This is Bubbie: well, “Bubbie aka Church, Herman Miller, Rameses, Winston and 500 other names”. This was the answer I got when I asked the cat’s name. What an answer – it would take 4 or 5 blog posts to unpack those names, and a fair bit of googling. Herman Miller alone has me trying to knit together literary greats, whales and dying salesmen – but I’m not quite sure how one cat could.
Still, if any cat could, Bubbie could. He was rather a character. A Selkirk Rex, with no whiskers – which I now learn, is not uncommon in these regal pusses, whose curly whiskers sometimes just curl too far and break off (an Edwardian children’s author, might be able to extract a moral from this tendency – but perhaps whiskers are allowed to curl with impunity in these more modern times). Anyhow, according to his rather wonderful owner, who has a whole trunkful of stories about him, Bubbie was friendly, fearless and persistent, he could fetch like a dog, scale Christmas trees, and pick out a decent husband for her. My dog fetches like a dog too, but as to picking out a husband, if it were left up to Jeffy, I would be running off with every delivery man, boy or lady who comes to the door. I couldn’t afford the hire on the marquees. So yes, it does sound like that Bubbie was quite something.
Oh, and his colouring: like smoke billowing up from a bonfire of fallen leaves, or Autumn’s celebrated mists – it curls and wreathes round him. It seems alive in its own right – perhaps that’s just down to the curl of any Selkirk Rex, but I like to think there’s something of Bubbie’s spirit caught in this.
Here’s his beginning:
And here he is – held up to the light, for a rather gloriously spooky effect, rather fitting for Hallowe’en.
And rather fitting for Bubbie too, for Bubbie died recently. But Bubblie, lovely Bubbie, seems still to be keeping an eye on things down here. Odd things happen: a container of his favourite treats, falls off the shelf for no reason, and there are half-seen movements out of the corner of your eye. At this point, his owner reassured me that there was nothing spooky about this, and I pass that on to you, just in case you are, like me, a recovering spookaholic (I blame over-exposure to Scooby Doo as a child, and having a spookaholic older brother). So, not scary, just lovely.
We’ll let the pictures tell their story:
There are a lot of stitches in those eyes. It felt like every time I stared deeply into Bubbie’s eyes, I would find another shade of yellow in there. I began to sense that he was mesmerising me, as he used to mesmerise Trig, a Trigger fish of his acquaintance. I pulled myself away, at last, and pronounced him done. It was about then I started looking for whiskers where no whiskers were (try saying that in a hurry, on a dark night).
And when I found there really were none, I was all done. Here he is:
And here are those eyes again:
…with a stitch for every adventure, for every story stored up in his owner’s memory.