Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Once upon a time . . .

Would you like an old-fashioned story? A story of friendship . . . loss . . . grief . . . and, finally, a happy reunion?

You would . . .? Then off we go . . .

Throughout her short life, Chloe has been the recipient of my kind friends' generosity.
Toys have been showered upon her. When she was a kitten, it was the small mice that she loved. Now that she is a young cat, her favourites are correspondingly larger.

She has two favourites, her elongated leopard and her pink teddy-bear. Forced to choose between her favourites, I suspect that she would opt for the teddy.

The teddy (or should it be 'tedette', you only have to examine her long, winsome eyelashes to know that she is a girl) is the larger, the more resilient, and definitely the more cuddlesome.

Every night, the bear and Chloe play strenuous games around the flat. Every morning I go in search of the bear's new hiding-place. After a night of being kissed and kicked, and lovingly dragged from room to room, she is slightly dirtier, but really none the worse. I return her to the toy basket to enjoy a well-earned rest before the next bout of excitement.

Such was the regular pattern of our life until the other morning . . . when Teddy was nowhere to be found.

I searched . . . Chloe searched. We searched the living-room . . . the bedroom . . . the hall. We looked behind the chairs . . . down the back of the sofa . . . under the bed. Chloe even opted for the aerial view from the cat tree . . . but no bear could we find.
The elongated leopard had to deputise as Chloe's friend and confidante, but it wasn't the same. As Chloe and I both recognised, the small, pink bear was sorely missed.

Come the evening, I was getting supper in the kitchen when, all at once, I heard an unexpected rustle from behind the door. It came from the corner where I keep a stack of reusable carrier bags.

Carrier bags . . . ? Chloe, I remembered, loved playing with carrier bags. What if . . . ?

I pulled back the door to discover a burrowing Chloe deep inside a bag. And in the bag with her?
Yes . . . there, in a place where I would never have thought of looking, was her missing teddy bear!

By what reasoning, I wondered, had she reckoned that her favourite toy would like to be abandoned in an empty carrier bag behind the kitchen door?

No matter . . . the ecstatic reunion was a joy to behold!