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WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT

Story ID:562
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Story
Location:Tokyo Japan
Year:1958
Person:Tae
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WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT

WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT

WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT

WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT

WE CALLED HIM TOP CAT




Leaves, wet from the cold November drizzle stuck to our shoes as we walked to the corner where my future bride lived. Returning from a concert in down town Tokyo, Tae and I looked forward to a cup of hot chocolate.

Enjoying our cup of warmth, we heard a faint mewing cry. Tae went outside and returned, clutching to her breast a tiny kitten, dumped by the corner hedges. Tae provided warm milk and fish, and a cardboard box lined with towels for a warm bed.


The kitten, was a male bobtail yellow in color, with a lot of white on his underbelly and throat, feet, and the lower part of his face. He proved a highly intelligent animal, quickly learning a routine, and how to win the heart of Tae, who named him Blondie.

Blondie grew into a handsome cat that loved the out doors, but always remembered where home was. He knew to come to the door, or in some places we lived, to the window and cry loudly to be let in.

Tae and I married and needed much larger quarters. I negotiated for us to get a house when it became available. In the meantime we moved into an apartment. There, I acquired a cocker spaniel puppy named Freckles. Tae was afraid Blondie would not accept this intruder, but he accepted Freckles right away and they became close friends.

One afternoon, I returned home to find Tae very distraught. Blondie was missing and Tae was nearly out of her mind. I tried to reassure her, but she would have none of it. The apartment doors were fitted with a hook and eye, so that doors could be hooked in the open position far enough to allow air circulation. Tae locked our door and went to the market. Blondie merely found a door hooked open across the hall, walked in, found a comfortable place and went to sleep.

The house became available. I hired a truck and two men. We packed nearly everything in the truck. To protect a glass coffee table top and glass cabinet doors, we wrapped them in a silk comforter and a fur blanket. Tae took Blondie in a taxi with the glass and all of my expensive photography equipment. I went on ahead in the truck and took Freckles with me.

I knew where we were going but Tae did not. I wrote down the address for her. Blondie began to fuss. He needed to go. Tae told the driver to stop the cab. She opened the door and held him outside by the back of his neck. Blondie was having none of that and struggled free. He ran behind the house they were in front of. Tae told the driver to wait. She recovered Blondie who had done his business under the rear of the house. When she went back with Blondie, the taxi was gone. Her purse was gone along with the address. She found another cab and went back to the apartment we had just vacated and borrowed money to pay for the taxi. I found her there with Blondie, waiting for me. We filed a report with the police but to no avail.

Though the new quarters were in a well off residential area with a temple across the street, one of the neighbors had a few chickens, confined to their yard with a fence. We lived on the second floor. At one end was a lovely tiled patio with a four foot wall around it. The roof was constructed of red rounded tile. Blondie went out on to the patio, across the roof, to a tree and then to the ground. He always returned the same way. One day he returned dragging a chicken by the neck. Tae apologized to the neighbor. We never did figure out how he managed to carry a large chicken over fences and up the tree to the roof.

The time came when we had to go to the U.S.A. We were not permitted to bring pets on the military plane. We had to ship them by commercial air and pick them up at San Francisco Airport. Blondie and Freckles being such good friends, I put them together in the same cage. People at the airport on both ends of the trip were astonished to see a dog and a cat together and getting along so well.

We were next stationed at Orlando, Florida. Within a few days, Blondie had taken over the neighborhood. Everywhere we lived, he was “Top Cat.” He would bring home all the other cats in the neighborhood to show them where he lived and introduce them to his people.

Next door to us, lived a retired school teacher. The back yard where we lived was fenced and the gate just outside her kitchen window. Blondie sat atop the gate post and the teacher talked to him out the window. He answered her. They had daily conversations.

Blondie was guardian of the property. Any dog that entered the yard other than Freckles was in trouble. Blondie attacked them from the rear and send them running.

One day a neighbor from across the street, confided in me that Blondie made a fool out of him. He was awakened at two A.M. by a cat crying on the roof. It was a full moon in a clear sky and he could see Blondie. He got a ladder from his car port. The ladder wasn’t long enough to reach the edge of the roof. Believing Blondie couldn’t get down, he stood on the ladder as high as he could go and reached for the roof. He could get his wrist even with the edge of the roof and wiggled his hand above the edge. Blondie just reached out with his paw and playfully slapped his hand. After several minutes of this, the neighbor decided Blondie could stay there. Returning to the door of his house, he observed Blondie run to the edge of the roof, jump lightly to a nearby tree, shinny down the tree and run into our car port.

Blondie loved Freckles, but took advantage of him. Whenever Blondie decided it was nap time, he looked to see where Freckles was. If Freckles was sleeping in a chair or on the sofa, Blondie began washing Freckles face. He became rougher and rougher until Freckles finally got up and moved. Blondie then curled up and lay down in the spot Freckles had all warmed up, and then looked around with a very pleased with himself expression on his face.

Being a great hunter, he always carried his prey home and deposited it in front of the door. Only after we saw it and praised him, did he consider eating it.

After nearly four years in Florida, I was transferred to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. Blondie quickly established himself as “Top Cat.” He was always the Top Cat in every neighborhood he ever lived. The hunting was good and he enjoyed life. After a couple of years, Blondie became extremely ill with spinal meningitis. Our beloved Blondie was buried beneath a trellis covered with morning glories in our back yard.