The cat with no tail
This is Chimhini, or ‘Short Tail’ in Shona. She is a pub cat and, like many of the patrons much of the time, she’s a darn cool cat.
She is comfortable among imbibers of all the various waters of wisdom. She is at home in the geniality and bulldust and gets stroked by the hardest of hearts.
How did she lose her tail? It is not true, as some suggest, that I ran over it. The truth is that she was basking in the sun one day, just alongside a parked pick up, and had curled her tail around one of the drive shafts. It got entangled there and when the truck started up she couldn’t scamper away as she usually did.
She was rushed to the vet and bears no hard feelings. She has had two litters of kittens since then, the tom cats of the neighbourhood clearly undeterred by her handicap. She has been snipped now.
Chimhini is looked after and fed but will still grab for a stray piece of biltong or a morsel of piri piri chicken when no-one’s looking. When alcohol-fueled tempers do flare at The Red Lion – whether it be over rugby or cricket or emotional or political matters – she keeps her distance and wonders what all the fuss is about.
Not a bad life, a cat’s life. Chimhini gets a little anxious when Mr or Mrs Mugabe’s noisy helicopters swoop over the car park just above tree height to the walled-in helipad and presidential guard barracks across the street that used to be an open polo field.
Sitting on a bar stool and watching, she knows, of course, that those who drink to drown their sorrows in these difficult and perilous times are doing it in vain. Humans should know that sorrows have learnt how to swim.