Cats I Have Known – Baldrick and Nursie

Baldrick and Nursie were my neighbour’s cats, named after characters in Blackadder (actually, Baldrick was originally called ‘Black-and-white-adder’, due to his coat colour, but it hardly rolls off the tongue). They overlapped with our Fluff, and I remember Baldrick’s first encounter with her: he was still a wee kitten, and she was sleeping on what he clearly thought was his lawn. His fur and tail puffed up, and he did a bit of sideways scuttling and hissing. Fluff, about twice his size and largely unflappable, deigned to raise her head to see what the fuss was about, before ignoring him entirely. A rather confused kitten eventually sloped off, and they subsequently tolerated each other perfectly well.

Baldrick grew into a sturdy and sleek cat, friendly to us hoomins, less so to the avian, murine, and occasionally feline, communities. His sister Nursie, a pretty tortoiseshell, was a much different character, shy and a bit skittish; she was in a car accident, and I think it permanently left her a bit spooked. She was a sweet affectionate cat, though, and had a litter of four kittens when young; but more of them another time…

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