As I posted last weekend, our cat, Spooky, had a litter of kittens in June of 1980. We decided to keep one of them as a companion for Spooky. I adored the ginger male, but didn’t want a tom, so the inky little black beauty made her home with us. I always thought it curious that the only kitten I didn’t witness being born was the one we kept.
What to name a black cat? We came up with Midnight because of her colour, but it just didn’t have a good ring to it. I thought I’d be clever and call her Midnight in French. I soon found out I wasn’t all that clever nor did I do my French heritage proud. We spelled her name Minet and pronounced it Min-ew. My French mother pointed out to me Midnight was spelled Minuit in French and pronounced Min-we. Min-ew meant kitty in French and was spelled Minou. Minet also meant kitty in French and was pronounced Min-nay.
So we had a poor little kitten with an identity crisis. Her name was supposed to be Minuit but was spelled Minet and pronounced Minou. Lucky for us, she never seemed to care and she certainly didn’t hold it against us.
Unlike her mom, who was dearly attached to me, Minet was the typical aloof cat. I think it might have been because she had her mom with her all the time while she was little and never felt that need to bond with me. Whatever the reason, she, and only she, decided when and for how long to grace us with her presence and we always felt honoured to get whatever attention she deemed to give. I don’t know how many times over the years I heard (or said) “I can’t move right now, Minet is sitting on my lap”.
Minet also didn’t have quite as an inquisitive nature as her mother. With Spooky, we were never sure what she’d be into next. Minet frequented her favourite places, snoozing in my rocking chair being her number one choice, although most comfy spots would do in a pinch. Looking out the window was her next favourite pastime.
Minet didn’t even get to have Spooky in her life for one full year, but during that time, they were best of friends, inseparable, and very mischievous together. One of their favourite games was Chase. This entailed one cat chasing the other around the living room, jumping from one piece of furniture to the other, flying across the couch and spring-boarding off the fern in the plant stand over to the chair. Poor plant (and stand) sure took a beating. They also went up and over the back of the wooden rocking chair and it still bears the scratches from their claws. Not the best game for the furniture perhaps, but I have to admit, it was funny to watch.
We were blessed to have Miss Minet with us for eleven and a half years. Our family went through many transitions during those years. We lived in three different towns, in five different houses. She always adjusted well to whatever situation she found herself in. We often traveled with Minet and took her camping, she seemed quite content with a lead and harness as long as she had a cozy place to settle.
During that time she also had to contend with having three small boys and a succession of four dogs invade her space. She was gracious and welcoming to each of them – once she’d put them in their place, of course, and let them know who was the true reigning matriarch.