Twinkle's story


born 10th March 1979

Two neighbours who Myrtle had known for many years before we met are Jack and Judy. Jack was then a master butcher and one of his assistants came to him one day asking if he would like another cat as their family had a litter to home. Jack told him that his one cat, Fred, was enough for him, but he would ask us if we had room for yet another. As the implied threat was that the kitten would be 'disposed of' if no one wanted it, then we said yes, of course. The next day Jack brought the kitten home with him that evening and to his surprise Fred accepted it without any fuss! Jack was in two minds then as to whether or not to keep it, but after he had eaten, brought it up to us anyway. That was the tiny little black and white fluffy kitten that we called Twinkle, after the quote for his birthday in our birthday book. "The lengthening spring dusks, with their silver stars and luminous horizons. . . ."

In the end, Jack got rather more of Twinkle than he anticipated, and it was almost as good as owning him. Fred remained great friends with the new kitten until the end of his life, and they played together in our two gardens and houses. Fred even developed the habit of using our house as a shortcut to where he wanted to go, coming in one cat door and exiting by the other. The two of them delighted both our families by their chases and rough and tumbles, which often looked really rough to human eyes!

Another favourite game of the two boys was for Twink to leave our house when we unlocked the cat flaps each morning and then rush down to let himself in Fred's catflap, which was not normally locked. Having greeted each other, they would then tear up the stairs to Jack and Judy's bedroom, round and over the bed and occupants, round the bath, back down the stairs, bank off the front door and, bang, bang, out of the cat flap. Wonderfully exciting. Some years later we had a new fence erected between the gardens and that was OK for them until Fred got a bit elderly. I lifted a small panel off the ground on blocks so that Fred could get underneath thus without needing to jump, and they kept visiting each other until Fred died. Not long after that another neighbour got a ginger cat very similar to Fred, and Twink took up with Marmaduke - we guess he liked red coloured cats, although the friendship could never be so intense. By the way, Jack decided to get another cat some while later who he called Fred II. Twink never cottoned on to him though.

Before that though, while still very young, Twink got himself another friend, but that was not a cat but a rabbit! The children of a neighbour had it but were not very good at checking that its was secure in it's run - the garden fences were not rabbit proof, so every now and again it would appear eating it's way through our longer grass (and lush weeds!). When Twink first came across it, the rabbit jumped and ran and when trying to chase it, Twink also tried rabbit jumps! He got very good at it. With such a large garden, and the nursery land not being looked after properly, there were always plenty of birds flying around and they knew about all our cats, so kept a few feet off the ground when passing from one place to another. Twink had obviously studied them and practiced his jumping until we saw him one day waiting for some low flying birds, whereupon he ascended high into the air right in their flight path! Crash to the ground went a bird with Twink on top. With practice he became very good at it as there were always a few newcomers who did not know that cats can fly too! Most of his story is in Chapter 16 of our History (link under menu, Text). There is also an Album (link under menu, Text, Albums, Twinkle the first).

Here are two favourite photos of him.

His first day treat! Grown up Twink with Fred

He was 16 when he died on 2nd July 1995 in Denmark.

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