The Curious Incident of the Cat at The Buddhist Centre

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Blimey, December is upon us, Hypothetical Audience, and in just under 30 days, Christmas will be upon us, and then New Year; the world will have rotated a full 360 degrees, and it still won’t have snowed in Plymouth. The rest of the UK it seems is covered in it – I wonder if the weather will hold out and give us a magical, so-often-sung-about white Christmas this year. Well not me … I live in Plymouth, but everyone else at least.

Last night was interesting; not only because November just decided to end without warning, but because a mysterious cat decided to take refuge from the cold at the most apt of moments. As of yet, snow has yet to grace my fair city, but the air is still bitter and when the wind picks up the cold pushes through to the bone. So, it’s unsurprising that when a lost cat, who had been out in the elements for a little while saw a door open, he took the opportunity and ran inside. The problem is, he didn’t want to leave. Of course he didn’t know that moments before, a group of mediators had just been discussing the prospects of a centre cat, even going as far as to give it a name, a Russian origin, and a preposterous life-story. You can image our shock when a little grey-tabby seems to have heeded our call. However, he knows the outside conditions, and this furry little fellow is sure as hell not going back out into them; to be honest, neither would I.

After an hour, we thought he may have warmed up enough to brave the elements, but when we placed him back outside, he stood on the doorstep meowing pathetically until we allowed him back inside. When we later dropped him outside the front gate, he scaled the wall and did the same. The screw-tag attached to his tattered, purple collar, revealed a name and a number, but the hour was late, and the gentleman who owned the poor thing couldn’t be reached. Obviously, he, nicknamed Meowski, after his imaginary Russian counterpart, would be staying until morning, or shivering outside on the step all night. As Buddhists, we of course, chose the former.

Having had experience with sleeping with cats in the room, I offered to take little Meowski for the night, predicting a restless night for the both of us. Fortunately, he was an angel, and curled up straight away on the desk-chair where he pretty much stayed all night. That was after he found the bearings of my untidy abode – trying to claw his way into the wardrobe, and hunting beneath the bed.

In the morning I feared he might both be hungry and desperate for a toilet break, so I placed him back outside the back gate, and immediately he came back inside. What was I going to feed him in a Buddhist centre. I tried tofu; he was unimpressed by my effort. The owner finally answered his phone some two hours of phoning later, and told me that he was grateful for the cat-rescue, and that he would be back to pick up his beloved pet as soon as possible. Meowski, who hadn’t eaten anything, never complained or scratched at the door. In fact, he made himself very comfortable on my bed, and there he remained for the rest of the morning. He’s a beautiful cat, with white paws like four small socks, and a smudge on the right side of his muzzle.

The time of his impromptu visit still has me shell-shocked. He’s happily back with his owner now, and is no worse for wear.

Congratulations NaNoWriMos winners, almost winners, and not-so-near-winners. This years toil is over. Rest your wary wrists. Meanwhile, my struggle has just begun, having failed to meet a deadline this week. Please  note, this is very unusual, and the work had no professional requirements (that’s what I keep telling myself). I’ll be catching up this week. 

The book review … by Friday … ? …

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