Carl My Old Girl Cat
by Finn Frode
Carl on top of the world
Back in the 80s my elder brother had a great red and white tomcat. It's origins were unclear, but allegedly he had found it abandoned somewhere and then simply snatched it. Throughout a long life the 'Big Red' put his mark on the cat population of the village, because never before or after were so many red cats born.
At the time I shared a big house with some other students, and we were offered a kitten from the Big Red and my brother's queen. I was led to believe it was a tricolor male, which as you might know is a very rare occurrence. When the mistake became too obvious the kitten already had been named Carl and that name stuck with her!
She was a most beautiful cat and besides her extraordinary colours, a typical Danish domestic cat in all ways. Sociable as she was, she adapted perfectly to living with a lot of people around her, although I don't think she ever bonded closely with any of us.
Carl taught me never to interfere with a mother cat educating her kittens. Usually she did not prey on birds, but one day she must have felt time was ripe for teaching her kittens about feathered food, so she caught a small bird in the garden and brought it to them.
I wasn't too happy about having that mess on my floor, so I confiscated the bird and dumped it. Carl rushed into the garden once more and in less than five minutes she brought another bird. I realized that if I kept on confiscating her prey, the birds of our garden would be hard hit, so this time the kittens were allowed to keep their bird. Carl carried on her hunting for a few more days, but it was no more than a phase in bringing up her kittens and soon to end.
Before being neutered Carl gave birth to two daughters. One was a tricolor tabby tortie like herself and was consequently named Oscar. The other was an ordinary grey tabby, but she must have been carrying some strong red genes, as she mothered a red and white boy. He was named Rudolf and was to become a beloved member of my new family for almost 10 years. But more about him later.