Daniel was four when we adopted Harmony. His formal name was Harmonious T Puss but we shortened it simply to Harms as in Keep Out of Harm’s Way. Apt for an accident-prone cat. This feline was a phenomenon with a bizarre and colourful background.
I fancied a Persian but lacked the funds so resorted to a classified for a "half Persian" for just $15. It was only after I agreed to take the pathetic scrap of beige and white fluff and handed over the grand sum that the true story unfolded of this unfortunate little kitten's entry into the world.
Mum Cat was indeed a pedigree Persian with a mass of long, brindle fur which so impressed the neighbourhood gang, they kidnapped (or catnapped) her and shaved her to resemble a lion; with a mane and tuft at the end of her tail.
As if that wasn't indignity enough, when restored to the distraught owners, it soon became apparent that the lion-cat was pregnant; the paternity of which was extremely dubious!
The owner took pregnant lion-cat to the vet who administered abortive medication but to everyone's surprise the unwelcome pregnancy continued. And, yep, you guessed right, it resulted in a motley litter of which poor Harmony was one.
It was in fact, this most traumatic in-utero experience which, we suspect, caused Harmony's brain damage. Yes Harms, in quaint colloquial terms, was a brick short of the load, a sandwiche short of the picnic basket, a kangaroo missing in the top paddock!
So much for the top end, Harmony's other end also suffered. So eager was this failed breeder to dispose of the defective offspring, she hastened weaning and introduced meat to fatten him up!
It was after three days of a clean kitty tray that it dawned on me that our odd little kitten was somewhat bound up. The vet declared it was the worse case of constipation he had ever seen in his entire career!
We figured Harmony had endured enough in his brief life and we resolved to cure him no matter what it took. We massaged his little tummy and dosed him with castor oil until the fateful day of passing and Harmony's sweet relief.
Harmony spent his life as a simpleton puss dozing in the sun all day and getting beaten up by bullying Toms at night.
He embarrassed us by squatting on guests' laps, jutting out his chin and drooling buckets of saliva while kneading and sucking on the best shirt in blissful regression. We presumed this was to compensate for his sudden weaning.
But really it was a great comfort having this dopey feline around because he was truly harmonious, always calm and tranquil in the face of any domestic drama, even if he was not the smartest cat in town.
The way Harmony departed our lives was very fitting really. Andrew and I went away for the weekend and my mother, minding the house, mistakenly locked his entry window. He got confused and never came home again. God bless Harmy, wherever his simple little soul may be.