Monday, May 19, 2014

the arrival of oberon

A few days after losing Mao, I had a dream that another cat found me. He was a big chocolate-brown bear of a cat, so naturally enough I called him Bear. It may or may not be pertinent that I have a thing about bears, and also a thing about John Irving novels, which also have a thing about bears. But I digress.

When looking for our next cat, I was not really looking for a cat at all, and not for a Mao either. I was looking for a Bear. When I found the little Tabby/Tonkinese cross on Gumtree I was not sure he looked much like a Bear, but I wasn't sure what name would suit him. Then one morning I flicked open my very dog-eared baby name book and the first word my eyes fell on was Auberon (also spelt Oberon). And the meaning: Gentle bear.

We picked up our little bundle one recent overcast Sunday, after a long drive to the surprisingly affluent western suburbs of Sydney. And after the long drive home, we introduced our Oberon to HRH Violet and the result was not entirely unexpected. Much hissing and spitting but very little actual contact ensued for the next several hours until they settled on a respectful distance and realised that they in fact had more in common than first thought. By the next evening I had both of them asleep on my lap. At once.

But Oberon, or Obi as we have taken to calling him (Obi Wan Kenobi may have been mentioned once or twice), is no gentle bear. He is much more like a tiny leopard, all legs-like-steel-springs and wily manouevres on an ever unsuspecting Violet. He can be such a mischievous little boy, much like I imagine any little boy can sometimes be, and while I chastise him for his endless torment of poor Violet, I think both she and I can't help but love him. They will play, then fight, then play some more, then I'll find them curled up together on a chair where they'll sleep for hours. And when all is quiet at the end of another long day, and I fall onto the lounge to savour my thank-god-that's-over cuppa, I will feel a small presence beside me and my little leopard will jump onto my lap and curl up as quiet as a lamb. No bears allowed.

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