From our Church Mag – Dec

Eulogy for a fiend

I’m quite honoured this month. I’ve been asked to write a piece about a much loved yet much maligned (in this column) member of the Hopkinson family. Sox the cat. I first saw Sox as a kitten at the rectory. I wanted to pick him up then, but I held back as he wasn’t my cat. Mind you, he wasn’t the Hopkinsons’ cat either, He was no one’s. Cats own themselves. If anything, he would have owned a Hopkinson human once he’d chosen which one he wanted. Besides, he was far too busy jumping on the furniture and being curious about everything.

As a young cat, he had a wanderlust that I think is second nature for toms. He went walkabout and wasn’t found, as I recall, for several days. Perhaps he was visiting dad at work, as he was snared near Great Berry school, which as we all know is within spitting distance of St. John’s.

He was chipped soon after, but I would still see him wandering up and down The Badgers as if he owned the road. Actually he did. Anyone who’s ever had a cat will know that whatever they put their scent on becomes theirs.

Whenever I got the chance, I’d fight Mrs. Jericho to be the one to feed him when Colin and co. went on their hols. Any other time, he wouldn’t give you the time of day, but he was all over you when he knew you were coming round to give him dinner.

He was a very affectionate cat, often shown by sinking his claws and teeth into the ankles of the one feeding him, but again cat carers will tell you that you become immune to scratches and bites if a cat allows you to live in its house. I received a couple of nips along the way, but they were never as bad as Colin said they could be. Once you learn the signals that a cat is about to sink it’s canines (shouldn’t they be called felines?) into you, you soon learn to dodge.

He was not entirely useless at keeping 105A Berry Lane rodent free. Mrs J saw the remains of numerous mice. I only ever saw one and that was intact, so it must have been a fresh kill.

To be struck down by illness at such a young age was very sad. Mrs J never thought our own cat would outlive Sox, her being so small and frail looking compared to him, but life is full of ironies like that. Some medieval philosopher once said God created cats that man may caress the tiger. I will celebrate Sox’s life by remembering what a smashing cat he was and it was a joy to have known him. RIP, tiger.

***

Colin’s recent sermon about sheep and goats was a bit scary. Apparently, come judgment day, all the sheep will separated from the goats and they’ll go to Heaven. The goats will end up frying in the eternal fire.

I suppose they have to put something in the curry, but it’s a bit rough that your final fate should be decided by an accident of birth.

***

Finally, on the subject of animals, Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, so may I wish you all the compliments of the season and I hope your Christmas isn’t a turkey.

I’m Ben Jericho, telling it like it is. See you in 2012. Juggle dem meeces Soxy.

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