It is a cold and rainy day and I am inside with the heater putting the last touches on my story: ‘Cat Island where the cats are the masters.’
There is the sound of scratching at the backdoor and I recognise that
sound; it is Icha the ragdoll cat from next door. His carers have gone out for the day and he has braved the elements to get a place close to the heater. He is wet. He comes to me and asks me to dry him off. When he is dry and comfortable he wants to know
what I am doing and I explain: “Icha I am writing a story about cats in charge of an island. It is part of my writing course. An assessment where there is a need for inclusion of 3 set elements.”
A plot with the following 3 elements a plot
involving any three of the following:
1. an animal; [selected]
2. a weapon;
3. a crime;
4. a wet day; [selected]
5. a vehicle
6. a romance
7. a generation gap
8. a lost item [selected]
exiting,” he says intrigued, “am I in it?”
“Well Icha in a way you are. Listen and I’ll read you the story.”
This is the story I tell him:
Cat Island where the cats are the masters
the South Atlantic not all that far from the Falklands, but just far enough not to be claimed by Argentina or defended by the British, there is a smallish island inhabited by a community of cats and people where the cats are the masters. The ratio of cats
to people is about four to one and proportion and numbers have been stable for a long time as both species have adopted a strict 2 child policy. The leader of this community is a veterinarian surgeon who together with his wife looks after the welfare of both
species. The vet also keeps a close eye on the biodiversity within both groups by allowing a small number of refugees with their cats to settle after extensive offshore processing.
The island is surrounded by rich fishing grounds and provides fertile
soil for the cultivation of vegetables and the grazing for a small herd of Jersey cows which provides milk and butter for the community. The islanders have no monetary system and have instead adopted a barter method of giving and receiving credits for services
and the supply of products. The cats make their contribution by showing affection and gratitude for services, and food. They also accept the responsibility of keeping the people warm in their beds during the often bitter winter nights of July and August.
It is not surprising therefore that it is the cats who dominate society here; having restaurants, shops, and bars entirely dedicated to their well being. The best restaurant in the village 'Le Poisson chat' provides a sole meunière the cats
come from miles around to enjoy. In Le Poisson chat the food is served under the table and no alcoholic drinks are provided. The toilet facilities consist of a unisex single toilet for people and large separate room with cubicles for litter trays provided
for the cats. On sunny afternoons, the proprietor puts out comfortable chairs and benches on the footpath to allow his clients to have a little nap after lunch.
The main shop in the village specializes in grooming services for the many longhaired
coat varieties that are represented on the island in particular to the recently introduced Ragdoll cats who just like to hang out and leave the maintenance to others. The shop also caters for the minor treatments pampered cats require, such as manicures,
dental treatment, and anti flea sessions
At this point we must ask ourselves how and why this society works so harmoniously. It is obvious that the humans have adapted well, they are free of the need to acquire larger and larger sums of money to keep
up with their neighbours, they are treated with affection and respect by their masters, and they share the wonderful food that comes from the shallow waters surrounding the island.
The cats on the whole are happy too, they are content and have
found their true place in life not witnessed since the days of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
They originally had a small problem sorting out the hierarchy amongst themselves and there were frequent squabbles between the various breeds represented on
the island. However this problem was eventually settled by the Siamese group who with their loud voices and their razor sharp reflexes soon put paid to any dispute that occurred.
So there it is; paradise regained and an object lesson for the rest of
“An interesting story,” purrs Icha, “I like the concept I wonder if I might go there, I could apply for refugee status.”
“Icha” I reply,” you don’t have to go there’ you are
in charge next door now and a welcome visitor here. What more do you need?”
“True, true,” Icha reflects. “But tell me my friend, How does this story comply with the 3 elements you were given for this assignment?”
“Well Icha, this is how I see it,” I reply
“1 it is a rainy day right now and we are in the story
2 there are plenty of animals in the story including you.”
He murmurs,” OK I understand but what
about the third element cobber?”
“Icha you are obviously not a classically trained cat, the story has a hidden lost item inside. Milton’s Paradise lost and Paradise regained!”
“Far fetched,” Icha grumbles,
“I am sure I could have done better.”
When I am ready to defend the position I suddenly hear a loud rumbling noise and I realise he has fallen asleep. Icha has a short attention span and is the only cat I know who purrs in his sleep.
“So much for the story and so much for my argument.” I reflect aloud, but there is no further response from Icha
Gerrit, October, .2013.