MALEVICH chose us as much as we chose him. There was a knowing, pleading look to his innocent eyes as he gazed up at us on our first meeting. He seemed to sense that we would make decent new parents.
If you’ve ever been to a rescue centre, you’ll know how sad it is that you can’t take them all home, and give them all a new life. My husband and I had walked up and down the pens at Cats Protection, peering in, reading the name tags and notes, our hearts twisting at the thought of picking one because it meant effectively rejecting the others. Many were asleep. Some were docile, others were young and lively but had to be homed with a sibling. And then, in the very last pen, was a sole black beauty.
Alert and desperate to be let out, but without the mischievousness of a kitten, Marley struck the perfect balance between curiosity, tolerating humans and a cat’s natural superior indifference to people.
Some rescue animals would have used the opportunity of freedom from the pen to shoot off, but Malevich (his given name was Marley, but I wanted a unique formal name for him; though we still used Marley for short) was mature enough to stick around, without demeaning himself by reciprocating any affection.
Evidently, in his six years, he had not learnt to receive love from any owners – but we weren’t about to let that situation continue. Continue reading