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It’s A Cat’s Life

July 19th, 2011 by admin

Wazzer slinks back to her place at nine on Sunday morning. If her flatmate/landlady Willow hasn’t sealed the deal with her new boyfriend by now, well, that’s her problem. She did her part as the tactfully absent flatmate. Loping up to the door, several of the neighbors’ cats observe her passage, calmly. And inside the kitchen, Cilla is sitting on the breakfast nook table, purring.

“Hey, cat,” Wazzer says, chucking the calico under the chin. Cilla tilts her little wedge-shaped head, luxuriating. And why shouldn’t she? The cat is the only pet that works for Wellington.

Most cage birds and most aquarium fish are “exotics.”  The selection in pet stores is rather dull, and prone to keel over if left in an unheated Wellington house during the day.  And dogs? Wellington trounces them socially at every turn. A large chunk of downtown is a Dog Restricted Area. Even outside this, landlords forbid them, they are barred from most large fields and beaches, there are few outdoor cafes for their owners to relax with their pets. Man friends grumble that you never come along for a drink if you’re always running home to let the dog out. The Kiwi tradition of large working dogs means that the lap dogs who adapt best to actual urban life are laughed out of town.

This leaves the cat. The pleasures and downsides of cat ownership, importantly for the council, rarely impact the neighbors. Wazzer has had a taste of these pleasures, living with Cilla as she’s grown from a kitten to a playful young feline. So much so that she’s been thinking lately that she might want a cat of her own. But Willow freezes up at the thought of anything traumatizing her darling kitten. So, thinks Wazzer, it’s another reason to start planning where she’ll live next.


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