How a kitten originally named Nibbles became a Mister.

Mister Nibbles is a cat who fully deserves the two syllables, and not the everyday, unheeded ‘Mr’.

This is a cat with attitude.

You will notice the way he holds his right paw? This is because he suffered some nerve damage around eight years ago.

One evening he did not come home for dinner, and when one of the animals does not return after ‘lights out’ it is a cause for considerable concern.

He failed to return the following evening as well, and knowing how our pets are such creatures of habit we had almost given up and just hoped he had found a good home and had not been … well you know?

At 1:30 in the morning I was working late at the computer when I heard this slithering sound as if something was being dragged across the wooden floor – or, there was a Park Town Prawn, one of those dreadful burrowing crickets, that sprays fecal matter if it gets really pissed off! I looked around the monitor and saw nothing , but then the sound started up again on the other side of the desk. I swiveled my chair and looked down.

Oh the gods! It was Nibbles!

His right leg was all twisted and at such an unnatural angle I almost gagged at the sight. His tongue was swollen and sticking out of his mouth, and as I moved to pick him up, crying out for the wife at the same time, I realised the reason it was sticking out:  because he had bitten through it, thus ‘staking’ it, which prevented him from freeing it.

He was battered and crusted with blood. Dehydrated and obviously distraught but he couldn’t cry out because he had bitten through his tongue!

Within 15 minutes we were bundled into the car and off to an all-night vet. Once there, Nibbles was immediately sedated so his leg could be sorted out, and his tongue freed.  It looked as if the shoulder may have been dislocated.

The vet surmised that he had been clipped by a passing car and from his condition it had taken him the best part of two days to drag himself home. Can you imagine for a minute just what that took! Our place is a split-level property on the upside of a valley and he would have had to haul and drag himself over and up goodness knows what to reach home. That took determination and courage like I cannot imagine. And from an animal!

His right leg was paralyzed and the vet gave him little chance of ever regaining the use of it.

The following day, once he was stabilized, we transferred him to our usual vet where he stayed for a few days  to fully recuperate before we brought him home to convalesce.

He recovered the use of most of his leg. Only the paw never fully mended, and although he can put weight on it there is no sensation.

After all he went through, he still likes to wander a bit, but he rarely roams further than the neighbours’ and only those properties he can safely negotiate.

A Mister indeed!







  1. An amazing cat, indeed. He has a fittingly austere and superior expression.
    Our Mister Mac has earned his ‘Mister’ from sheer cattitude.
    Over the last couple of days, cats seem to have featured a lot in blogland!

    Liked by 1 person

          • I know. The OCD kicks in! However, I do find that coming back to a MS after a stint away, I might notice certain previously unregarded awkward phrasings or over-use of a particular word that to my (non-editor) eyes now comes across as a bit amateurish.
            Because there is a plethora of advice, and a lot of it is simply a matter of style, when I come across such ”sore thumbs” I will scour a few books of some of my favorite authors and see if I can spot similar stand-outs, or see how they have handled a particular piece of dialogue.
            It doesn’t always help, but I’ll usually glean something.


          • What is really depressing is when one glances at a book one has fine-tooth-combed countless times, and a fundamental error jumps out to punch one in the eye.
            On my own books as well as those I edit, I find it a good idea to run a word frequency analysis.


          • Yes, that is a major pain. Hence comparing such frequency of word usage with some of my favorite authors.
            Although in some instances they’ve used a word or phrase with a far higher degree of frequency than I have.
            The word ‘just’ is one that comes to mind.
            Very is another.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ‘Very’ is one I was guilty of until an editor cured me of the affliction. ‘Just’ is one I have deliberately overused in the speech of one of the characters in Tabika. The funny thing is how much I had to ladle it on before the excess became obvious.

            Liked by 1 person

          • In one book that I’ve checked the author has used ‘very’ 432 times.
            In one of my books of comparable length I got it down to 176!

            The word ‘But’ was another. He’d used it on 624 occasions, whereas I reduced my usage to 378.

            Had , Only, Just, are also niggly words that creep in, and before you know it they are all over the place!
            I always remember Donaldson using ‘bifurcated’. It is such a rarely used word that seeing it dotted about throughout his Covenant novels eventually irritated the hell out of me.

            And of course I was initially guilty of murdering the writing with adverbs!

            Right or wrong? Difficult to tell. But for me, such an exercise does help to encourage better sentence construction.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Had, only and just are necessary words if used where they are needed, and particularly to give some variety in construction. I strongly oppose the anti-adverb cult on the grounds that there is infinite variety in the way one can do anything, which an adverb can express far more efficiently than only context.


          • Some are ‘for’ and ‘others’ are against.
            I’m not schooled enough to say what’s right or wrong in this regard so I try to find a balance, and often as not, follow the lead of my favorite authors.


          • As long as the favourite authors aren’t of the ‘fast food’ variety. Popularity does not always mean good writing.
            Oh, another overused expression where I am also guilty: ‘seemed’. How often that is used for things that don’t seem, but ARE!


          • How would you rate Pratchett in this regard? He is the one I most often turn to when faced with these irritating dilemmas as I can relate to his style.


          • The Long Earth? Oh, I did not enjoy that collaboration at all.

            It reminded me of something Terry wrote in The Truth where Mr Tulip complains about the words: Dead or Alive on a wanted poster.
            ”It’s like that can’t make up their -ing minds.”

            That’s how I felt reading the Long Earth.

            I also like to refer to Tom Sharpe, as I enjoy his writing style and grammar usage.


          • I happened on The Long Earth a year or so ago, and since it had Pratchett slathered all over the cover i thought, well, of course. The only part I found even remotely Prachett-y was the plotting which was his usual complex “oh my i have three plots and they all have to come together soon” style. But it was so not him, otherwise. The blurb on the back said “you’ll laugh until you cry” but i was just bored. Sad, innit. I have the nasty feeling he was at the nod and smile stage, and not much else.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Good grief, I have an almost identical tale. Jungles (our #1) disappeared, 4 days and in the midst of a shocking storm he dragged himself (i don’t know how) up through the window, jaw split in half, shoulder hanging completely loose, an absolute mess. We’d been frantic, calling him constantly. Nothing. A day after he made it home a janitor from another building said, “Oh, was that your cat? I saw him days ago in the corner of the garage in a pool of blood.” I wanted to kill the man.

    This is him after we got him to the vet, before been cleaned up, just trying to save his life.


      • Hey … I do that.

        If I’m quick enough I get away without having to replace their blasted camera (I was told once never, ever, to smile for the camera) (my smile can stop a clock at a hundred yards …)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I marked this post “like” but in truth, it was a very sad state of affairs that poor Mr. Nibbles had to endure. So glad he found his way home where he knew love and TLC would surround him. Please give him an extra few strokes for me and tell him someone he doesn’t know admires his survivor skills.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Damn. Mr Man (that is what my fella calls both of our boys, prompting me to ask ‘which one?’ most of the time) had a hard go of it, didn’t he? Glad he made it back home again, too. Going on my list of reasons to not let a cat outside in a town, too. Then again I’ve read horror stories about recliners and buckets sunk in the ground to collect waste… I will not share.

    A place you could share is Katzenworld – they are looking for cat stories at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your cat story mirrors that of our son’s family cat. They think she might have been hit by a car but whatever happened, they had to pay a $1000 bill at the vet’s! egads! She must be fine, as I was up there the other day and there was a headless baby rabbit in the driveway . . the cat is a relentless hunter. 😦

    Your back-and-forth with colonialist reminded me of The Secret Garden. I was reading it aloud to a Grade six class some years ago and I don’t know if you can remember it but the author uses the word ‘gay’ frequently. . . as in, “Mary and Dickon had a gay time in the garden”, “The daffodils bobbed their gay heads”, etc. I eventually had to edit, changing the word to ‘happy’ every time I came across it. It took care of the snickering interruptions from the class of 12-yr-olds. 🙂


    • Some authors/books fall foul of such repetition and once it is picked up on it grates on the nerves, as you’ve just showed!
      It is surprising such things are not picked up by editors and proof readers – including repetition of such words as gay, even though it was perfectly acceptable at the time.

      Perspective varies so much which is why I chose to base my own word usage, grammar and method of phrasing on a handful of my favorite authors .


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