Trol­lip: Why ‘haves’ must pay

The Herald (South Africa) - - FRONT PAGE - Devon Koen koend@ti­soblack­

THERE is a say­ing that you do not own a cat, it owns you and, stay­ing true to form, Fabio showed he was king of the cas­tle when he dom­i­nated the scene dur­ing a live interview with mayor Athol Trol­lip on Wed­nes­day.

Af­fec­tion­ately re­ferred to as Fab by Trol­lip’s wife, Ja­nine, the grey-and-white cat stole the show when he made him­self com­fort­able on the mayor’s lap in front of the cam­era – stay­ing there for the en­tire sit-down interview with Trol­lip and his wife.

No stranger to the spot­light, Fabio, who re­ceived a num­ber of tweets and a ques­tion on his name dur­ing a Face­book Live interview, has also been seen on the front page of The Her­ald’s sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion, Daily Dis­patch, ac­cord­ing to his loyal sub­ject, Trol­lip.

“I was never a cat per­son be­fore, but this cat, I prom­ise you, it is like a dog,” he said.

“It comes when you call, it chases a ball. It’s just like a dog.

“When we go to bed it walks down the pas­sage and jumps up [onto the bed] and sleeps right next to my head.

“If I get up and go to the bath­room or some­thing and I come back he is still in the same place, it’s his place.”

Dom­i­nat­ing the Trol­lip house­hold is no easy feat, but Fabio is com­fort­able loung­ing about in the stylish Walmer home dec­o­rated by Ja­nine, who ac­cord­ing to her hus­band even made all the cur­tains.

“I’m re­ally lucky. I’m mar­ried to a su­per­woman – she’s a bril­liant seam­stress,” he said.

The cou­ple, who have been mar­ried for just un­der a year, said it was the time they spent alone at home to­gether which helped them un­wind.

“When I mar­ried him he wasn’t a mayor. He wasn’t plan­ning to be a mayor.

“You can’t re­ally choose who you fall in love with, but it’s not so stress­ful for me. My job is to keep him happy so that’s an easy one,” Ja­nine said.

Trol­lip said although he sel­dom brought work home, he and Ja­nine spoke of­ten about is­sues rel­e­vant to the city and to them­selves.

“Some­times there are is­sues that are in the paper and then Ja­nine will ask me about it and we will talk about it.”

Spend­ing time alone is very im­por­tant to the cou­ple, who moved to Walmer from their Rich­mond Hill home to have more space and to amal­ga­mate their two house­holds into one.

“We needed a big­ger house. We were getting mar­ried,” Ja­nine said.

“Athol had fur­ni­ture in stor­age, I’ve got a house in Port Al­fred that I have ten­ants in, so we had fur­ni­ture sit­ting in stor­age. “It made sense.” In their spare time they en­joy en­ter­tain­ing guests at home, going to the movies be­cause then the phones get switched off or pot­ter­ing around their gar­den.

“The day I try to make spare time is on Sun­days,” Trol­lip said.

“We go to church and have a bite of break­fast some­where and then we like to read the Sun­day pa­pers to­gether, work in our gar­den, mow the lawn, make a fire in the evening.

“That is what we like to do.”

LAP OF LUX­URY: Mayor Athol Trol­lip and his cat, Fabio

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