Still a bit sleepy on a glorious Sunday morning Grumpy Man entered the Garden of Chaos in order to greet the sun and get his eyes open. He vaguely heard something mewing and decided to investigate how Hrimnir had gotten himself into trouble this time again. As it turned out, this time the frantic calls for help were emitted from a tree at the back of the Garden and so Grumpy Man reached out and plucked… a black kitten from it.
But Hrimnir isn’t black !
And this one’s hair was too coarse. The body was too little. The legs were too short. And come to think of it, Hrimnir was standing right there at his feet. So this feller here is… ?
We sincerely hoped he belonged to a neighbour. Because we couldn’t keep him. Four cats is more than enough in any household, let alone the House of Chaos, we just can’t have five feisty felines. But we just couldn’t bring ourselves to dumping this little jet-black gem at the local shelter (where he will be killed for sure, now that the summer holidays have begun and people are dumping a record number of pets, and certainly the people of the shelter will throw baleful glares at us, accusing us of just that) or delivering him up to total strangers. Thus the Mistress has been ringing some doorbells this nice hot Sunday afternoon (in between two rainstorms) and put out a “found”-poster on the window facing the street whilst a campaign for distributing copies in letterboxes was being planned. The kitten had to belong to someone for he is way too clean, has no fleas, and seems to be free of worms as well. He is also not afraid of people, like a feral cat would be, and certainly knows what feeding bowls are for.
All that morning long he and Hrimnir have been frolicking in the Garden of Chaos. They jump and chase and hide and wiggle their furry little butts and pounce and slap and do whatever kittens generally are wont to do whenever two are in the same space together. One after the other one of the adult feline denizens of the House of Chaos would come by and be introduced to the youngster, all three of them reacting in a typical way: Loup-Garou with supreme indifference, Zorro with his usual über-grumpy demeanor and swift vicious claw-swipe, and Bean Sidhe with an astonished how-could-you-do-this-to-me-you-traitor look towards Hrimnir. We have discovered recently that Ban-Ban is a towering lazybutt in reality and he clearly displayed on his face for all to see and enjoy the message that this is one kitten too many and he won’t be bothering his fat lazy butt to service both of them when they come calling for play anytime soon thank you oh so very much indeed.
In the meantime, until we found the home he belongs to, we had to give the new guest a name to call him by. The Mistress was already thinking among the lines of Njork or Gnork, but Grumpy Man was quick to suggest “Knarr”. A swift look-up at the Free Online Dictionary (By Farlex) taught us that a knar is “A knot or burl on a tree or in wood. ” From the Middle English “knarre”, probably from Old English “cnear” or from Middle Dutch and Middle Low German “knorre”. The name fits the young ‘un since he was plucked from a tree and his pelt is rather coarse, like bark. In our native Dutch a “knar” is also a tough old person, a head, or a lean bone (a bone with not much meat on it). The latter description fits the scrawny kitten to no end ! Oh yes, a name most befitting.
And we wondered how his real owners have called him.
Knarr is a feisty black kitten with very coarse hair. It seems there is some white in his hair, certainly in his ears. His legs are on the stubby side, or maybe we have become accustomed to long-legged kittens like Hrimnir and Bean Sidhe. His tail is by no means the magnificent caudal appendage bot Hrimnir and Bannikins sport. He’s bold and inquisitive, a climber and an explorer. When he plays with Hrimnir it is clear that our kitten is the bigger and stronger, but Knarr won’t play the underdog, not for long at least. When Zorro beats him up he raises his hackles to each and every cat in the household afterwards. And then comes back for more. Truly admirable traits in a kitten and sure to endear himself to us. But we dared not let us be endeared for we cannot keep him !
It would be fine, perfect even, if he would be a neighbour’s cat and dropped in from time to time. We were really really hoping he is. For who could not come to love such an intrepid kitten, so scrawny and bedraggled ? Yet surely in a neighbouring house a little girl (or boy) will find her kitty missing tonight and go to bed in tears… Maybe by tomorrow frantic owners will scour the neighbourhood and ring the doorbells in a desperate search for a beloved kitling… Well, the message with picture was on the window: “Plucked from a tree in our garden on 8-7-’07: tiny black kitten, coarse hair. To whom does he belong ?” What more could one do ?
So the Mistress went to a new round of doorbell-ringing later in the afternoon. Finally… success !! It turns out little “Blacky” lives in the house right behind ours ! The owners were away this morning and after coming home this afternoon couldn’t find their beloved little furred baby anymore. They were growing frantic with worry, but relief came inside a traveling cage in my hands and they were happy to have their Blacky back. Much astonished were they that their precious kitling had climbed the tree that stands between our gardens, next to the wall that separates them, what with him being scarcely 8 or 9 weeks old and all…
For us though, he will always be known as Knarr. Because as sure as the sun sets at evening he will come calling again one of these days. The lure of a playmate-of-age is simply too powerful. And we serve good food here.
Two kittens at play. Is there a more beautiful sight than this ?
Knarr the Bold, a.k.a. Blacky.
With so many pets abounding would you want to meet more and board the Friday Ark ? We do !