A cat by any other name
DESPITE almost being lost forever and suffering the indignity of having a female name, Kate Webber’s six- year- old pampered cat Zsa Zsa is now very comfortable with both himself and his privileged spot in his South Hobart world.
I called Kate Webber of South Hobart a week beforehand to interview her about her six- yearold cat, Zsa Zsa. She said we would have to rendezvous at another time as puss had gone missing, which – as she elaborated – was a fairly common occurrence lately.
How did Zsa Zsa land in your life?
In one word: Literally. He was found with his brother meowing on the back step of my parent’s house when they were both kittens. My cousin David and I, who share a house together, took Zsa Zsa ( named after fl amboyant actress Zsa Zsa Gabor) and my parents adopted the other, which they named Mulligrub. Now, you may have just picked up I said “he” just before and that’s because we were dead- set certain Zsa Zsa was a girl when we fi rst got him. Soon after we got him I took him to the vets to be de- sexed because there were a lot of toms around in our neighbourhood. I clearly remember being at a bar enjoying a glass of wine and calling the vet in the afternoon to ask how my baby girl was after the operation, only to be informed I was the proud owner of very recently de- sexed boy. I was quite annoyed when I got to the clinic to pick him up as the vet had crossed out Zsa Zsa’s name and replaced it with Zorba. Despite this small hiccup and potential identity crisis we managed to stick with his original name and take full responsibility for any gender issues he has to deal with.
You’ve recently moved house and Zsa Zsa hasn’t taken to the new digs too well, has he?
Not at all. We moved 500m up the road in February and he just didn’t cope. Before that we’d lived in the same house for fi ve years and he was the perfect house cat, bar one instance when he got trapped in an abandoned house across the street and wasn’t found for a couple of days. When we moved we kept him inside for a couple of weeks, which is recommended, but as soon as we let him out he went missing the next day. I went down to the old house after he didn’t come home for a couple of days but he wasn’t there … and so then I went back after he was missing for four days, not really expecting him to be there. But lo and behold, he just popped out from under our old house … which was a relief. Since I didn’t expect to fi nd him I hadn’t taken the cat cage, thankfully the new tenants bundled him up in a box for me and even drove me and Zsa Zsa up the street home. Once he got back we kept him inside for about four months but he got out twice and you only need one guess where we found him each time. All in all since we’ve moved, he’s gone back to the old house fi ve times … sometimes we think our cat hates us!
What’s great about having Zsa Zsa?
You can do anything with him; he’s so gentle. I’m defi nitely not a “crazy cat lady” but we “may” have dressed him up from time to time. We just couldn’t live without him.