About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Mr. Atherton's Cat

Buster was a strange animal!

Approximately seven years old, he was a silver and black cat with a red collar on which hung a brass name tag and a bell.

Oh yes, he had attitude too.

Sharp teeth, sharp claws and attitude!  Definitely attitude.

No one touched Buster but Mr. A.  Limbs could be lost by anyone not in the know.

But he was strange in other ways too.He would, for example, accompany his owner Mr. Atherton* to the local pub on a regular basis. Back in 1976, they were a well known pair that were often seen together in The Coble pub in my home town of Newbiggin by the Sea.

I was told by Mr. A. himself that Buster had just turned up one day on his doorstep shortly after the death of his wife ... Mr. A's, not Buster's ...and as no one had claimed him, he moved in and became a household fixture.

Between 1976 and 1982, the year Mr. A passed away, I often sat with them in the pub and shared a pint, ever hopeful of a time when I could stroke him without forfeit of an extremity.

But, after Mr. A passed away, Buster disappeared.  No one ever found out where he went.

Some years later, about 1989 or 90, I passed the house where Mr. A. used to live.  I knew that a young couple had moved in a few wears earlier, but had never met them.

As I walked by, I looked towards the front door and there,on the step sat a silver and black cat. It wore red collar on which hung ... yes you've guessed it! ... a brass name tag and a bell.

I was curious, or nosey (whichever you prefer), so I went to door and knocked.  The cat just stared at me.
A woman in her thirties answered and I proceeded to enquire as to the name of her cat and where he came from.

She said he was approximately seven years old and they had found him on their windowsill one day and he had never left. His name was ...

"Buster!" I blurted.

She seemed surprised.  So I told her the story of Mr. A.

"Now that's really odd" she said.  "Our Buster follows my husband to the pub too".

We chatted for a few more minutes before I said my goodbyes and headed off on my way.

It must have been the same cat I thought.  Maybe the Buster I knew was a lot younger than we'd thought.

Over time, the story of Buster slipped my mind, just as many things have before and since.

In 2005 when I once again returned to my home town for short visit to family, I found myself in need of a cold beverage and, being near The Coble, I popped in for a quick drink.

I could not believe what I saw.  In the corner sat a man, perhaps in his seventies, and under the table at which he sat, lapping at a saucer of water, was a silver and black cat wearing a red collar on which hung ... sing along now ... a brass name tag and a bell.

"Buster?" I said.

The cat left the saucer and sauntered across the hideous red carpet and began rubbing himself against my leg.

I bent down and went to stroke his head but that beautiful little kitty transformed himself into a hissing ball of fur, teeth and claws.  I barely managed to pull my hand back in time.

Yep!  That was Buster!

But how?  He would be well over thirty years old!

He should have been a long dead kitty.

The barman said "You've not met Buster before then. We all know how dangerous he can be".

I told them the story that I have just told to you.

Everyone just stared at Buster!

There were, if my memory serves, quite a few mutterings of "It can't be!" and "Impossible!"

All I know is that this cat was ... and I mean really was ... just as I remembered the Buster I first met in 1976.

* This tale, with the exception of the name Atherton (as I can't for the life of me recall his true name), the fact that my dates may be a little out (but not much) and maybe it was another one of Newbiggin's pubs and not The Coble they frequented, is absolutely true.  I kid you not!  But I will leave it to your own good selves to decide if such a story, by any stretch of the imagination, could be true or not.


  1. :-) Makes me happy to think that Buster is someehow sent to accompany men to the pub.


  2. sounds like buster is an old wives tale. or he has many children with the same name & characteristics.

  3. For Buster "old habits die hard" living in the same house and following another master to the same pub :-).

  4. I wonder how such a thing can happen...but there are more things in heaven and on Earth....

  5. I suspect Buster was lapping more than just water from that bowl at the pub. That hard liquor keeps your blood pumpin'!
    Great story, I read every word wondering and hoping that Buster was living out his nine lives.


Any and all comments are welcome ...