There seemed to be a lot of missing cat posters around TW8 and its surrounding areas during lockdown. I don’t know whether more cats than usual went missing, or whether my inordinate amount of lockdown walks simply made the posters more noticeable, but I stopped to read every single one.
A long time ago someone told me that it was important to describe a cat’s personality, in addition to appearance, on a missing poster, as appearance is easily seen in a photo and doesn’t need much reiteration by text. I wondered at the time how valid this could be; after all, a fleeting encounter with a cat in the street didn’t seem sufficient to indicate personality and to know whether or not it was the right cat.
That was until my sister successfully reunited Peanut with her owner a few years ago, after reading on the poster of her tendency to sit and stare like the cat from Shrek. Because of her weight loss whilst on the run, Peanut didn’t look an awful lot like the picture shown on the poster. But the description of this one character trait nailed it.
And Cat Daddy was convinced of this, too, when he and I had the following exchange after he sent me a photo of a cat he’d seen in the street.
Me: “That cat looks like Catus Interruptus.”
Him: “Who’s Catus Interruptus?”
Me: “He lives a few doors down from Cocoa the babysit cat.”
Him: “Why do you call him Catus Interruptus?”
Me: “Because he barges up to random strangers and makes them stop whatever they’re doing to give him attention.”
Him, very firmly: “Yes. That is EXACTLY what happened. It was definitely him.”
Obviously I hope none of us will ever have to think about this, but a description of character traits on a missing pet poster might just be worth a shot. I did briefly think about what I’d say about Catorze, but we would be able to hear his screaming from wherever he was in the country. So he wouldn’t be missing for long.
Here is Catus Interruptus, homing in on Cat Daddy like a heat-seeking missile: