"In all things of Nature there is something of the marvellous." (Aristotle, Greek critic, physicist, philosopher and zoologist, 384 - 322 BC.)
This marvellous thing of Nature is 17, blind and deaf, and had the sense to wander up an icy back lane on a dark night and position himself at my back gate. He is called Aristotle too.
We had a busy day today, Aristotle and I....
He had a morning trip to the nearest vet, to be checked for the presence of a microchip. No luck. But he was identified as an elderly gent.
He was as good as gold in the car, purred like a motorbike while being examined by the nurse, had some of his matted clumps of fur cut off, and returned with evident pleasure to his crate, litter tray and elevenses, before having a long sleep in the brilliant sunshine streaming through the windows.
More vet practices were contacted, to leave my contact details, should he be reported missing. I spoke to my own beloved vet and arranged to bring the old cat in tomorrow morning for examination and a blood test. We had a frank talk about stray cats, euthanasia, the authority of a vet to proceed with same in the absence of an owner, and the willingness of Muggins here to keep him should he be pronounced Not To Be Suffering. I hoped Scooter wasn't listening in, and tried not to think about my overburdened monthly pension.
Later, I printed more leaflets and notices, and faithful neighbour Sandra and I set off on our self-appointed mission, wondering if we looked like a pair of Jehovah's Witnesses with our sensible clothes and our papers, traipsing from door to door.
I was made painfully aware of how savage some people's letterboxes are, with killer springs and impenetrable brushes; postmen must have cast-iron hands to push anything through those innocent-looking slots.
Then I spotted a woman walking up to her front door pulling a small suitcase, and I pounced. Did she have an old cat? Er...yes. A tabby? Yes, with long hair - and she began to look alarmed.
Blind? Yes! So I reassured her that it was alive and well, but she suddenly realised that in order for the cat to have got out, something bad must have happened to her house while she was away for a couple of days.....
So Sandra and I accompanied her inside, where she found that she had been burgled; the kitchen window was broken, glass was strewn everywhere, the cat's dish with timer in the lid stood open, food untouched, and the cat was nowhere to be seen.
And that was because he was safely tucked up in my house, thinking philosophical thoughts.
He's still here, while she deals with the police and the clearing up. I know he's on medication for thyroid and blood pressure, and is monitored by a vet. I shall volunteer to be her cat feeder/visitor when she goes away in future.
"In the arena of human life, the honours and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities." - Aristotle the Greek.
"Take that!" - Aristotle the Cat. Do scratches count as rewards, do you suppose?