Pepsi the cat is determined to become part of the Baldwin Family. He actually lives next door but he is never at home. He is always round the Baldwins.
You can’t blame him too much for that because I have found there is always a warm welcome waiting at the home of the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her family. That’s where Mr B and I spent our weekend and
nobody asked us didn’t we have a home to go to, so it would have been a bit rich of me to object when Pepsi jumped up on the sofa and head-butted me a few times. Even, indeed, when he tried to snatch my biscuit out of my hand, at the
precise moment between dunking it in my coffee and making its way into my mouth. This, as every Biscuit Dunker knows, is the critical moment when absolutely anything can happen – though we are talking here in the main about biscuit disintegration, not
the unwanted attentions of a cat burglar.
If TS Eliot had known Pepsi, then he would undoubtedly have found room for him in his famous Cat-a-Logue, Old Possum’s
Book of Practical Cats. He would have been a mixture of Macavity (the cat who is never there when you look for him but always there when you aren’t expecting him – just like Pepsi) and Mr Mistoffelees, who’s a bit of a feline magician –
much like Pepsi who can magic himself into the Baldwin Family Home even with every door and window closed.
In case you are wondering at my in-depth knowledge of
Old Possum and his cats, practical and otherwise, it’s because my Saturday evening was spent watching Jack and Hazel and their Limelight friends Zoe, Connor and Sean in a fabulous production of “Cats” by a youth theatre group called BATS
Next Gen. As the Middle of the Darling Daughters (who went to the matinee performance entrusting her sister and me with care of Young "Demolition Boy" Faris) it was “amazeballs.”
It was fortunate indeed that the kids had posted photographs of themselves in their cat suits, wigs and make-up or it might have been hard to pick them out among the 45 cats and kittens on stage. However it helped
that Jack, as Coricopat, and Hazel, as Tantomile, were wearing matching costumes. I always think they stand out from any crowd anyway, proud Nan that I am, and yesterday was no exception. They were both truly fantastic. The same went for Zoe, the
Dancing Queen, with her bright pink wig and acrobatics – and for Connor who brought the house down with a poignant portrayal of the ageing Gus, quivering paws and all, musing on past triumphs with the sympathetic Jellylorum (known as Jess when she
isn’t being Jellylorum.)
A kindle of kittens had been specially added into this youth production, the youngest just nine years old. I hope you are impressed
at my use of the collective noun for a group of kittens not of the same litter. It was a question we were asked on The Bag, which is a radio general knowledge quiz Mr B and partake of every weekday evening before we drift off to sleep. We didn’t know
the answer but I have determined to use "a kindle of kittens" at every possible opportunity so that I remember it forever.
Have you ever watched cats for any length of time? The way they preen,
scratch themselves and each other, curl and twist and slink about as if they own the place? The 45 youngsters on stage gave eerily accurate depictions of cat-like behaviour – and managed to maintain their feline characteristics throughout the whole performance. As
a show it was sheer magic – congratulations to all concerned.
Waiting for the triumphant performers to emerge from their dressing rooms, the Youngest of
the Darling Daughters and I were bewailing the fact that, once again, we had forgotten to buy our two Super Cats flowers and / or balloons to say “Well Done!” Other, more thoughtful, parents and grandparents were ready with bouquets of
tulips and balloons on sticks with “Congrats” written across them. I comforted myself with the thought that I had sent a good luck card into their dressing room, only to find out later that Jack had forgotten to pass it onto his sister. Well,
at least I tried. Still, when Hazel finally emerged she was clutching two bunches of beautiful flowers from kind well-wishers.
Back Chez Baldwin,
the kids are too high on excitement to go straight to bed. Pepsi appears from nowhere and starts his gentle head-butting. Jack scoops him up in one hand while checking all the messages of congratulations on Facebook with the other.
“Did you enjoy it, Nan?” he asks. I don’t have to think for a minute.
was amazeballs,” I say.