King Of Small Beasts - Bengal Cat
Cats. And Dogs.
This was provoked (correct word!) by the lovely Frieda Babbley - after a comment on her similar article about her own delicious felines. Frieda - thankyou!
Without doubt – cats rock. They are the ultimate in cool. Nothing symbolises poise, grace and utter arrogance quite like a cat. Of course, I rate dogs. But dogs are, in the opinion of a cat, far too eager to please.
How many times did you berate your mutt into submission for sneaking onto furniture? Not so the cat. Nope. Cats on chairs are legitimate … certified … approved. Ever thrown a stick for a cat? Bet you’ve thrown a million for your dog. When did you last give your dog its own, private indoor toilet facility? But most cats get one.
Hell – we even give our cats their own doors! Does your cat have to sit and wait for its food – until you command it to eat? Even better – when your cat turns its nose up at the latest gourmet delights lovingly spooned into its dish – what do you do? That’s right. You buy another brand. Nothing’s too much trouble for your cat.
Cats. I’ve had a few. But none nearly half as much fun as Sully. The most egotistical, challenging and distinctly majestic feline in existence. Slinky, sly and subtle. All required cat qualities. Ardent lover, consummate thief and world class assassin. And this was after he was neutered.
A few years ago, I ended up with a bit of money. Not a huge amount, maybe a thousand pounds. I could’ve bought something useful. Or practical. Even something beneficial. It was an easy decision. I bought Sully.
I actually wanted a dog. But I’d been a bit put off by my last one. So I decided to play it dangerous. Not only would I buy a cat – I’d buy the pinnacle of cats. The absolute King of small beasties. A Bengal. The most beautiful, the most wonderful, the most obnoxious feline you could ever be stupid enough to own.
The day Sully and I met; it was love at first sight. For me. And servant at first sight for him. He ran up my leg, disregarding the fact that it was bare – claws work just as well on skin – scampered diagonally up and over my shoulder and attacked my hair band. After a little tussle, in which I lost some hair, blood, more skin and my hair band, I was smitten.
I bought him on the spot. Several weeks later, I brought him home. I named him Sully. Then watched lovingly on as he demolished my curtains, plants and books. And scared our fish into rigor mortis. He was simply … devine.
Kitten. In Da Hood.
Sullys’ early years were a complete riot. My neighbours adored him. No matter how many times he hammered their cats, tormented their dogs or ran with wild abandon through their homes – he could do no wrong. No cat crime was bad enough. And Sully smashed his way through a whole repertoire. He was a one-cat crime wave bar none.
I lost count of the times he swam in a neighbours’ pond, hooked a Koi and brought it home for dinner. Or played sport with frogs ‘til they either expired or something more interesting appeared on the horizon. Then there was the way he’d systematically seek and destroy spiders …
By the time he was around six months old, Sully had developed some curious hitherto unknown cat habits. He was the cutting edge in all things cat! For example - he had a mail fetish. He acquired a six-sense for postal deliveries. He rarely gave me a nod. I’d just find confetti - formerly known as mail – strewn round the house. He opened cupboard doors. For no apparent reason. I’d be in the kitchen and he’d just arise from his quiescence - and open all the base doors. He’d withdraw, watch me close them – then alight upon a counter and methodically open all the upper ones.
He engaged in all out war with the local squirrels. Resulting in complete annihilation. Of the squirrels. He sat patiently for a week or so - watching two magpies build a nest. He was positively enthralled. One morning, I was woken by the magpies chattering – like Sotherbys’ auctioneers. I looked from the bedroom window. Sully was fast asleep in their newly completed nest.
Cats. Or dogs?
Persians. Neutering. And Fights.
At 12 months, Sully was taking three and four day sabbaticals. These were both worrying and intriguing. He always returned, smiling, languid – satisfied. But from where was he returning? The mystery was solved the day I drove through a neighbouring village and had to avoid two cats fighting in the road. One was Sully. Of course I jumped out and try to save the Persian. Some woman appeared, all contorted and affronted. ‘Twas her cat.
Apparently this was Sullys’ holiday village. It’s where his wenches resided. Therefore he had to travel there and patrol it once or twice a month … keep his women happy and the bad boys at bay. From what I could tell – he’d been creating mayhem. The boy seriously needed containing …
Post-neutering – I gave up. Sully continued with his rakish behavious. Rare, so the vet told me. Very rare. But not unheard of. In truth, he was a huge fan of Sully. He was the first Bengal he’d ever worked with and he found them a fascinating breed. He always likened Sully to a stray dog. With all the abilities (and a few more besides) of a well bred cat. I always thought it was kind of my vet not to add the fact that Sully was also an accomplished murderer.
Sully continued to live life to the full – as well as handle the overspill. No prey too fast, no tree too high. No dog too large. And no moment sacred. Sully and I shared many ‘moments’. We slept together. Not because I wanted to – because Sully expected it. Closed doors were a mere trifle. He’d just open them and come to bed. I couldn’t always shower in peace. Sully would blast through the door and join me. In the shower. I’d go for a walk – on occasion Sully kept me company. We’d go to the shop. We’d buy his dinner together. We talked – often. The only thing Sully never mastered was how to open cat food. But then – why would he? That’s what I was for.
This may seem as though it’s going to end with ‘unfortunately Sully died a year ago’. Nope. He’s alive and well. Over in the UK. He would be here with me now if I thought he’d settle. But he won’t and I know it. He simply bugger of back home again. He’s proved he has an adventurer’s heart on more than one occasion – the last time he went adventuring for three months. When he’d done venturing along the highways, byways and hedgerows – he simply turned himself in. At a veterinary practice. He was chipped – and he knew it. All he had to do was get himself a taxi …
I miss him in ways that I shouldn’t. No cat deserves such devotion – especially Sully. He’s quite vile and were he human, he’d be locked up in a maximum security prison. Everything I’ve written is true. And what I’ve written doesn’t cover half of what he’s done, is capable of or will go on to do in the future.
So – here’s to Sully. A cat in a billion …
- The International Bengal Cat Society Presents The Bengal Cat
The International Bengal Cat Society - a world wide group, containing breeders, information, breeding profiles and much more. A great all round Bengal site.
- Bengal (cat) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Wiki-Bengal site. Far more informative - if you're interested in the breed - and in depth
- Bengal Breed Info
A basic summary of the breed. Various other links to breeders etc and further information