Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moggie the school cat



I wrote this story some time ago, and posted it on my other site: annkschin.blogspot last year. Now that I have been chatting with Gattina who has a site specially for cat stories, I thought my Moggie is a sweet story.

This is a story of a cat that comes to the school where I work in Pt Chevalier, Auckland New Zealand.

Moggie was there in the morning, Moggie was there during the day, Moggie was there when the children left for home. Moggie, the grey and white, long-haired Persian cat, had become the children's mascot.

The principal, Mrs. Shaw, implored the children, “Please do not feed the cat, he is not a stray. He belongs to somebody.”

Did the children care? Did the children listen?

Of course not! children never do.

The children shared their sausage rolls, pies, cakes, fish fingers, and so on from their lunch boxes behind their teachers' back.

“Here, puss, puss, puss.”

“Have some of my crisps”

“Here, have some of my chicken nugget.”

“Here, have some of my hot chips.”

The teachers pretended not to see them feeding Moggie.

From morning tea to lunch, Moggie was hand-fed by the well-meaning children. Even at three, when it was time to go home, some children fed him with their left-over lunch.

Soon Moggie grew very fat with all the food the children had been lovingly handing out to him.

“Moggie’s been growing very fat.” The teachers talked about the change in Moggie in the staff room.

“He should be put on a diet,” the deputy principal warned.

Meanwhile, Moggie’s owner, retiree Mr. Ian Blackburn, was worried about him. His cat had been missing during the day and came home only to sleep. This has been happening shortly after his wife died six months before. He rang the vet for his advice.

“Percy has been off his food, he doesn’t even sniff at the cat food.” Mr. Blackburn told the vet.

“Does he look starving?” asked Dr. Thomson.

“No, actually he looks very healthy.”

“Perhaps you should change the type of food. Instead of giving him dry biscuits, give him some canned tuna instead,” Dr Thomson said.

Mr. Blackburn went to the supermarket and bought half a dozen cans of choice cat food. When Percy came home, he sniffed at the new food, but he was not interested. He went to his basket and slept soundly. Mr. Blackburn’s worries increased.

Frustrated Mr. Blackburn put Percy in a cat carrier and drove him to the vet. When they arrived at the clinic, Dr. Thomson’s assistant took a quick look at Percy.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong with Percy, except that he's too fat,” the assistant said.

“How can he be too fat, when he's starving himself?” Mr. Blackburn was puzzled and shook his head. “Maybe he has a serious disease that's making him fat.

“Dr. Thomson is ready to see you now.”

The veterinarian stepped out of his surgery and shook Mr. Blackburn’s hand, "Good morning, Mr. Blackburn," he said. "So you brought Percy."

Mr. Blackburn said, "Poor Percy isn't eating breakfast and dinner."

Did you change his food?" Dr. Thomson asked.

"Yes! I did, I bought him the best canned tuna I could find in the supermarket, but still he didn't even taste it."

"See for yourself, Percy is a healthy cat."

“You think you can give him an X-ray to make sure that Percy's is not suffering from any terminal disease.”

“Mr. Blackburn, Percy is not suffering from any disease. He is not starving. In fact he is in the pink of health, just on the borderline of being too fat.”

“But how can that be? He hasn’t been touching his food.”

“I bet he is getting food elsewhere. Does he hunt rodents or birds?”

“No, he is so lethargic and so slow that any rodent or bird will escape."

“I still think that he is getting food elsewhere. Let me think about it,” Dr. Thomson replied.

Just as Mr. Blackburn was leaving Dr. Thomson’s office, a little girl stood up in the waiting room and walked towards Mr. Blackburn. Elana was a four year old with a little brown hamster in a cage.

“Hi Moggie, why are you here?” She began to stroke Percy.

“Moggie? You're mistaken, he's not Moggie. He's my Percy.” Mr. Blackburn held Percy tightly.

Elana’s mum, Lydia came over from where she was seated and introduced herself.

“Hi! I am Lydia, my older girl Audrey goes to Water View School. I go there to drop off and pick up her up. Everyone there considers Moggie to be the school cat. The children have been feeding him.”

Dr. Thomson stood at his door and overheard the conversation, “I think I can find an answer to Percy’s problem.”

Mr. Blackburn admonished Percy, “You naughty cat, Percy. You are a real moggie. You little beggar.”

“He’s no beggar, the children love him. You will break their hearts if you stop Moggie from coming to school,” Lydia said.

“Please!” Elana pleaded.

“But he is my cat, he has been my only companion since my wife died six months ago,” Mr. Blackburn said.

“Let me talk to the principal. Perhaps she will make up a schedule for the children to feed Percy only on certain days. In this way, Percy won’t be over-fed,” said Dr.Thomson.

Mrs. Shaw was not only agreeable to Dr. Thomson’s suggestion, but also relieved that Moggie’s owner had been found. The next morning, she sent out the following email to all the classrooms:

Moggie, or Percy, belongs to Mr. Blackburn from down the road. Percy is getting too fat and should not be overfed.

As of today, there will be a schedule as to when Moggie/Percy can be fed.

The attachment to the email read:

Year one and two: Monday
Year three: Tuesday
Year four: Wednesday
Year five: Thursday
Year six: Friday.

Everything went like clockwork. During the day, Moggie was Moggie. The teachers made sure he was kept to his feeding schedule. After school, when the children went home, Moggie went home and became Mr. Blackburn's Percy. The old man was happy again.

1 comment:

Jim said...

I hope you saw my reply about 'Packed to the Rafters' the other day. It is one of my favourite shows. Keep watching. It gets better and better.
Sydney - City and Suburbs