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Falling out with my father over his loathsome cat Obe

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 21 January 2018

We have not really fallen out but I have had to rebuke the old man sternly. I am staying with him in Shipston to start recording his memoirs which are actually really very interesting, not so much the later life but the years 1938 to 1956. I am not sure what I will do with the recordings but they are part of my family history but also an interesting insight into the war years in so many ways. We have hanged British Nazis, my grandfather, Sir John Winnifrith, in Churchill's bunker, evacuation with the nanny, Mrs No Cow and much more to preserve for posterity.

Amid this jolity Dad wishes to discuss his will. As we run over various matters I ask what is to become of his cat Obe, a fat black and white creature who hates all of humanity bar my father whom she adores. Obe, named after the worst President since Jimmy Carter, is a loathsome creature but I find myself leaping to her defence for my father says that he will have her put down after he dies.

I compare this to the Indian practice of suttee and continue to use words such as extermination and murder throughout the evening. My father suggests that I might want Obe. I do not. I have my three legged feline Oakley and that is enough. But Oakley makes my point - he and his late soulmate Tara came from the cat rescue of the MSPCA after their former owner passed away. And since then Oakley has enjoyed more than six happy years with me.

Okay Oakley is a lovely creature, notwithstanding his lavatorial failings, whereas Obe is a monster but that is not the point. My father says that he has not told anyone else of his intentions towards poor Obe as she looks up at him adoringly. I suggest to him that he keeps it that way. As executor of his will I will not be authorising any cat executions, even if that cat is the frightful Obe.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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