Straighter than narrow
Wherever we go, everyone knows,
It’s me and my Arrow
Harry Nilssson 1970
The cat clung desperately to the boy on a bicycle as he rode into the school yard.
‘Here’s the cat I was telling you about,’ he called out to his teacher.
‘I thought you said it was a Siamese,’ replied Leo. ’This cat looks like a bit of everything’
‘It’s mum is Siamese but as for its dad, who knows?’
Leo had never seen an uglier cat. It was tortoiseshell in colour, skinny but strong and not averse to showing its claws and teeth.
I wonder what Joanne will think?
He needn’t have worried. She was used to cats and decided to keep it without question.
They both agreed on the name Arrow after watching an animated TV show called ‘The Point’ where Oblio, the pointless boy, had a dog called Arrow.
Arrow had inherited a Siamese cat temperament. She didn’t like to be held for long, exploring the flat from top to bottom, including shimmying up the curtains.
Leo and Joanne were horrified as Arrow made herself at home. They had been working every weekend to give the flat more of a modern vibe. Leo’s parent gave them free reign. They painted the kitchen cupboards white and lined the walls with red, black and silver patterned contact paper. The dark bathroom became known as ‘the sunny’, with yellow walls contrasting with the green painted water pipes.
Honan matting squares brightened up the floor (but were a devil to clean). Leo made book shelves which filled two walls above the lounge and Joanne sewed purple curtains shot with red. The bedroom had a bright orange quilt to make up for the dark heavy wardrobe.
They both loved antique furniture and spent many hours searching antique stores for their future home. They couldn’t afford the coveted writing desk, the marble topped hall stand or the chiffonier but they both fell in love with a silky oak round table and six chairs. Many hours were spent in the backyard, sanding the accumulated grime of many years off the legs, arms, splats and spindles. Arrow happily leapt from chair to chair.
Once they went camping to St Georges Basin, taking Arrow with them. She disappeared on the first day and they thought they would never see her again. She must have used up some of her nine lives but on the day they were to leave she reappeared.
Arrow became sick. They took her to the vet and found she had an incurable condition commonly found in Siamese cats. How unfortunate for Arrow to have missed out on the good looks but to have inherited a health condition. Arrow’s pointy little face looked at Joanne anxiously as she said a last goodbye. Hers was a short life but she would be remembered as a cat with a prickly personality, much loved by her young owners.