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16 October 2014

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By Chloe Driscoll
September 2005, Blaenavon
A digital story from Capture Wales

"He wasn't my first choice, I preferred the tortoiseshell kitten but the brownish one scratched my sister so Mum suggested I had him instead. I accepted. It was Christmas day after all and besides, this kitten with attitude suddenly seemed much more appealing.

I chose a name to reflect this attitude, Tiger. As he grew up, he became the best looking and biggest cat I've ever seen.

He knew he was handsome and I'll never forget how he'd sit on cluttered surfaces and knock the contents off until he was noticed. I loved how he was always there when I came home from school happy to hear about my day as long as I tickled behind his ears.

He accumulated several nicknames: Tigsy, Lion Cub, Tigger and after an operation, Scarback. On Sundays the kitchen became his hunting ground and he'd spend hours stalking cabbage leaves and broccoli stumps.

He always seemed to be smiling as if he knew something I didn't. If he had wings, I mused one day, they'd be phoenix wings: fiery, majestic, immortal. The pale brown kitten became a lion cub, then a phoenix.

The tortoiseshell turned out to be a bit stupid. I've always known Mum's advice is worth taking."

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 19, have lived in Blaenavon all my life and am currently in my second year at Swansea University, studying German. I work on supply in the local libraries, and I enjoy drawing, reading, travelling, and Japanese animation (anime). I've no idea what to do after university, so for now I'm just looking forward to my year abroad in Germany, which starts in October.

What's your story about?
My cat, Tiger, who I had for Christmas when I was nine, and died in 2002. At the time I had him I wanted the other kitten, because she was prettier, but my younger sister had her instead because she was less aggressive. It turned out that my cat had a better, more fun personality than the pretty one (Tabby), and he was well loved by everyone who met him. Tabby's still around, and still just a pretty face - I'm glad I ended up with the intelligent cat!

Why did you choose to tell this particular story?
Lots of people tell stories about friends and relatives who were important in their lives, and anybody who owns pets knows that they influence our lives in a much more subtle way than people, and we usually only notice how much our lives are shaped around them after they die. So it seemed appropriate for me to pay tribute to a pet who never let anyone ignore him, cost my parents hundred of pounds in vet's bills, and preferred to hunt broccoli instead of birds.

What did you find most rewarding about the workshop?
I loved the editing process itself, but it was the atmosphere in the workshop which made making the film worthwhile to me. Making the film at the end was only a small part of the whole experience, one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Your comments

"I really enjoyed watching your story. I am a cat lover and your cat was absolutely adorable! I also liked the way you incorporated drawings into your story. I am not much of an artist myself but you really have a talent. Great job!" Angela Rossignol from Canada.

"I loved your story. The way you spoke about you cat, how he knew he was handsome, how he would listen to you if you tickled behind his ears and how in the end he was the best choice for you, allows for any can owner to completely identify with the relationship you shared with him. You hit the nail on the head,so to speek, and made me want to play with my own cat a little longer to bring out the aspects of his personality that I love so much!" Jennifer-Ontario, Canada.

"A fitting tribute. The way you brought the story full circle by mentioning the tortoiseshell again was a good choice, in my opinion. I also liked how you had many drawings to complement the photographs. It is sad that he has passed on, but I'm glad that you have so much to remember him by." Kevin, Ontario, Canada.

"agreed with most above. Lots of people tell stories about loved ones or relatives. Its nice to see that someone has a love for their pet as i do. Best feeling ever when there there everyday to greet you when you walk through the door. Your cat is big and beautiful!" Jenn from Canada.

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