The Cat Man of Malta

If you’re a stray cat, Malta is the place to be. They do not entice you and kill you want they do in so many different locations. They’ll repair you so you will not have any kids after which flip you unfastened. It’s not the best life, however the climate is normally fairly good and you’ll find shelter someplace when it rains. People generally come by and offer you a pet, when you allow them to. Even getting a sq. meal is not too powerful. There aren’t many birds or mice, however there’s the Cat Man of Malta to feed you.

I met the Cat Man promoting cat meals on Tower Road in Sliema on my final journey in May of this 12 months (2005). He was standing in that unusual driveway that does not appear to go wherever only a brief distance away from the Strand. It was early morning and considerably chilly and he was sporting a grey go well with jacket. Of medium peak, slight of construct, and longish hair that’s simply beginning to flip grey, he held out a plastic bundle towards me. “Feed the cats?” he requested in a delicate voice. I could not resist and gave him a pound, or the equal of three {dollars}, and advised him to maintain the change. He provided God’s blessings as I continued on my manner.

I did not ask his identify. I casually talked about the encounter to Charlie, the person who works the desk on the guesthouse the place I used to be staying and he stated that everybody knew him. He wasn’t from Malta, however in all probability got here from England or the US and had a flat someplace close to the University. He did not appear to have a job besides the route he had from Valletta to Paceville feeding cats.

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I may really feel him turning into a personality in a novel and requested some shopkeepers about him. Charlie was proper. Everyone did appear to know him and like him. He was a lovable eccentric just like the fowl girl of Trafalgar Square. One man speculated that he was a rich inheritor to a household fortune in London and had come to Malta to avoid the individuals who had been after his cash. The common consensus was that he lived on the spare change from individuals who purchased meals from him.

Several days later I used to be strolling by the park on Tigne Point on the way in which to the Crown Point Hotel the place I had an interview. The Cat Man was crouching beside a park bench surrounded by what appeared to be fifty crying cats. He had a scrawny calico on one shoulder and a hissing black Tom on the opposite with scores of others making an attempt to climb into his grocery bag, or jostling one another to rub in opposition to his legs. Mick Jagger could not have had extra loving followers. I used to be touched. The extra so as a result of so many appeared to be malnourished. What amazed me was that a number of the scrawniest appeared extra intent on being petted than on consuming. The grocery bag was lastly emptied and the Cat Man stood up and took a seat on the park bench. I watched him decide up an empty container and puzzled if he waited round till they had been all completed. For the primary time he appeared to note my presence and we exchanged waves and I began on to my appointment.

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That was the final time I noticed him. I positive hope I’ll run into him once more.


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