My A to Z for 2015 is inspired by Tina Downey's Postcards from Sweden from 2012. I am looking at English and Swedish words that I like and that have a special meaning for me.
Friday 3rd April 2015 - The Letter C
C is for Cat. The Swedish word for cat is katt.
Cat is Katt in Swedish. And since I have already used the work of different Swedish artists, such as Carl Milles for A and Elsa Beskow for B, I may as well continue to feature another Swedish artist, Ivar Arosenius [Wikipedia in Swedish], for the letter C.
|Arosenius with his daughter Eva|
Ivar Arosenius [Wikipedia in English] (1878-1909) wrote and illustrated a wonderful children's picture book, Kattresan, (The Cat Journey) based on his daughter. Ivar Arosenius was diagnosed early with haemophilia and died at age 30, from complications of this condition before Kattresan was published. I cannot find an English translation of this lovely book, written in rhyme. This is what the first page looks like in the original Swedish:
What an idea! You can't ride on the back of a cat! I bet many children wished they could.
Inspired by Ivar Arosenius' cat story, I am going to tell my own story about my very last cat, Matilda, who still lives with us. Anyone who has visited my blog during the last few years has probably already read my stories about my cats and why I had to find new homes for all of them. It was because of my daughter Elisabet's cat fur allergy.
|This is our last cat, Matilda.|
I had sold them all. They had all moved to new homes a year ago. Matilda and her daughter, Rosetta, were the last to go. A family living in neighbouring Linköping bought them both, mother and daughter. But Matilda and Rosetta were not happy in that family, so they hopped out of a bedroom window and ran away.
|Erik holding four cats, Matilda in the foreground|
After a day and a night, little Rosetta returned to her new human family, but without her mother, Matilda. Matilda was gone. Nowhere to be found. And the leaves in the bushes and trees started to bud making it harder to see a cat hiding in the shrubs between the apartment buildings where this family lived. This family had changed their minds and did not want my cats.
|Erik in bed with cousin kittens, Elsa and Rosetta|
Rosetta was returned to me, and I immediately started looking for a new home for her. Weeks went by. I found a good home for Rosetta with a family who live in a town south of Norrköping, Söderköping. The woman from Linköping, who originally bought my cats, helped me by putting up posters of Matilda with our names and telephone numbers on them.
|This is Sigge, Matilda's brother-in-law.|
I never thought that I would see Matilda again. But after four weeks, I got a phone call from a family who lived in a house not too far from where Matilda had disappeared. 'We think we've seen your cat in our back garden.'
|Matilda nursing her five kittens in a box.|
So I took the train and then a bus to this family's house and sat and waited in the back garden, with my carrier and cat snacks.
|Matilda nursing her kittens on the kitchen floor|
I called out 'Matilda, Matilda!' and heard a quiet meow. An very thin grey striped cat appeared.
It was Matilda!
I scooped her up in my arms and gave her some food. I could feel every vertebrae. I put her gently into the carrier and then we made the long trip back home. First the bus, then the train and the tram.
I just didn't have the heart to send her away to a new home yet. I'd let her recover from her misadventures in Linköping.
Small animals, like cats, live quickly.
In the lives of cats, we can see ourselves in perspective. They have parents, siblings, spouses and children, the way we do -- and not the way we do.
This is my Cat Journey, with my children, Elisabet and Erik.