It’s time to reveal the second great love of my life.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Podae.
How to pronounce that name? Say POE-day, and you’ve got it correct. Or, like us, you could call any one of the myriad of nicknames we’ve got for him:
Podder, Podlet, Pod-a-Pod, Poddle, Podger.....
Podae is a Russian Blue, so he’s sleek and silvery and elegant. His fur is deep blue-gray, and burnished with magnesium edges around his paws.
He’s got a tail that he wags like a fly-fisherman, in great balletic loops; and you can always tell how he’s feeling from wagginess of his tail. If he’s happy, he wags chirpily. If he’s sick, he doesn’t wag at all. If he’s being chased by Fatpuss or the Grimth, it’s arched and pointed and stiff! If he’s curled up on my lap, it’s tucked in over his nose.
We got him on the same day as the Fatpuss, from the same dodgy breeder.
Out we went to the big cat runs where litters of kittens tumbled over each other. She opened up a gate and we handled a few, all warm and soft and purry. My word, I wanted them all! How could anyone resist such delicious little bundles of kitteny goodness?
One pale, pale silver male stood out to me, and I gave him a test cuddle. Eh. It was like handling a beautiful, empty vase. So he was cute, but didn’t have a lot more going for him. Resting on his pretty laurels, he was, like so many other cute boys do.
I tried a few more. The female one went stiff and stuck all her legs out like prickles and wouldn’t let me hold her. So, not her then!
I don’t know what it was that made me reach for the Podder … maybe his giant ears, rotating like satellite dishes to pick up every sound within a radius of ten kilometres.
Or maybe it was his beautiful sea-green eyes, looking longingly out at me through a veil of tears as I stood at the entrance to his cage.
As I picked him up and brought him to my chest, he bobbed upwards in my arms and gave me a great big smooching kiss on the cheek, which made me laugh. We had a little pat and then I handed him to My One True Love, and he immediately smooch-kissed him as well. Podae I mean, not my husband – I’d have been slightly disturbed if my husband smooch-kissed a cat.
We ummed and erred for a minute – the first pale silver male was SO beautiful – but the Podae was so friendly – god, which one to choose? A beautiful but empty-headed boy you have no connection with but would be able to show off and parade around, or the one you feel a deep and instant connection with? Ah, it's just like picking a boyfriend when you're a teenager, isn't it?
I think I already knew the answer, but it wouldn't be lying to say that I was also ever so slightly seduced by the temptation of owning a cat with the beauty of an alabaster statue.
I took the Podlet up again into my arms, and he sneezed all over me, bits of snot flying out left, right and centre, and the cat breeder assured us that oh my goodness me NO, under no circumstances did he have cat flu, heavens to betsy, it was just a little cold, nothing to worry about, never you mind, clear up in a couple of days, just due to the sudden cold snap. Ha! We learnt differently on our first vaccination visit to the vet.
But then this little kitten kissed me again. And I looked at him, with his beguiling green eyes gazing up at me through the pearls of yellow snot beaded on his pale grey whiskers.
And I knew I wasn’t going to have to make the choice, because he’d already chosen us.