21 May 2013


Klawed is my cat. He is one very chilled out and very cool puss. He is aloof and classy and chic. He is the dude. He used to live with me here in Singapore for awhile but he now lives back in Australia. My daughter Charlotte who I call Totty sent me this picture of Klawed today:

This is Klawed in a very typical posture. He is reclining on a pillow and a yak blanket that was bought from Nepal. Klawed is a connoisseur of comfort and he does as he pleases. We have always had both dogs and cats in my family and I have generally been more of a dog than a cat person. Klawed changed all that. Our dogs always came to us when we called them with their tails a wagging and their wet pink tongues hanging out. When we call for Klawed he mostly takes a message and gets back to us. 

He is the epitome of nonchalance.

There is great dispute in my family back in Australia about the correct spelling of the name Klawed. The rest of my family believe that the spelling should in fact be Clawed. It was never Claude. However I was responsible for the completion of all documentation that was involved in the transportation of Klawed from Australia to Singapore and then back again. There was a vast amount of documents and money involved in this transportation. There were veterinary certificates, quarantine documents, shipping forms and permits. In each instance the spelling of his name is Klawed - not Clawed and never Claude. Therefore as far as I and a number of legal authorities are concerned his name is most definitely Klawed.

Singapore was no place for Klawed. It is very hot here all of the time and Klawed is an explorer. It was simply too humid for him to venture outside during the day and it was dangerous for him to go too far at night. The local Singaporean cats are dangerous and feral. They have no tails and they like to fight. Like me, my Klawed is a lover - not a fighter. 

He always has been.

Klawed did enjoy his adventures at night here in Singapore though. He would often return to my house with a lizard that he had caught. Small geckos abound here on the island. Klawed would regularly arrive at the back door of my house with a live gecko in his mouth and he would paw at the door to be let in. The back verandah of my house led onto a park in which Klawed would like to have his adventures. Cautious and careful explorations and adventures. He would then let the gecko go when I let him inside and he would chase it around the lounge room. He would taunt it and tease it. I would always try and catch the lizards and release them back outside but sometimes I couldn't - and after a while Klawed would rip the lizards asunder. There would be lizard blood and guts everywhere. 

It was a hell of a mess to clean up.

I remember very clearly the day that we got Klawed. My children were very little then and our old cat had just died. She was a very old cat and she left the world peacefully.

We have always had dogs and cats and rabbits and guinea pigs as pets and we had many litters of kittens and puppies. My son Tom craved a ferret as well but we never got around to getting one – but I can't remember why this did not eventuate. It is my experience that both cats and women generally do as they want and please and we men and our dogs simply need to chill out and accept this notion. 

It is just the way things are.

On the day we went to get Klawed we went to the animal shelter and I recall saying to my family in the car on the way that I wanted a kitten that was black and fluffy. At the shelter there was a very large kitten compound with more than a hundred little kittens inside. They had all been abandoned. It was terribly sad. The people at the shelter would only let a few people at a time into the compound. There was a long queue so we had to wait.

I immediately noticed one tiny black ball of fluff in amongst the mass of kittens. A little girl and her Mum were already in the compound and to my horror I watched through the wire mesh fence as the little girl pick up the black ball of fluff and say, "Mummy I want this one". I wanted to scream out, "No he is mine!" - but I didn't of course. To my enormous relief the Mum said, "No he has too much hair and will be difficult to groom".

We were eventually let inside the kitten compound and I purposely sat down on a chair while Sandi and Totty ran around picking up different kittens. They were ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ over a number of kittens. It was no surprise to me at all that this little black ball of fluff strolled nonchalantly up to me and started rubbing himself up against my legs because I had sent him strong psychic messages.

My boy Tom referred to this rubbing against our legs as 'dearing' and it is a term that I have always thought as being very descriptive and appropriate. After a short while the tiny black ball of fluff stopped his dearing and jumped up onto my lap. He curled up and started purring. He had a mighty and loud little engine. I called out to Sandi and Totty to stop their search. 

This kitten had chosen me.

In the car on the way back home we were debating what to call this new little pussy cat of ours. We  were throwing names around. Little Charlotte was in the back seat of the car and she was holding onto the little kitten. She was only a tiny toddler at the time and she loudly declared that his name was Klawed. She didn't know the correct spelling at the time as she was so little that she had not yet learned to write. We think that she much have been influenced by the Hairy MacLary books that we used to read her. In these books one of the cunning and crafty black cats was named "Scarface Claw'. I have previously written about the delightful books called Hairy MacLary so I will not elaborate any further here. Read the books yourselves – no matter what age you might be they will captivate you.

When I say that Klawed is my cat I am probably incorrect. It is more accurate to say that I belong to him – we all do. He is no longer a tiny ball of fluff. He is a big and silky and handsome man. 

I miss him very much.

Getting this picture from my Totty today makes me miss her very much as well. She is all grown up and like Klawed she is no longer a baby. I have missed her transition from being my little baby girl to being a beautiful and vibrant young lady and I will never get that back. It wrenches me inside. She is gorgeous and smart and very mature. She has always declared that she wanted to be a writer and she is determined that she will be. She already is actually. Her school essays are incredibly descriptive and insightful and I am so proud of her. 

The world is her oyster.

I took this picture of her only a couple of months ago when I was back in Australia. We were at my brother's house and she was with her cousin and best friend - my niece Georgie.

Here is a picture of her - she is so beautiful.

Chill out Sandi! Relax. I rang her up a little while ago and asked her if I could put her picture here and he said it was alright. She told me that she wanted me to post it:

Here is a picture of Totty with her cousin Georgina. It was taken on the same day. They are the very best of friends and have been since the day they were born.

Before they could walk and before they could talk. 

They are like sisters and they see each other every day.

I wish that my Totty were sitting next to me right now and we could talk about books and writing and words and everything. I wish that Klawed were curled up on my lap with his little purring engine rumbling away. 

I miss them terribly.

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