Tuesday, 3 July 2012


It was a beautiful house in the otherwise ordinary street. A wild plant had encroached upon the lower steps leading up to a smart black door with a brass letterbox and keyhole. I always thought that it ought to have a brass door knocker in the shape of a lion's head but it did not. The facings of the seven steps up to the house had once been quite dull and grey. Over time I had noticed as I passed the house on the way to work, new tiles.

I had never seen the owner of the house, though I knew her to be a rather old woman. I had heard that she was a little short-sighted so I wondered at the beauty of those tiles and their variety. Perhaps she had tiled the step facings when she was younger I supposed. As my own house was not so easy to transform I admit to some envy at charming front of this house.

One morning I noticed a large handsome cat sitting at the top outside the door. He shut his eyes and smiled in the way that cats do. I nodded politely on my way to work and hurried on. It was a Friday and I had much to do before the weekend arrived.

That evening when I got home I sat over my supper and read the local paper. It was a strange journal and for that I loved it. There were many eccentric people in my area, quite unlike me of course. The garden of Lady Sunflower (as she titled herself and all around the area called her) was a thing of marvels and wonder. Mr Sedgewick at Lumber Road had transformed his home into something resembling a steam train in plain defiance of planning regulations. Yet as it was both safe and habitable it had been left alone. I saw a photo on page 15 of the paper of the tiled steps and was drawn to the accompanying article.

             It seems that a large number of black cats have added a new tile to the 
             step facings at number 12 Limpopo Avenue. They were seen by Miss
            Carraway who asked them the meaning of the new tile. The black cats
            told her that a new King of the Cats had been crowned and the tile
            was to mark the coronation of the new King.
                 As such, we have a new monarch in the area and we join all cats 
            in wishing the new monarch all happiness and long life. Long live
            the King!

I ate my supper and waited until the cat who lived with me should come in for his supper. I waited and waited and when he did not come I put food in his plate and went to bed. The next morning I turned over to find him sound asleep on the bed against my side. He looked unusually the worse for wear and I stroked him gently to flatten his fur down a little. As I lay there stroking him I recalled the article in the newspaper and I wondered with a smile if he had been celebrating the previous night. I got up gently so as not to wake him and prepared myself for the day. I had dressed and brushed my hair before the mirror in my bedroom. As I got up and turned to the window seat I noticed a rather charming small coronet there. I would have picked it up but for the sudden movement on the bed. The cat had woken and was staring intensely at me. I crouched by the bed and placed my hand gently over his paw.

"I am honoured your majesty," I said quietly, adding, "Would you like breakfast?"

He stood and yawned, which I took as a yes and headed for the kitchen followed by the cat. In that one morning I found I was living with royalty.

2 comments:

Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth said...

Wonderful - what a surprise to find oneself living with the King of Cats!

madameshawshank said...

Oh to see that ratehr charming small coronet!...'n Lady Sunflower's garden...G, I'll print the story and take it to the houseowner..I asked if I could take a photo of the steps...the house is in Katoomba..beautiful neck of the woods!