COOK – INN
Musselburgh operating in Edinburgh & East Lothian
30th June 2019.
Cats will be Cats pt 2
…Marley let out a sigh. Extending her claws she had the tabby on the ground in less than a second, and before she could ask any more questions he squeaked “I was just having fun”!
Now the story came out. The tom, whose name apparently was the sound of a human throwing a boot in his general direction (cats at times can be quite literal animals) had seen an opportunity to socialise with a lady cat, and had thought of a clever way to distract her travelling companion. Giving ‘Thud’ a clip round the ear for his cheek, Marley decided that – for once – she would have to go and find Misty herself. Trying to keep as many landmarks as possible in her memory, the directionally-challenged feline set off to sniff her husband out.
Presently, following Misty’s trail, she spied the wee cottage at the harbour. Feeling the sort of curiosity reputed to be bad for a cat’s longevity, she went over for a closer look.
A plaintive mewl arose from inside the cottage’s walls. Marley raced in to see what had caused the ruckus. There, she found her husband cowering against a wall, his eyes roving around the little room in fear. Running up to him Marley gave him a good slap around his ample chops. Misty stopped mewling in surprise. “What was that for”? He asked resentfully.
Marley gave him a sideways look. “You’re not panicking anymore, are you”?
With a shrug of long-married resignation, the black cat showed her the scarily-illustrated stories along the cottage’s walls. To his further surprise, Marley started to snigger.
“This kind of thing hasn’t happened for around four hundred years, daftie”! She howled in mirth. Misty, never good with figures, hadn’t taken the date of the witch trials into account. “This all happened in 1590” Marley explained. “Nobody stones ‘witch’s cats’ today”. Misty hugged his wife wordlessly, feeling lucky to have someone so helpful in his life.
The cats’ reunion, however, was destined to be short-lived. A familiar bellow came from up on the rocks. Marley slinked off to investigate. Sure enough, there was their friend Duncan; the ‘Cook-Inn’ charity’s Head of Logistics and Storage. As he is wont to do, Duncan was loudly entertaining his old friend Karl and daughter, Abi. The cats remembered hearing something about them being on holiday from Australia for a few weeks. Duncan’s wife Janine could be heard warning him not to fall and crack his head on the rocks as he fooled about sliding his booted feet down the safety railings intended for people’s gripping hands.
“He’s a chancer”, murmured Marley disapprovingly to herself. Misty, whose instincts ran more in the direction of food than foolhardiness, had spied a fisherman on the quay reeling in his line. On its end writhed a fish. Beside the man stood a bucket filled with yet more of them. It gave off enticing smells. As if hypnotised, Misty padded over to the man, not taking his eyes from the catch.
“Hello, little friend” said the fisherman, reaching out to stroke the black cat’s fur with one hand. “Now, why should I give you any of my fish”? Misty halted, confused. Surely, as a cat, he was entitled to blag food from humans wherever he went? Could this part of Scotland be so remote as to be in ignorance of this rule? He mewed to his wife, asking her to try her own charms on this hardest of hearts. Obligingly she sauntered over, giving the man ‘kitten eyes’ and sniffing pointedly at the bucket. “You have so many fish”, she seemed to say. “Why not let us take some off your hands”?
“Oh, it’s a conspiracy” the man mused. I suppose you two’ve got kittens hiding in the wings, as well? Go away. I can’t feed your whole family”. He turned and began loading up his rod with bait once more.
Abi, who had recognised the cats from their pictures in the ‘Cook-Inn’ blogs, now came to the quay. Taking in the overfilled bucket and the crushed expressions on the cats’ faces, she sat down next to the fisherman. As old men will, when a young woman sits close to them, he stopped fishing and turned to give her all of his attention.
“I know these cats” Abi said to him. She called up the ‘Cook-Inn’ website on her smart phone, and showed the man the blogs of Misty and Marley’s honeymoon, posted in the last two weeks. The old man obligingly looked at the photos, read the blogs and began to laugh.
“Those animals”! He hooted. “The scrapes they get into”.
“Now you know” said Abi, “that there are no kittens in the wings. Would you like me to put in a good word for you? You could be in the next blog” she winked at him. The old man guffawed again, pulled a couple of fish out of the bucket and lobbed them in the cats’ general direction. Before they landed Misty was already grabbing the first one out of the air with his strong jaws. Marley, a more sophisticated creature, let hers land before she ate. A seagull flew opportunistically down in front of her, and Misty stopped eating long enough to paw at it; a chivalrous move allowing his lady space to finish her dinner. Marley smiled around her mouthful of fish. ‘He’s a keeper’, she thought to herself happily.
(Ex-Pat Scotsman, now Aussie, helped with Monday’s Chocolate Cake Delivery).
30 families fed today. God bless, all – Janine, Duncan and all the ‘Cook-Inn’ animals. xx