There’s a cat who comes to see us and we’ve named him Sylvie. We don’t have a pet of our own because my husband has Asthma and allergies, and my eldest is highly allergic to everything (including hypoallergenic animals). Anyway, this cat pops over to see us. Circling at the back door and saying “Miaow” until we open the door and say, “Hello Sylvie. How lovely to see you.” My daughter chats to him delightedly. She has learning disability, so it’s heartwarming to see her so animated chatting to the animal while the cat listens and stretches and looks and engages – especially when we can’t have a cat of our own. My daughter tries her best not to stroke Sylvie, and if she does we fix her with a Piriton. The joy of the encounter with the lovely cat is worth more than the discomfort of the red eyes and sneezing that follow.

At work the other day Nicola started laughing. “I’ve just had a WhatsApp from Lynne,” she declared. Lynne is our neighbour and friend. Nicola continued to read the text aloud. It read, “FFS! Nostrils has eaten all of Missy’s food again.”

“No way,” I said. “Does it just come in and nick the food?” “Yes,” said Nic. “It’s such a naughty cat. He sits on my bird table too – waiting to kill the garden birds. I often look out at the garden and see feathers everywhere!”

Nic turned her phone around so I could see the accompanying photographic evidence that Lynne had sent to her. And there it was. Nostrils standing on Lynne’s cupboard eating all of Missy’s cat food.



Then the realisation.

Sylvie the “What a lovely cat” and Nostrils the “Such a naughty cat” are the same cat, aren’t they?! None of us know its real name. All we know is that Sylvie a delight at my house and Nostrils is a nightmare at Nic and Lynne’s houses.

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October 08, 2023 — Deborah Price