This story is about my feline friend, Mr. Mini-max Montgomery. Background history: Mini-max, English by birth, moved to Germany from Newmarket as a young lad and his job – mouser to an aristocratic household where my mother worked.
There is nothing mini about this cat as it’s twice the size of a normal cat, not that he is ‘fat’ per se, and I don’t like to use the ‘f’ word. It’s just he enjoys his food, a true gourmand and my sous chef whenever I’m visiting and in the kitchen cooking.
Last summer my mother was for a very long time in hospital and during her absence the staff at the house decided to leave the cellar door open in the kitchen for Mini so that he could come and go as he pleased without having to bypass the dogs into the gardens. Just to explain further, for some reason also, last year there was a huge problem with mice as most people we spoke with in the village were facing the exact same thing. Now, as you can imagine, cellar door, kitchen, 100 year old country home, need I say more. After coming home one night late from the hospital, I went into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and switched on the light and both I and the mouse saw each other and just froze. I cannot say who was more frightened, me or the mouse - so I let out this huge scream and ran! I know, I’m a wimp, what can I say…
After speaking to the lady of the house, Mini was kept in the kitchen where he normally slept when his owner was travelling in the hope that he would catch this mouse. As you know we cannot have such a problem in a kitchen. Well, little did we realise what a problem it was, the kitchen and the house was overrun with it. I know, I shudder every time I think about. So poor Mini was put on a diet of mice only and boy did he do his job. As I’m such an early riser, I was unfortunately always first at the scene of the crime on most days. I normally ran out to catch one of the gardeners to clean up or, hang my head in shame, asked my invalid mother who would be home from the neurological rehabilitation hospital over the weekends to do the honours.
I digress. I decided to call Mini the serial killer of Sommerberg as he was very prolific and had a very strange way of placing his victims. He mainly decapitated them and would also detach a foot from the body and place just an inch away, so at a glance the body would be in one piece. Once the crime scene was finished with, we would then take a piece of kitchen roll to lift the body by its tail and it would just fall apart like a jigsaw puzzle. I know, I’m being very descriptive, but I have to give you an insight into this killer’s mind.
Ahh, there was nothing more prouder then Mini in that moment. In the mornings when I would inch into the kitchen to check, I usually would glance at him first on his perch by the window and his body language would clue me in on the situation. “All hail Caesar” would spring to mind! He would be sitting there, proud profile like the Sphinx by the Pyramid of Khafre, his glance all cool and arrogant, basking in his glory – saying “see, look, look at me”.
I had to of course praise him and tell him what a wonderful cat he was, which let us face it, he was!! I would pat that big chest of his, my fingers lost in layers of fur and rolls of ‘ahem’ muscles and listen to the motor kick start and his purring fill the morning air with his satisfaction, the best of the best, as, really dear readers, he was.
As the summer passed and it turned into one of the harshest winters we had in history, this problem went away and we were once more a peaceful household, mouse free on the inside, with the occasional carcass left on our door step or on my mother’s window sill as a gift from Mini.
As I mentioned, this was an aristocratic house and the late Count in his youthful days would hunt and we had along a very long corridor in this house heads mounted of the animals he hunted (horrible, I know, but such were the days). There was also a TV room, named the bear room as there was a huge bear skin rug and some more heads of the hunted. Now the reason why I bring this up is because just recently on one of her walks, my mother noticed one of the dogs at the outside of this window, from the garden looking in to this bear room and he would not go away. She came closer to have a look as he was getting too engrossed in whatever it was that was fascinating him. As she looked down, she saw this bizarre sight. My mother had lost 50% of her sight last year, so it takes a while also for her brain to register things she sees. So she took a real close look and suddenly realised what it was and let loose this rollicking laugh.
There along the ledge of this window that looked into the bear room and the hunting trophies, were rows of mice’s heads. There must have been about 10 of them (ten heads, not 10 rows). One after the other, placed side by side, with the tip of the nose pointed upwards. Mini had over time, collected and presented this row of heads in order to create his own ‘trophy room’ so to speak.
Now some people might think, what on earth are you laughing about, why do you find this funny or think even, ahhh that is so cute. Well it’s because this cat is just one of a kind. Such an eccentric mind, such a character that keeps us so amused and entertained and who has become such a dear member of my family. Why did he do this, what was he thinking. I often wish I could read his mind. I have never had cats in my life, it was a doggy household, but this cat has made a cat fan out of me because he just is such a character who amuses me constantly and shows me such love and affection.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the serial killer of Sommerberg and my big boy, Mini-max Montgomery:
“ALL HAIL MINI-MAX”