Friday, April 14, 2006

Mr P

Mr P dropped unexpectedly into our lives. One of my daughter's suitors hearing that she had fifteen cats decided that the best present he could give her was a Persian kitten. I was woken up one morning by her wails. "I can't believe it," she was screaming, presumably to me since there is no one else in the house except the fifteen cats of course but they do not readily respond to such sophisticated verbal stimuli. "Look what he gave me for the Eid, we can't have him of course he has to go back at once, and he got him from the pet shop on Qasr El-Aini Street, which means the poor thing has to go back to die miserably choked by the traffic fumes." She was holding a tiny grey ball in one hand and a small basket with a red ribbon in the other. I did not have my contact lenses on and could only see a dark blurry shape topped by two bright spots. I gathered it was asmall animal. "Anyway, if we keep him I already have a name for him, Monsieur Pierre," she added rather cunningly I thought.
I got out of bed to look closely at the thing. It was an absolutely beautiful very tiny kitten with long grey hair and a darker head and paws. It looked perfect and there was no way I was going to send it back. "Boy or girl?" I asked. "Boy," she said, "but it doesn't matter he is going back." She looked at me rather hopefully. "Ok," I said, "why don't you thank your friend and tell him you are keeping Monsieur Pierre?" "I can't, I just broke up with him over his stupid choice of a present," she answered, placing the kitten on the bed. Monsieur Pierre yawned as if to say "ok, you made up your minds?" lay on the comforter, and purring hard, went promptly to sleep.
Being very small he did not look threatening to the other cats and he was gracious enough not to lord it over them because he was a pure Persian and they, just ordinary stray cats rescued from the street. He picked a best friend, Mirza, a grey and white young stray. who had sat on our doorstep with such determination than after three days of feeding him but shutting the door in his face, we had felt compelled to take in.
Monsieur Pierre is absolutely adorable, begs for milk in a birdlike twitter every time someone makes coffee and refuses to eat unless Mirza shares his plate.
He is into computers, trying to catch the letters as they appear on the screen and enjoys tennis on television where the ball drives him to do a crazy danse. As for my daughter, she has forgotten the ill-inspired would-be boy friend, but can't get over the fact that Monsieur Pierre clings to me but often ignores her. She thinks that he cannot forgive her for her horrified reaction when he first emerged from the gift basket and thinks that she has hampered thus his normal development.


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