Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Lately I've been thinking about our cat, Pinky.  We found him as a tiny, feral kitten on the garage roof, a few years before we were married.  We'd heard a chirping sound and wondered if there was a bird's nest up there.  There wasn't.  There was a kitten. I guess all he'd heard were birds chirping, so he learned to chirp instead of meow.   We lured him down, over the course of several days, with saucers of milk positioned closer and closer to the back door of the house.  Within a week, Pinky moved in.

He was a tabby, and we thought he was a girl cat.  His nose and paws were very pink.  We named him Pinky in honour of Benazir Bhutto, who had just become the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, and whose childhood nickname was Pinky.  It was some time before we realized Pinky was a boy cat. By that time, he was already answering to his name and we didn't want to traumatize him, so we kept on calling him Pinky.  As he got bigger, the neighbours started to laugh every time we called him in, so we gave him the street name of Ned.  But at home, he was Pinky.  Or Mr. Pink.  Or Jean-Marie Le Pinq. Or Pinkerton. Or Pinsky, on Jewish holidays.  Or Pinky McBinkey, whose ancestral home was in Bonehead, Sussex.

Pinky loved Ivaan, and the feeling was mutual.  Ivaan trained him to do tricks, something not all cats willingly do.  I wanted to take him for walks on a leash, but every time we put a leash on him, Pinky would flatten himself on the floor, like a fur rug.  So that wasn't happening.

Pinky was the cat of legend.  One mystery at our place was where all the cat food disappeared to.  He only ate the deluxe kind, that comes in tiny cans.  Or else baby food.  Or else cooked broccoli.  Or ginger snaps.  We decided that while we were away at work during the day, Pinky was running a restaurant on our back deck.  It was called The Cat Cafe, and it served tiny little cans of cat food.  But it also had a specialty dish on the menu, Salmon Philippe.  This is because two of our nephews are named Sam and Philippe.  The dish was named after them.

In the legend, Pinky rode a motorcycle.  His helmet was carved out of a tennis ball.

Ivaan, in moments of great affection, called him Pinkooni Ma-Sa-Sa.  Our other nephews, Angus and Ivor, always wondered what Pinkooni Ma-Sa-Sa meant.  So one day I wrote a children's book to explain how he came to have the name Pinkooni Ma-Sa-Sa.  It's called:

 © 2018 Eya Donald Greenland

(I have deleted the text of the story, but I assure you, it's awesome.)

1 comment:

  1. Too bad you deleted the text of the story! I would have read it. I recently saw your store on Dupont and remembered having read about Ivaan’s death years ago and today found your blog serendipitously on the Internet and when I started reading it saw that you mentioned a friend called Norah who read a story and made comments on The Bath Lottery. I wondered if it was Norah Wakula, perhaps, whom I recently met at the CNFC conference in Toronto, and plan to keep in touch with. It’s a small world as they say. Congratulations on your second place win. The next time I’m near Casa Loma I will plan to stop by the Atelier.