on revisiting, anticipating that, but the G.O. and I are cat magnets, and as you would well know they do what they will, regardless.


  1. So, it looks like you and the G.O. have been adopted by what should be a pretty much bad tempered stray cat. But, he’s tamed himself enough to take up residence in both your hearts and home. He seems quite young to be left in charge of two adults but the pictures show he’s taken to it like a duck to water and is very laid back. Well done. More reasons to pay regular visits to TA in the future.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    1. Actually, she’s a clever, good natured missy, who despite her relative youth, has been around a bit I think; enough to know her own mind, so I’m trusting her judgment, one way or another 🙂 And yes, yet another thing calling us home. I hope Soossie Cat knows something we don’t, at this time…


  2. animals seem to know where they belong don’t they? they choose their humans if they can and Soosie Cat seems to have chosen your place and you, lucky about that!


    1. I keep telling Soossie Cat that the amenities won’t be fully operational for some time yet, but she is still in-situ the next time we arrive, so indeed it seems we have been chosen 🙂


  3. Soossie Cat seems to have made her choice months apart notwithstanding . . . I think she expects you to be ‘grown up’ enough to do the same . . . ‘nice if we are together, but I’ll find my way around if you disappear again’ 🙂 !! No obligations!!!!!


    1. I’ve learned that is quite the way with independent cats, probably all cats. My own, in the past, when I went on holidays having made ample arrangements for them to be looked after would disappear for the duration…


    1. That was my worry too, but Soossie Cat is well looked after and fed by LHS neighbour, whose cats hang out on our sunny verandah also, just Soosie chooses to attach herself to us when we’re there but the others don’t. Soosie would be welcome next door if she wandered in. We, and the local cats, are quite fortunate as all the neighbours have and/or are feline friendly 🙂


  4. It’s so nice that she now has a home where she feels comfortable. I feel quite sad knowing there are so many stray cats in the bush. We have two at the farm at the moment (probably been dumped) but we can’t seem to coax them out of the sugar cane fields 😦


    1. Stray-feral cats in the bush are an issue, which makes me sad-mad. We have had a few cats around our and the neighbours houses, semi-and-domestic, and there’s no evidence, eg feathers of them doing damage to anything they shouldn’t… Crazy Cat brought me back [dead] a mouse I had kindly evicted and dumped down the back… I’m sure he was thinking “stupid human”.
      Soossie Cat watches the birds but with the exception of chasing a stray unwelcome ibis leaves them alone, and hilariously stalks the wallabies. Maybe she thinks anything smaller isn’t worth the effort…
      To lure the cats from the sugar cane fields, apparently bbq chicken is a successful enticement in cat rescue circles. Soossie Cat had been dining on dry cat food and scraps thrown out the back (for the birds initially) but at Easter would only accept leftover smoked salmon from Good Friday dinner before deciding our ongoing offerings were acceptable 🙂


      1. Those cats certainly are an issue and it amazes me how many are dumped near our farm (it’s at the end of the road so people must think it’s in ‘the middle of nowhere’.)

        Soossie Cat stalks wallabies? You could win a lot of money on Funniest Home Videos with that one! 😀

        I’ll try the bbq chicken and let you know I go. MIL has cats next door and was wondering why all her cat food was disappearing, so this is why – they’re probably hanging around and coming out at night to steal the dry food 😀


  5. Awww…she’s chosen you and been faithful while you were gone. She’s independent and isn’t asking for anything – just giving friendship. Love it. 🙂


    1. Unless cats are captive they will choose what’s best for them… and Soossie seems happy enough. I’ve learnt a lot from independent living local cats so I’m a lit more relaxed about her making her own choices than I would have been once.


      1. I’m sure your Soossie won’t be completely happy until you two move up to TA for good but for now she seems content to be your housekeeper. 🙂


  6. Soossie seems to find the perfect wild and domesticated balance with you. 🙂 I’m glad she can take care of herself but still enjoys your company when you visit.


    1. I guess Soossie is a country cat, and therefore quite her own feline 🙂 I would love for us to be with her or she with us full time but at the moment that won’t work for any of us.


  7. She probably thinks of you as coming to HER house every now and again rather than being your part-time pet! 🙂

    She’s lucky she doesn’t live in our area, new rules come in soon that mean all cats need to be confined (indoor, or in outside runs) at all times otherwise the council will come calling.


    1. True, and as staff Soossie probably thinks we’re quite unreliable 🙂
      Much as I like cats and their catty ways, sadly rules restricting their activities make sense. Often they are killers, and require responsible human intervention so they don’t have a negative impact.


Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.