Jaffa! The indisputable leader of the gang. He’s the boss, he’s a pip, he’s the championship. He’s the most tip top, Top Cat.

 

Jaffa. My first proper pet.

The reason I fell in love with cats.

The reason I have a 2 inch scar on my left hand.

The reason I still step over the last but one stair at the top of the staircase years after his passing.

Jaffa was kind of a big deal around our street. There is no doubt he ruled it. And ruled it well. There was no crime, there was no nonsense. Jaffa had it all under quiet control.

In order to become Top Cat of the street, Jaffa first had to topple it’s current ruler. Simon.

Simon the cat. An ageing, rough, raggedy grey cat who had ruled our street for years and lived opposite our house. We had all lived under his dictatorship for far too long. Too scared to walk down the lane by Simon’s house, things needed to change. People needed to feel safe.

At the time, Jaffa was the new kid on the block. With a heart full of courage and a head full of brains he challenged Simon to a bare claw street fight one night. If Jaffa won, Simon was to hand control of the street over to him.

They met that night .

They hissed and spat with arched backs as they moved sideways past each other.

Each waiting for the other to make his move.

After a succession of  lightening quick paw jabs, the ears went down and the claws came out. There was a pounce, and suddenly they had wrapped their paws around each other and sunk their claws and teeth into each other.

They  rolled around the street oerning and kicking each other fiercely with their back paws…..In the Feline World Wrestling Federation* (FWWF), this finishing move  is known as the  ‘cottontail kick‘ due to it’s striking similarity to a bunny hop.

Yowling and wailing under a moonlit night, only one of them would emerge victorious.

That night…..Young fought Old, and Good fought Bad… But Pride fought Pride.

That night, a new Top Cat was crowned. Jaffa emerged the victor. True to his word, Simon handed over control of the street. Albeit with some reluctance, he knew he was beaten.

Ginger and grey fur littered the street from the night before,  whilst a triumphant Jaffa surveyed his new territory.

Things would be different now.

*Ever so slightly made this bit up
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