故事:我爱上了一只有主人的偷心贼猫咪
2021-01-13 Alley 12317
正文翻译
There's a well-known saying that goes, "You don't choose a cat, a cat chooses you." So what should you do, when a persistent pussycat in the neighbourhood decides to adopt you?

有句名言是这么说的:“不是你选择了猫,而是猫选择了你。”如果你家附近有只温顺的猫咪一直徘徊在你身边决定收养你,那你该怎么办呢?


For me, it began about 18 months ago, one long, hot summer evening when two huge wanting eyes, accompanied by serenading mews appeared at the kitchen door. It didn't recoil when I approached it. In fact it appeared quite pleased when I began speaking in ridiculously high-pitched baby speak. Nor did it flinch when I softly stroked behind its grey, fluffy ears. Instead it lay on its back and allowed me to feel the softness of its white belly fur and loudly purred in gratitude. In appreciation that my affections were returned, I opened a can of tuna which it hastily scoffed and left.

我自己就经历了这样的事情,故事要从18个月前说起。那是一个漫长而炎热的夏夜,伴随着小夜曲的声音,我家厨房门口出现了两只渴望的大眼睛,那是猫咪的眼睛。当我靠近它时,它没有退缩。事实上,当我开始用高得可笑的婴儿语对它说话时,它似乎还很高兴。当我轻轻地抚摸它那毛茸茸的灰耳朵后,它也没有一点害怕的样子。相反,它躺在地上让我摸它那柔软的白色肚皮,同时发出咕噜咕噜的声音表示感谢。我的爱得到了回报,这让我非常开心,后来我打开了一罐金枪鱼罐头喂它,小猫咪狼吞虎咽地吃完离开了。

I didn't think anything of it at the time other than that it was a cosy exchange. A summer memory made and I had performed a good deed.

当时我没有多想,只是觉得这是一次惬意的交流。这是关于一个夏天我做了一件好事的记忆。



After a couple of months I bought a pet bed for The Cat to relax in and dedicated bowls for food and water. I would go to work, discover cat hair on my clothes and smile in anticipation of being together in the evenings. Photos of The Cat would appear on my social media. Colleagues at work would notice my online activity and ask, "How's your cat?" I would answer as if The Cat was mine.

几个月后,我为这只猫买了一张宠物床,让它在里面休息,还专门为它买了盛食物和水的碗。那段时间,我去上班的时候偶尔发现衣服上有猫毛时,就会微笑着期待晚上和猫在一起时光。这只猫的照片也会出现在我的社交媒体上。我的同事注意到我网上放出的照片后问我:“你的猫怎么样了?”的时候,我会把猫当成是我的一样来回答问题。



A quick internet search for the hashtag #notmycat revealed that I was part of a club. There were other people just like me - people enjoying the benefits of a cat but with none of the responsibilities of an owner. There are beautiful clandestine pictures and vlogs of humans and felines that don't officially belong together.

我在网上快速搜索#不是我的猫#的标签后,我发现自己也属于俱乐部成员一类人。他们中的一些人和我一样,享受着猫带来的好处却没有任何作为主人的责任。他们悄悄发布了一些人类和猫咪在一起的美丽照片和视频,但实际上猫咪并不属于他们自己。

So is it normal?

这正常吗?

"I do feel cats live on their own terms. I don't think they are deliberately deciding, 'I'm going to manipulate this human.' It's much more straightforward," says cat behaviour counsellor Celia Haddon. They find somewhere where they have food and warmth and a friendly human and try to stay there.

“我确实觉得猫有它们自己的生活方式。我不认为他们是故意决定 ‘我要操纵这个人。’的,实际上,猫的想法要简单得多”猫咪行为顾问西莉亚·哈登说。它们会找到一个有食物、温暖和有友好的人类的地方,并试图留在那里。

"The one thing about cats is they're enormously persistent. If you can have an animal that can wait for hours outside a mouse-hole waiting for a mouse, then you've got an animal who can wait at a door, if it wants to move in, for hours too."

“关于猫,它们有一个特点是非常执着。如果猫可以在老鼠洞外面等上几个小时只为等一只老鼠,那如果它想搬进你家的话,它也可以在你家门口等上几个小时。”

Much later, I discovered there is a book about this.

很久以后,我发现有一本情节和我经历差不多的书。

Originally published in 1990, Six Dinner Sid is a children's book that tells the story of a cat called Sid, who lives at number one Aristotle Street. But Sid also lives at all the other houses on the street and eats at all the homes, whose owners all believe Sid belongs to them.

最初出版于1990年的《吃六顿晚餐的希德》是一本儿童读物,该书讲述了住在亚里士多德街一号的一只名叫希德的猫的故事。但是希德也住在这条街上所有其他的房子里,甚至在所有的房子里吃饭,因此那些房子的主人都认为希德是他们的。

Unlike the real cats described by Celia Haddon, Sid knows very well what he is doing. But his manipulative plans unravel when he gets sick and the neighbours discover they're all being played.

与西莉亚·哈顿描述的真正的猫不同,希德非常清楚自己在做什么。直到他生病时,邻居们才发现他们都被希德耍了,由此他的操纵计划被粉碎了。

Author Inga Moore tells me it was based on a black cat she knew when she lived in north London.

这本书的作家英加·摩尔告诉我,这本书是以她住在伦敦北部时认识的一只黑猫为原型改编的。

"I heard someone call him by a name which sounded like Sid," she says. "Sid used to come in through the cat flap and make himself at home at number four where I was living. I think his home was number six. Sid in the book was very much Sid in real life and he was the inspiration for the story, which is of course made up.”

她说:“我听到有人叫他的名字,那听起来像希德,我家那时候住在街道的四号房,希德常常从猫洞进入我家,而且它甚至把我家都当成它自己家了。我想它的家应该是6号。书中的希德和现实生活中的希德非常相似,它是我故事的灵感来源,当然故事是虚构的。”

"I have had many cat visitors over the years and I've always enjoyed their company. Apparently they have developed an ability to communicate with human beings in a way. They know how to get what they need from us by wheedling and being charming. It makes us love them and makes them special."

“这些年来,有很多猫来我家,我一直很喜欢它们的陪伴。显然,它们已经具备了某种与人类交流的能力。他们知道如何通过哄骗和散发魅力来从我们人类这里得到他们需要的东西。它们让我们爱上他们,让我们觉得它们与众不同。”

Joanna Lodge from the UK's largest feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, says scientists have speculated that it's cats' eyes, "reminiscent of the large eyes of a baby", that help them to win our hearts.

英国最大的猫咪福利慈善机构“猫咪保护站”的乔安娜·洛奇说,科学家们推测是猫的眼睛容易让人联想到婴儿的大眼睛,这有助于它们赢得我们的心。

This would explain a lot: my need to infantilize my speech and my instinct to feed The Cat, gush with love and provide shelter. My maternal instincts came pouring out. But in the months that followed our first meeting, I became ever more aware of a growing sense of guilt. I would look on local websites for lost cats wondering whether I would find an appeal from The Cat's owner, but found nothing.

这就解释得通了:当喂猫时,我不自觉地把我的语言和本能孩子气化,我对它总是充满爱意,会为它提供庇护。我的母性本能涌了出来。但在我们第一次见面后的几个月里,我越来越感到一种负罪感。我在当地的网站上寻找寻猫启事,想知道是否能找到猫主人,但什么也没找到。

I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.

如果我说我不失望,那是假的。

Then my affair came to a sudden end. The Cat vanished.

不久后我的恋情突然结束了。猫在我的生活中消失。



Then, in the first weeks of the spring lockdown, I had a chance conversation with my neighbour over the garden fence. I casually (though very deliberately) mentioned The Cat and was told the owners had moved. So it did have owners! I probably shouldn't have been surprised.

后来,在今年春季疫情封锁政策的头几周,我隔着花园篱笆和邻居闲聊了几句。我不经意地(其实是故意的)提到了那只猫,但他告诉我那只猫的主人已经搬走了。所以这只猫确实有主人!我本不应该那么惊讶的。



The Owner replied to my email.

猫主人回复了我的邮件。

His name was David. He explained that he owned two cats, a brown tabby called Henry, and Eddie, a silver tabby who was "often away for days". They had moved 120 miles away, to Lincolnshire, he wrote. The cats, "love the semi-rural environment, are very happy here and enjoy us now being with them all day," he added. "Naturally we could not bear to part with them."
He suggested that I should get my own cat.

他的名字叫大卫。他解释说他有两只猫,一只叫亨利的棕色虎斑猫和一只叫艾迪的银色虎斑猫,艾迪就是那只经常离家出走好几天的猫。他告诉我,“我们搬到了120英里以外的林肯郡。这些猫喜欢半乡村的环境,他们在这里很开心,他们也很享受我们现在整天待在一起的时光,”他同时补充道,“当然了,我们是舍不得分开他们的。” 他最后建议我应该养一只自己的猫。

"They are pedigree cats of the British Shorthair breed. You should be able to find a breeder and they are as delightful as kittens as you would imagine."
At the time, it was inconceivable to even think about any other cat. Eddie had chosen me.

“它们是纯种的英国短毛猫。你应该能找到一只的,它们就像你想象中的小猫一样可爱。” 在那个时候,想其他任何一只猫对我来说都是不可思议的。是艾迪选择了我。

In a follow-up email to David, I confessed the full extent of my involvement in Eddie's disappearance. I was filled with remorse.

在给大卫的后续邮件中,我坦白了我就是艾迪离家出走的全部原因。我心里充满了悔恨。

David told me that Eddie's absences had been deeply distressing.
"We did not know if he had been knocked down or stolen, was locked in somewhere or just on the prowl having adventures," he wrote.

大卫告诉我艾迪之前的失踪让他非常难过。他写道:“我们不知道他是被撞倒了还是被偷了,或是被锁在什么地方了,还是只是在外面冒险。”



I asked David if he was annoyed that I had contacted him to explain what had happened. He replied: "We recognised the pain that you and your family were feeling at having lost a cat that had become very precious to you and felt sympathy rather than annoyance. There was also some relief to finally understand what he had been doing and that he had not been suffering, cold and alone."

我问大卫,他是否会因为我联系他解释事情的经过而生气。他回答说: “我们能感受到你和你的家人对失去一只对你们来说非常珍贵的猫的痛苦,我们感到同情而不是烦恼。而且我也明白了他失踪期间并没有遭受痛苦、寒冷和孤独时,我也松了一口气。”



Her organisation, Cats Protection, provides paper collars that you can attach to a cat if you aren't sure whether it has a home. They have "Do I belong to you?" written on them, and this alxs the owner, if there is one, that someone is concerned.

她的组织“猫咪保护站”提供纸项圈,如果你不确定见到的猫是否有家,可以给它戴上。线圈上面写着“我属于你吗?”的字样,如果这只猫有主人的话,这些字会提醒猫主人更多地关心猫咪。

"There are different responsibilities," Joanna says. "I think one is for the owner to make sure their cat can be identified by microchip. And for anyone who has a cat in the garden, they should try to find out if it's got an owner, or contact us and we can make efforts to find owners." In the latter case, it's a legal responsibility, she says, as it would be if you came across some lost property - you can't just take it for yourself.

“他们有不同的责任,”乔安娜说。“我认为一种方法是让主人确保他们的猫可以被芯片识别。对于那些在花园里养猫的人来说,他们应该试着弄清楚猫是否有主人,或者联系我们,我们可以努力找到主人。” 她说,在后一种情况下,这是一种法律责任,就像你遇到一些丢失的财产一样,你不能随便拿走。

As the days got shorter and this year started drawing to a close, David's words about getting a cat resonated hard. I realised how much I needed the comfort of something purry and furry on my lap to soothe me during a time of such uncertainty.

随着白天越来越短,今年也开始接近尾声,大卫关于养猫的话引起了我强烈的共鸣。我意识到,在这样一个不确定的时刻,我是多么需要趴在我腿上的毛茸茸的东西来安慰我。



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