I don’t know why but there seem to be not many feline residents in our neighbourhood. Since Hubbie and I moved into our present loft more than a decade ago, we haven’t seen a single cat, domesticated or feral, crossing a street or parking a furry bum at a front porch and grooming itself. Come to think of it seriously, my last sighting of moggie was when I happened to walk past a cat cafe on Rivington Street. I saw a tabby looking out through the window while perching on the cat tower. Is that all?! How bizarre! Where are you, cats?
Anyway, my girl Bella hadn’t met any cat until she bumped into one at a village post office in Postbridge…
There was a black & white cat on the shop floor, minding its own business while a post mistress dealing with the customers.
So how did she react to her very first encounter with a feline kind?
Ultra-super keen to befriend it. She was so overenthusiastic and the cat was definitely not on the same wavelength. It gave her a quick glance and disappeared behind the louvre. ‘Why? I only wanna say hallo to you!’ Bella was crestfallen.
The post office also served as a general store and some snacks and hot drinks were available from the counter. ‘A Cornish pasty please!’ A woman queuing before me asked the mistress. ‘Heated up?’ ‘Yes, please!’ She disappeared behind the door and the familiar hum of a microwave oven filled the quiet shop floor. Soon after a chime of the oven rang, the mistress emerged with a bag and handed it to the woman. Then she turned to me and asked ‘How can I help you?’ I ordered a cup of hot chocolate and she disappeared into the back room again. This time, I heard the hiss of an electric kettle and the sound of rattling spoon as the mistress was giving a good stir to the cocoa powder. While I waited for my drink, I studied the interior of the post office / store. The shelves were sparsely filled with household essentials, such as toilet rolls, cleaning products, washing powders, sliced breads, bottled condiments, newspapers, weekly magazines, soft drinks, etc. Since the high season of Dartmoor was long gone and over, the shop seemed to be slowly getting ready for hibernation.
The mistress came out with a paper cup, ‘£1.40, please!’ I handed her the money and walked out of the store with Bella in tow.
There were two wooden benches in front of the post office and I settled myself in one of them. The hot chocolate was unexpectedly rich and moreish and the warm November sunshine made the fallen leaves, which Bella was busy flipping over, looked like golden nuggets. Ahhh, what a blissful moment! Then, I noticed that we were watched…
That black & white cat came out of the door and sat itself down. I think she was curious about Bella. ‘Look Bella. The cat is back!’
Two of them stared at each other for quite a long time. Then, the cat lost interest in her and walked away behind the telephone box.
I wondered what Bella made out of her first encounter with a feline kind. She probably thought it was an unfriendly dog?