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Secrets, truths and some little white lies.

Byline: RHIAN WILLIAMS

FIRST of all, can I just say that I appreciate that cats have their role in society.

I admire cat owners and no cats were harmed during the making of this column.

It's just that I prefer dogs.

Come on, you have to agree that cats aren't the most personable animals in the world.

After returning home after a gruelling day at work a dog would, if it could, give you a big hug and cook you a casserole.

A cat would slap you across the face with a tin opener and ask: "Where's supper". But again I accept there are exceptions to the rule. Next door's cat is beautiful.

We had a cat once.

He was called Thomas, although if we had paid proper attention we would have noticed that he was actually a Tamara.

My sister bought him whilst living in London but the landlord wasn't amused and so, like those child refugees during the Second World War, Tamara was sent off to live with us in the country.

We didn't like it. Gelert the dog wasn't ecstatic either but it was a done deal. The cat looked at us all with an air of disappointment which, over time, turned into loathing and pure disdain.

Now I won't lie, I did learn a lot - for example when the cat fell into a bowl of turps and all its hair fell out but its beautiful markings were clear for all to see on its skin. See, you learn something new every day.

The cat was undoubtedly at its happiest when Gelert died.

We were devastated. The cat declared a national holiday.

The consensus was that we would never own a dog again because we got too attached and yet, predictably, within three days there was a new puppy on the ranch.

Thomas was understandably gutted and before you could say "opposable thumbs" the cat had popped its toothbrush and flick knife into its rucksack and was last seen heading towards the M4.

At this point my sister Eryl was living halfway across the world and so we all decided to act in a loving responsible mature manner and not mention a word to her on the phone - there wasn't anything to gain in upsetting her.

So when she questioned us about the cat's wellbeing we were appropriately vague.

This went on swimmingly for about two years.

Eryl was happy in the knowledge the cat was enjoying life, so everyone was happy. Reality struck when Eryl informed us she was heading home on holiday.

For some inexplicable reason we still remained silent.

Three months later we picked her up from Heathrow and as we made the journey home there was a flicker of hope that she too had sort of forgotten about the cat.

But then somewhere around the service stations in Leigh Delamere she proclaimed how she couldn't wait to see Thomas again.

I can't remember who told her but she didn't take it well.

Thomas, if you're out there somewhere, please call Eryl.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 22, 2012
Words:508
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