Rory’s Story

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I was born under the hood of a rusty broken Citroën 2CV in a thunderstorm one miserable afternoon, three years ago. My mother was Estelle, the darling of the farm, and my father was the thug from the bakery behind the church, or so I was told. Sixteen of us called the Citroën in the hedge ‘home’ that autumn, until during a rainstorm in November one day a car drew up, containing the humans I live with now. I left home without a suitcase 20 minutes later, bearing nothing more than a handful of fleas and the name I had been born with, Phillipe de Courtois Barthélemy d’Aquitaine. My proper life had begun.

Things changed momentarily for the worse two days later, when the humans from the car renamed me ‘Amy’. Huh, stupid English peoples. What sort of a name is that?

When they took me away, they also took Clara, my sleek petite sister, and together we have been here now in the big white house for 36 months, a length of time equivalent to 28 human years. Let me tell you a little about my life.

It’s been easy living for me here, apart from the odd drama such as when they suddenly changed my name from Amy to Rory, I wasn’t too displeased, anything was better than Amy, it quite ruined my macho ego and besides, how did they not notice I was a male cat?? Or one early visit to a funny smelling table when I was young. I remember nothing after counting to ten when a woman in a green coat told me to and then I fell asleep; and when I awoke I felt empty and hollow, and no longer had the urge to rip curtains to shreds or lift my tail against every chairleg in the house. It was quite bizarre. Clara, who had begun to look so attractive to me, lost all of her charm and allure as well, but thankfully, I discovered lizards soon after, and life changed again.

I rise at dawn. I’m not a hunter like Clara, and I am above disputing territories with banshee-wailing tomcats at all hours of the night. Why do all that when you get fed regularly, anyway? It’s cold and wet out there half the time, for goodness sakes. And there are all those strange noises, snails, those dreadful black and yellow lizards that make my tongue froth, and strangers of all sorts in the garden, including those prickly things that curl up into a ball, I learnt my lesson with them the first time, thank you.

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Oh no, if I am to hunt, there is only one thing worth hunting in the garden, and that is the dog. Did I tell you about the dog? It’s a little female white and brown patched thing, called Evie – if my ears hear correctly. And since the day she came here, she has been my best friend, through thick and thin. We play-fight together, anytime and anywhere, and and it’s fun to pretend she is winning; just at the right moment I’ll just poke her with a claw in the eye so she yelps and runs around in circles scratching her face.  Evie will do anything to play with me, except climb trees (I have no idea why she cannot do that) or follow me up to the summer-kitchen roof (and I have no idea why she can’t do that either). She seems to have no spring in her legs and can only jump high enough to get a human’s attention. Perhaps she needs to visit the funny table and be fixed. The old fat dog needs some work for sure. A visit to a health spa for a month might do the trick. Bentley is his name; boy, does he need some gas in his tank….he is sooooo slowwwww.

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Talking of Evie, it’s strange that she and Clara do not work as a relationship, not from the very moment they met. Instead, Clara spends her life watching her own shadow in fright, waiting for Evie to come bounding out of the bushes and roll her off down the lawn. In fact, for much of the time, Clara lives at the far end of the chicken garden, safe in the knowledge that she is out of Evie’s reach there. This makes Clara’s journey back to the house each day for breakfast a fraught passage of time, for Evie is often on the prowl, helping the man human feed the chickens. And although Clara is quick, Evie is quick too, for a dog. There have been some very narrow squeaks on the race to the safety of the cat-flap, I can tell you. I must add that although for some reason Evie also cannot go through the cat-clap, the fat dog CAN, quite happily! I suspect that might be only because he will go anywhere, anyhow, if there is the slightest chance of a morsel of food. The poor tubby is always on a diet but only seems to go up, not down, in size.

The best part about living here though, are the humans. Well, not the humans themselves, but the warm house they have. With terribly comfortable cushions, lovely sofas, two bowls of dog food, a huge water bowl, and an upstairs full of soft, down-filled cushions and piles of bedding and duvets to burrow into, one long day just passes dreamily into another. It’s fantastic; well, up until the point when the man human picks me up and takes me downstairs and puts me out the door. I try hard to hold on, but this causes noise which scares me and the subsequent evacuation is not always to my liking. I have landed headfirst in the plants once too often. But those pillows….mmmm. It’s all worthwhile, especially when you have been playing in the garden and have muddy feet. I’ve found the noise is even louder then!

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I like to think I have the humans well trained by now, though. My favourite example of this is when the man misses me at bedtime, when it is late and dark, and he passes me by as I lie hidden on a small person’s bed (they’re the best to sleep with, no funny perfumey smells and they love having me there). I don’t mind at all. I sleep quite happily till about 4.00am in the morning when it’s time for a pee. I’ll pad into the big humans’ bedroom and jump up on the man’s side of the bed, screech ‘meaowwww’  loudly in his ear, and then I’ll stand back and watch in amusement as he jumps bewildered out of bed. It always works. Then I get taken downstairs, carried no less (does he think my legs don’t work all of a sudden?), and even though he has no pyjamas on, I still try to hang on as long as I can before the door is opened and I get put outside. Sometimes I leap off him with all my claws extended for a good grip, because in the silence of the night the noise he makes is such fun… let’s just say I now know a lot of English swear words!

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128 thoughts on “Rory’s Story

  • Brilliant, Susan, that made me laugh out loud! Rory looks to be a very contented cat, & why wouldn’t he be?? He’s also a very handsome cat, but better not tell him that! It’s fun when animals become friends isn’t it? So enjoyed this post, but then I am a cat lover….xxx

  • That made me laugh out loud too (many strange looks in the office) – what a lovely post. Cats do seem to have us wound round their little finger. I can just see Roddy in the dark, roaring with pain. Brilliant. More please!

  • One of the funniest things I have read for a while, i can just imagine poor Roddy, shirtless, screeching in pain, cats have sharp claws!!

  • You are a charming boy and I’m glad you and your sister found such a wonderful home, Rory. It’s a shame though that you get kicked out of bed. We like to have one or two of our cats sleeping in our bed.
    Sending you some belly-rubs and yummy treats,
    Julia

    • Thanks so much Julia, I am a charming delightful cat! But the reason I get kicked out of bed is because as I said, if I don’t, I always like to go out int he middle of the night, I like to have a good prowl and do a little hunting and so I always wake the man of the house up, always, and if he doesn’t wake up, I’ll go around the house meowing waking up everyone I can! They have learnt, to let me out before the last one goes to sleep!! xx

    • Thanks so much Candi, I am so glad you found the blog too. I will write more stories I promise, I haven’t actually written any for a while and I can see it is time I returned to them from time to time, thanks for the encouragement! xx

    • Ha ha, thanks so much Janet, no I was not born under a 2CV, but what a cool place to be born! It is absolutely true though, it was such a strange place, I have never seen anywhere like it before.xx

  • Susan Rory’s story is such a delight. I am a crazy cat lady. We are home to four feral cats. Ours all have funny names because we never intended to keep any of them…kitten, orangeman, tiger and furry…very original. Rory is very lucky to have found you!

    • Love your cats names, I am guessing Orangeman is a ginger tom cat and Tiger a tortoiseshell coloured one or tabby! I am so happy we rescued these two kittens, we have always had rescue cats. Enjoy your four, I am sure they are very happy to have found you xx

    • Woohoo, fantastic Ali, I love Bruges, having spent a few days there many many years ago when I was working in London. The weather has been fabulous here, around 21C every day, hopefully it will last. Hope you are having a lovely time xx

  • This was such a great story, I laughed more than a few times. Rory looks so cuddly, and appears to have a great personality.

  • What a wonderful story, and such precious pictures. Those pets are leading a wonderful life, and I hope you will show us Clara as well.

  • I am a big cat lover, not so much dogs, but my cat comes everywhere with me in the house! Loved this story today so much.

  • I think this was very well written and very funny, I laughed out loud and that doesn’t happen very often. Good job today.

    • Thanks so much Sam and Elsa, I am a real French cat, although I am just a down to earth chap, not a fancy pure bred anything. But I do have a great life and I am friends with everyone! You sound as if you have a lovely happy lives too xx

  • Rory looks very much like our last cat, a calico/ tortoise shell feral female which we adopted as a kitten from a pet shelter. She never learned to retract her claws! We adored her, and so did our dog, whom she controlled quite well. We do miss her!

  • Do not EVER doubt yourself … that is the most charming tale. I smiled from the 2CV bonnet onwards. Amy AKA Rory is a natural storyteller but it is the story that has it for me. Enchanting. Thank you. And don’t DOUBT yourself. Xx

    • Ha ha, thanks so much! Rory is a quite a unique chap, I have never had a cat who thinks he is a dog before. He will sit on the chair and just dangle his tail to entice Evie, and then attack her, it is quite hilarious, they are all such time wasters! xx

      • I couldn’t agree more, and right now I am going to have a somewhat lazy time wasting weekend, the weather is utterly fabulous and for once the garden is going to get my attention! Hope you have found the perfect outfit for this evening’s aperos! xx

      • How sweet of you to remember. Yes, I think I am sorted … just off out to find a nice little flowering plant to take my hosts 🙂 Profite- toi du jardin et du soleil xx

      • merci! A little lunch outside on the terrace, some lawn mowing, weeding, picking vegetables, eating figs and a long bike ride with the children, sounds like a perfect Saturday to me! Have fun xx

      • Of all the enviable things in your life, your fig tree wins my first prize for coveting unashamedly! I’m taking The Bean into the mountains to wear her out and then trying to make myself look flawless …. I don’t need to tell you to enjoy xx

      • One of my criteria when we were house hunting was I wanted a mature fig tree! For three months we feast on her bountiful crop, if I could only have one edible thing in the garden it would be figs for sure. Hope you had a great walk in the mountains and I am sure you looked amazing last night, hope you had a great time.xx

      • I’m nursing an extremely fragile head so I think I did have a good time! Fig tree is on my list too for the forever house and I am absolutely with you – if I was forced to choose one thing it would be figs. The mountains always fix me 😊 xx

      • Always a good sign is it not!! I can’t wait until you find your forever house, I have a feeling it is going to be quite an adventure and a lot of fun. Mountains and beaches fix me. Love them both in equal measures, both make us feel very humble I always think. xx

      • Oh, I once took a young cat home on a Friday because all week long nobody claimed the kitten as theirs, I fed and watered it, wrote notes and stuck them up everywhere…. Nothing, no reaction. So home it came with me and within about 30’’ it was lording on the most comfy leather fauteuil we had and when our dog, a little dachsie, put her front paws on the rim of the chair to sniff the new acquisition, she got a sharp claw-paw hammering, every single time….. The newcomer ruled supremely!
        Took him back on Monday, and on Thursday only the rightful owner claimed him – to my great relief.

      • I think cat’s are either the boss or they are extremely timid like Clara. Rory has always been in charge and he teases Evie constantly. Cats always seem to know exactly the best place to be! Although I am far more of a dog person, normally, Rory is just an exception! xx

  • Susan,this is absolutely one of your best! Completely enchanting from start to finish!
    And the pictures just wrap themselves around our hearts!
    Any animal lover/”parent” can so relate!
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    Totally made our day!

  • What a delightful and charming post! I must admit that I found myself laughing the entire way through, especially at Roddy’s misfortune in having to walk around half naked at nighttime with a cat clawing him! Please write more animal stories, they’re always so wonderfully hilarious and imaginative! Keep up the wonderful work Susan and give Rory a big snuggle from us! Xxxx

    • Thanks so much Josie, I shall write more as I must admit I really enjoy thinking about life from one of our pet’s perspective, I think they have a pretty good life, but I am sure they must think us quite mad at times!! xx

  • OH, that is SO GOOD!!! Brings out your feisty side and a different writing vibe. Clara’s story next??? Very Enjoyable!!

  • You have made my busy Friday and I am certain to be still smirking during the weekend! And how come we Down Under may just be a wee bit forward . . . but Rory, my second husband did not believe in PJs either! Even in the middle of the coldest winter . . . well, at times it could lead to somewhat embarrassing situations you perchance would not understand .. . . . oh Susan, on the odd occasion it does rain in Charente in daytime: may we have another of your animals have a ‘say’ . . .

    • Ha ha, how funny that he was called Rory too! It does rain here, especially now we are getting into the colder months so certainly, I am planning on writing Clara’s story next, but it will take some thinking about! Hope you are having a lovely spring weekend, the weather is absolutely stunning here, the perfect autumn so far, hope I haven’t just jinxed it by saying that!! xx

  • Oh my goodness…this tale turned out so different than I thought. I adored it! But, I have to tell you Susan earlier this morning I was meeting one of my daughters and I quickly went to your blog while waiting for her. No sooner did I click on and read the first few paragraphs when my daughter Heidi showed up. So…until ten minutes ago when I finally had some time to enjoy this did I discovered that it was Rory that was born under the hood of the rusty car not Roddy. I am telling you I don’t know when I have laughed so hard! I need to use my computer more and not my iPhone to see properly! Oh My!
    Susan, the story is delightful! Love how Rory can get the best of Roddy! 😉
    The tale of Rory was such a wonderful bedtime story for me to read! Would love more stories about this handsome “chap” and how he keeps the Hay’s household on their toes! Happy Friday! ❤️🌻❤️🌻
    PS I love his given name!

    • I laughed out loud at the thought of Roddy being born under the rusty hood of a car!! Hope you had a lovely day with your daughter, and now I hope you are going to have a great weekend, hopefully with some of your family, I always think weekend is special family time. The weather is utterly gorgeous here, perfect autumn days, hope they last a while! xx

  • I was captivated from the first paragraph and laughed aloud at the funny smelling table and the woman in a green coat telling him to count backward from ten! And I’m not even a ‘cat person’. You really have a talent and should seriously consider compiling all of this into a book.

    • Thanks so much, it’s funny how some of us are cat people and some of us dog people and some us neither! I would call myself a dog person rather than a cat person, but Rory has a very special place in our hearts, he is a complete one off and we adore him, perhaps because he has a character more like a dogs!!xx

  • Bonjour Susan, thanks for this delightful story about Rory. He is very blessed to have a safe happy home. I love the picture of him with Evie; we had a ginger cat named JJ and a white female shepherd, Maggie, who were always curled up together. JJ missed Maggie so much when she went that he would moan and moan.
    Now, you need to show us a picture of Clara. I do not remember seeing her in your blog before. WE are all so blessed to have a faithful furry friends.

    • Hi Patricia, we are indeed all so blessed to have our furry friends because they are so faithful, I would hate to be without ours. Your two sounded as if they were the best of friends. I shall write Clara’s story next, but it will take some thinking about. There are odd photos of her on the blog, mostly when she accompanies me in the vegetable garden, she is such a lovely girl, but has always been very nervous of noise and people and dogs, which is strange as she grew up here, one would think she would be the same as Rory, but not at all. xx

  • We love the Tuxedo tomcat stray that chose us as his new pet parents. He does the 4:00AM thing as well. So nice to hear you rescued these wonderful pets. I hope all the kittens found as nice of homes as you provide for yours. They bring such joy to our lives. I enjoyed his story through your voice.

    • Thanks so much Colleen, how funny that your tomcat does the same thing! Rory caught us out last night, I called out to Roddy that he was asleep on our youngest daughter’s bed as he was watching a late night movie, he obviously forgot and in the middle of the night, he had to get up, once more and take Rory outside!! I hope the kittens all found good homes too but alas I doubt they did. Sadly there are always so many stray cats, the French don’t like getting them neutered and so there are endless adverts for free kittens needing homes. xx

  • Last photo: Rory saying OH THOSE HUMANS, THEY GIVE ME SUCH A HEADACHE…. 🙂

    I miss you. I will read every missed post and reply, even if it takes so much longer….. You’re always on my mind. Much love, K

    • I hope all is well and that you have just been either away, or extremely busy. The weather has been incredible here since the beginning of the week, perfect autumn weather hovering around 20C at midday. Cold mornings and nights, but hey, it is October. Long may it last, an autumn like this would be perfect!! Hope you have a fabulous weekend, can’t wait till we one day catch up in person. xx

    • Thanks so much Freda, I think animals are incredible, I wish I really knew what was going on in their minds half the time, because I am sure they think us quite mad! Have a lovely weekend xx

  • I agree with so many of the other people who have commented, would love to have Clara’s story now, I have never seen a photo of her and your writing is so poetic I would be so happy to read more of these short stories.

    • Thanks so much Felicity, I will write Clara’s story, I just have to think about it a little, she is a gorgeous girl too, but very nervous and I have no idea why, it is just her personality. There are photos of her here and there on the blog, she often accompanies me in the vegetable garden, when Evie is not around, she will lie in the sun with me for ages. xx

      • I should have added ‘Roddy to be Susan’s editor’, great story. Spring, well it is getting warm, desperate for rain, looks like being a terrible bush fire summer. I’d swap with you if I could. Miss you all and the Charente. Cheers.

      • Ha ha. I hope to god there are not terrible bush fires, they are so so awful. Miss you here, we still chatter about so many of your stories, the children are especially fascinated. Let me know if you are coming back this way, would love to see you again. Meanwhile we are basking in an Indian summer with temps in the mid 20’s, fabulous! xx

  • What a delightful tale of your four legged friends, their personalities all so different eh?
    Now I am back from France until next year I have resumed fostering for the Cat’s Protection and currently have Bess, the most friendly puss in Sussex.
    Wandering around Ile de Noirmoutier a fortnight ago we stumbled upon a family of ferals that were being fed by two elderly ladies in the garden of a derelict house, the kittens were adorable and fearless but the parents, understandably wary.
    Will look forward to Clara’s story, can’t think of a better place to be born than under a 2CV bonnet.

    • Hopefully you had some good weather whilst you were here, it has been pretty good for a few weeks here now and set to get very warm again next week. Next year we have to meet up when you are over. How fabulous that you have such a great friendly cat to look after. Lucky cat. I will follow on with Clara’s story in the next few weeks! xx

  • Loved the article on Rory!!! I have posted the article on my Facebook page. Rory’s personality is so wonderfully and typically cat!! I have been owned by several cats and a few dogs, their attitudes match Rory perfectly.

  • Il love cats so much..but can’t have anyone because of my husband’s allergy..Greetings from Poland..Ewa

    • Oh what a shame, I know cat hairs really can cause major allergies. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, big hugs to you in Poland. What a wonderful thing blogging is, it brings so many people all around the world together. Have a great week xx

  • Such a lovely read. I always wondered what went through a cats mind. Also, great insight into what that cat next door thinks when I’m pajamaless and letting the dog out at 4:00.

  • I’ve so missed reading your stories! A perfect place to pick back up hearing from pretty (he wouldn’t like that) Rory. Funny, insightful & makes me want to have a nap on those cushions curled up with him. Thanks for adding joy to my, and many others, life😘

    • He is such a time waster, I often find myself just lying next to him for a few minutes stroking him, because he is so responsive, I can see why they say cats are so helpful to elderly people. xx

  • Hi, I just found your website… not even sure how… and love your stories about your four-footed family members. See you again, soon! Brenda Coffee/1010ParkPlace

    • Thanks so much, it is strange how we find blogs, I stumble across some of the best ones quite by accident I always find. But I am so happy you are here and thank you for taking the time to comment. Hope to see you around more and that you have had a lovely weekend xx

  • How I wish I wasn’t horribly allergic to cats as I’d love a Rory. What a great life he has, and what a great writer he is! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutFrance

    • Poor you being allergic to cats. We got our two as kittens as they are fabulous mouse deterrents and I detest mice!! Living in the country they are kind of necessary, so far they have done a fabulous job!! xx

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