The black cat slunk out from the drain, first extending its forelegs, followed by its hindlegs, twanging elastically like a rubber band. It narrowed its yellow eyes, scowling at me for even noticing his less than glamorous arrival on the scene, before commencing its aristocratic saunter down the street. Goodness knows how many rat skeletons are in his closet. There is a certain air that only cats have- one that meshes together their lower-class scabbering-for-food in underground drainage systems and the sheer regalness of their lives’ philosophy. Very human too, to forget how dirty the means by which one gets rich, the path one has walked to opulent, indecent splendour. I’ve seen it all my life, walking down Sunset Boulevard. The nouveau riche marry the nouveau riche, then give birth to the ancien riche – thus reversing the order of age and experience. There’s no way of tapping on their door without being greeted with a glassy eyed stare, a curt dismissal, or an immediate assessment of your credit profile and how much of their time you are worth. Heaven help you if you wore a black tie and carried a bible.
Unlike humans, cats of every generation possess old money. Money so old and so dirty, they dip from the pool without blinking an eye. Like the mafia, they know how much they have and do what they have to do to protect it. My first cat was called Mr Corleone.