Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Chione the cat

I need to begin this vignette by telling you that our cat has been with us for 15 years and is the longest lived, by far, of any of our cats, but only lately has she begun to show us any kind of affection. And that is always on her terms, of course.

She has always hidden when we've had visitors, but in the last six months, she is very happy to cosy up to them because they all stay in the garden. Is that because she has an easy escape?

She is called Chione (pronounced key-ony, which is Greek for's an allusion to an ancient Roman prostitute - oh, ask Dave!), and this is what she looked like when she first came to live with us:

She is still as pretty, though rather bigger:

I am not sentimental about her because she has always been so touchy. The vet himself described her as 'full of character.' 

I have even been known to say in her hearing that Zoe's beloved late cat Chui was the nicest cat I have ever met.

Chione has become friendlier in the last few years. Maybe she's forgiven Dave for calling her after a prostitute.

Anyway, I have always been as kind to her as if were sentimental about her. Of course.

So when she was off-colour it was me who first noticed, well before her face was swollen. I took her to the vet and they diagnosed an abscess in her mouth. She needed that dealing with and a tooth taking out.

On Monday morning I left her at the vet's. You're not allowed in the building now. You have to phone them from the car park and they come out and take your pet from you. In case of bad weather, there's a gazebo with a metal topped table underneath.

When I went to collect her at teatime, it was dark and damp and a bright moon was flitting in and out of the clouds. It felt strange waiting outside for them to bring her out to me. Did I subconsciously feel as though I was collecting a child from school? I don't know, but I'd been waiting some time, and when the veterinary nurse had finished talking to someone else, I heard myself say "Hello. My name is Sue Hepworth and I've come to collect Chione Hepworth."

What? Chione Hepworth?  

I cringed. There was a woman standing 6 feet away from me, waiting for her pet, and I was so embarrassed to think she might have heard me, that I hastily told her what I'd said and what a fool I felt, and did she think it was the weird, unfamiliar scenario?  She seemed sympathetic, and said - 'Yes, it's all very strange, isn't it?' 

But now I'm thinking she might have been one of those pet owners who give their surname to their pets on the pet's gravestone. Does your pet share your surname?

I'm delighted to say that Chione is doing well, and almost back to her old self again.


marmee said...

For some reason never knew you had a cat! I used to be the cattest of cat ladies! Long story but I ended up with 11 feral cats in various stages of being tamed ! One bit me in a finger joint, do not pass go, go straight to hospital! Anyway the final four of my beloved group of cats only went to their long homes after becoming over 25 years old! The last old lady died about 4 years ago and left my heart feeling very bruised indeed ...

Sue Hepworth said...

Gosh, you are a REAL cat lady!
Our other 5 cats were all male, and I don’t think any of them made it past age 10, three of them being knocked down at the age of 3. One of these was an utter cutie, whom I was very fond of. RIP Whizzy.