It was about 10 days ago. When I left the house bright and early for the bread, there he was. A slim, handsome, very black cat. I came back. He was still there, cowering under a drain cover whenever anybody passed.
He soon became the talk of the street, because as the hours and then the days passed, there he still was, nervous and uncertain, hungry too. The drain cover had become his home. He seemed to crave human company, and to fear it too. Gradually the story emerged. Some new people on the street had turned him out. They didn’t want him back.
We’re away too much to take him in ourselves, though his good looks and charming character made him a tempting proposition. I advertised him instead on the local English-speaking internet network.…and got a reply, from a couple we slightly know who were still in Britain and not back in the area till next week. And because they know they need to go back to the UK in the autumn, if they took him, they would need his rabies jab done now, so he could have his pet passport in time.
Their neighbours rallied round. Today they came and collected him. They’ll take him to the vet and foster him for a week. I’m miffed to report that having been so nervy and reluctant with me all these days, he went straight to them, straight to their cat basket, and uncomplainingly into their car. The day we tried to foster him till his new owners returned to France, he struggled straight out of the house and over the garden fence.
His new name is, it seems, Rocquie. He’s from Laroque you see.
This evening, when I popped out for something, there was another unknown black cat, a female this time, sitting eating the food that friendly neighbours have been leaving for ‘our’ cat. What next I wonder?