The London Cat on the Wall Experience
If it is your first visit to London, and if you are lucky, or even unlucky you will be treated to the mini magic of meeting The Cat on the Wall.
On one amazing holiday, a rather irksome cousin had come to visit us in Surbiton, a suburb around London. After tea he suggested we all go for a walk and I tried to wriggle out of it, as he was a talkative bore and the walk would become all about HIM and his underwhelming exploits, insights, tips and advise etc.
But my sister urged me not to be rude and gently bullied me into going. We set out and found ourselves with eight lanes around to choose from. The talker, talking rigorously, chose the fourth lane. He was not even a cat lover so it was a very weird magic that happened: we stepped into the only lane in that locality that treated us to five large local moggies! They were all furry, serene as sunlight, very corpulent like large microwaves, and dressed up by the rainbow itself, and gracing walls like angels of Purring Peace!
Every day we visited and there they sat, or snoozed or blinked, allowing us to pet, cuddle, photograph and pamper them!
The Cat on the Wall is a very uncounted event and not at all researched enough to get its dues as one of London’s highly refreshing offers. But it is a very regular reliable and free treat given to you from London’s Feline Consumer Redressal Forum/Club and it even has a curriculum of sorts that it follows. One of its main positively reliable functions is this: if someone or something in London has stabbed you in the back, exhausted you to near death, or darkened your holiday in any way, it is the job of the Cat on the Wall to at once appear to redress this mischievous matter of misery.
If you have a sore foot from too much walking, too many tube stations to stumble through, too many queues at London Zoo, Madame Tussaud’s or whatever, you will be met by the Cat on the Wall. He or she will blink at you and in minutes will calm you down and repair all damages.
The last time I went, I was horrified to learn the price of visiting the Chelsea Flower Show. My mathematics being lousy, it was hard for me to convert the price of visiting it, in rupees, but it certainly seemed like I would have to sell my house in India, to visit the show. Instead I went out for a walk and at once was greeted by a gentle little Cat on the Wall who told me to forget the flower show and nattered with me about the London weather and the many free joys I could have, which were even better than the Chelsea Flower show! Why could I not go to Regent’s Park, free and bursting with a million roses in its Queen Ann’s rose garden? Or even Wisley, where I could get flowers to my heart’s content with a galaxy of adorable ducks to walk me through the plants with their cheering quacks?
On one London trip my sister and I spent 10 pounds or more for too many plays which later we found to be really awful and not worth the price. Reviewers too could be as silly or sly or crafty or unreliable as the ones in India we found out to our dismay. For one show that my brother chose, being clueless about plays, and not even bothering to read the reviews, he paid up for each of us the ridiculous sum of 30 pounds each, and it was so bad, we wanted to vomit. Worse, there was no interval and the doors were locked firmly by the creepy ushers, so we could not escape to warn others about the trash we had paid up for!
The next day there was this tender black beautiful little cat on the wall waiting to cheer me up. Her owner, a gypsy who read palms and sold home crafted jewels told me firmly that her cat was shy and would not pose for a stranger. Her cat amazed her by blinking at me and posing entrancingly, knowing I had been robbed by those thugs who operate around London Theatres!
The Cat on the Wall impersonates Wisdom: I am quite sure of it. It will ever so often remind you that sometimes it is good to just sit still and listen to your soul, or if your soul has gone out of you for a spell, or is grumpy, then listen to Pavarotti singing Nessum Dorma or O Sole Mio!! Or for that matter, anything that magician sings to fly you straight to Joy!
As long as there is that Cat on the Wall no London holiday can crush you up like a sugar free Zero Coca Cola can!