ABOVE. Me as a toddler outside where my sister lived, just near my Aunty’s and Nanna’s houses. No idea of the name of this cat or who’s it was.

I’ve always loved animals, my little nephew recently getting his first kitten took me back to the times i’ve had cats, the fact that my nephews kitten is a dead ringer for my cat Choo Choo sent me off down memory lane.

As a child my family had a dog named Sandy who was sadly killed on the road. One day my school friend Ronald gave me a kitten that his cat had recently given birth to, somehow (spoiled) i was allowed to keep it, and named her Choo Choo after a charactor on ‘Top Cat’. The operative word here is ‘Her’, in those days not many cats were desexed, and it wasn’t long before my jezebel of a cat got knocked up.

We didn’t see Choo Choo for a while, until one night we had a knock from our next door neighbors informing us that Choo Choo had given birth . . in the ceiling of their house.

My brother turned on the spot and said ‘YOU have to climb up and get them!!’, i of course went into a melt down, being afraid of heights on such an extreme scale i’ve only ever been able to wear high heels once .. okay, make that twice.

In an act of brotherly love Glenn crawled up into the roof and rescued the cats, a LOT of cats. I had the joy of naming them, Chubby, Tiny, Mimi, Benny and Jinxy. I was stoked, i loved those cats SO much.

They were born in summer, and summer brings fleas, I was learning the hard way that animals are a big responsibility, after a plague of fleas descended upon our house, and flea bombs of nuclear force were detonated, my dad drew the line insisting i give away some of the brood.

Heartbroken i had to choose which cats to keep, they ended up being Choo Choo, Chubby and Tiny. Mimi (a beautiful blue eyed, ash grey Persian) and Benny were given away to a good home, alas poor Jinxy wasn’t so lucky, he befell a fate best not discussed here, the poor thing met an end in a sad accident.

For years Choo Choo, Tiny and Chubby were the best pet friends a kid could have, i adored them and i still miss them.

CHOO CHOO. Protective, but affectionate mother cat.

TINY. Painfully shy son of Choo Choo.

CHUBBY. An amazingly handsome cat, he was pure black with about three strands of white hair on his Adams apple.

ABOVE. Me striking a pose that screams ‘No one will ever guess i’m a

ABOVE. Feed time in Popeyes shed. Strangely enough, in the exact spot where the cats are standing is the same place i was when i heard the news John Lennon had been shot, by then my drum kit was positioned where the cats are, and i was practicing when the news came on the radio that was sitting on the cupboard seen in the background of this photo.

ABOVE. Choo Choo and Tiny having some rough and tumble. Cool to see the old clothes line in the background.

ABOVE. More feline rough and tumble, poor Tiny, he would have been freaking.

ABOVE. My little nephew Michael doing chiropractic work on poor Choo Choo. Dads purple Ford Escort in the background.

ABOVE. Chubby and Tiny chilling out.

ABOVE. My nieces Danielle, Kylie and Michelle holding Choo Choo, they loved my cats as much as i did.

ABOVE. Chubby on the prowl. In the background you can see my dads chook shed, and Lucy one of the chickens, so named because she had orange feathers. We used to play ‘Prisoner’ with the chickens, they were all named after characters from the show, ‘Lizzie’, ‘Bea’ etc. We would let the chickens out to graze on the grass, but we had to patrol the fence to make sure no chickens ran away and escaped, using sticks we would chase them back behind the line, I of course was ‘Joan Ferguson’ in this game .. no chickens were harmed in the amusement of us children.

ABOVE: Choo Choo and Chubby stepping out.

ABOVE. My favorite pic of Chubby, chilling out in his favorite spot under the lemon tree.

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