July 15, 2007
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I went to Cats for the first time in ages yesterday and took the opportunity to rummage around in their files for the original paperwork on Elgar. And got a bit of a shock. Turns out that everything I thought about his previous history is wrong! His documentation listed that he was handed in by a man who was the brother of the owner. The cat’s name was given as "Mary’s cat 1". First mistake: evidently, the owner was called Mary and therefore not an old man as I thought! (Presumably whoever wrote up the notice for Elgar’s pen saw the male name and assumed the owner had been a man.) Second mistake: clearly, Elgar was not called Elgar when he was brought in! A member of staff had later written "CP name=Elgar" on the form. Ah, toss. The only reason I kept his name was cos I thought he was used to it… and now it’s too late. (Mind you, what on earth would I have called him if I’d changed it? Um…)
I mentioned this to the Centre manager and her response was "Oh my god, THAT’S Mary’s cat?!" Turns out ‘Mary’ was an elderly woman who lived a few doors down from Cats. Whenever she went into hospital, the Centre would look after her cats. Yep, cats plural. There was always at least two – and at the time of Elgar being rehomed, Mary had another, enormous, cat who actually now lives with the person who bought her house. This enormous cat, Elgar’s brother (his brother!), is a real bruiser and torments the Centre manager’s cats. So I guess that could explain why Elgar doesn’t stand up for himself when faced with the neighbourhood mogs – he’s used to his brother doing all the dirty work!
There’s also quite a sad aspect to Mary’s story. She had a son who would mentally and physically abuse her. She eventually had to go to court to make him stay away from her, which is just shocking. But this could also explain Elgar’s fear of men and his more general nervousness – let’s face it, if someone can beat up their own mother they’re not going to think twice about kicking a cat, are they?
My poor little baby. Everything makes a bit more sense now.