The Soldier and the Kitten

LadyBohemia hasn’t been in the garden lately as the weather has been miserable, but we sat and had a fantastic chat over egg and crest sandwiches for lunch today. We sat at the breakfast table with Loraine who was going over some paperwork.

LadyBohemia asked about my family. Mum’s pushing Katie to think about Unis, but Katie doesn’t want to go. And, with the Uni fees being so high now, Mum probably couldn’t afford it anyway. Dad’s offered to pay a bit so that Katie doesn’t have to go into debt, but anytime Dad pays for something Mum gets her back up. Although it’s all moot as Katie now wants to be a tattoo artist because she loves the shows LA Ink and Miami Ink – even though she’s never drawn anything in her life and nearly pukes at the site of blood.

I was rambling on about my family and LadyBohemia actually seemed interested. She really is lovely. I asked her about her family — does she have brothers and sisters? She had an older brother, but he died years ago. They were quite close, and he was Loraine’s favourite uncle.

LadyBohemia said that she and her brother were always at odds with one another. What she believed politically, socially and just generally, he took the opposing view. However, he was also the kindest man she’d ever known. 

LadyBohemia told me a story about when he was in Italy during the War. Her brother was called to duty closer to the end of the War, and he was there for the liberation of Italy. He found a stray kitten left behind in a cleared out village. He took the kitten with him, feeding him from his rations. The kitten slept in his rucksack while they travelled, and he’d let it out for a while when they stopped. He wasn’t sure what to do with it, but – despite being chastised by his comrades – he refused to abandon it.

Up until this point the kitten hadn’t been with her brother during any fighting, and they got orders to ‘liberate’ a town. He was terribly worried for the cat’s safety and his commander told him to leave the cat behind. Her brother refused, and as the cat was accustomed to sleeping curled up in the darkness of his bag, he kept the cat it in his rucksack as they moved into the village. They surrounded a building and shouted for all occupants to come out, but instead of opposing forces surrounding, a girl exited the house. She was nothing more than skin, bones and a flimsy dress, and she was a British ex-patriot who had been caught in Italy with her family unable to leave. As she called to them in English the troop shouted with joy. The thought of liberating a family of their own nationality was joyous.

The family was placed on a truck and taken to safety with the troops, and as they travelled LadyBohemia’s kitten began meowing. He took the cat out of his bag, and gave it to the little girl.  

After the war ended, and her brother was home, he received a letter and a photo. The girl and the cat had both grown — the cat was an adult and the girl a young woman. Both were happy and living inYork. LadyBohemia’ brother wrote the girl back, and a correspondence began. A year later they married.

Like the fool I am, I was in tears by the time LadyBohemia finished the story. Loriane was still going through paperwork, and I didn’t think she was listening, but I heard a slight sniffle. I looked up and she had a tear going down her face as well.

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2 responses to “The Soldier and the Kitten

  1. Aww, that’s such a nice story 🙂

  2. Yeah, it really is a nice story. And LadyBohemia does it so much more justice than I do. She should write it up as a short story.

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