Student Life

The Cat Who Sold His Soul For Immortality

I’m on a road to ruin, I don’t know what I’m doin’, Martini
I guess this is the place, inside I see your face, Martini
I walk into the room, position I assume, Martini
You put a record on, I hear my favourite song, Martini

The Presets – Martini

I’m a big old cat person. I love them. They’re independent, surprisingly loyal, and full of personality.

My family and I own 2 cats, though effectively 3 because our neighbour’s cat is always around ours. Weirdly though, despite having 3 cats living with us – my dad is seriously allergic to cats (and also dogs, horses, and cows).

The first cat we got as a family was Rocky, who is celebrating his 9th adoptiversary this month. He’s 13 years old and maybe the most docile and placid cat I’ve ever known.

However, we adopted another cat in September 2017. After being almost guilted into it by our local vet who said he was free, we adopted 7 month-old kitten. His original name from the vet was Simon, but we named him Martini. Unknowingly, perfectly named after a track by Australian duo The Presets. He’s also known by Marty, Bellboy, Orange Boy, and Long Boy.

Martini was a streetcat for his all his life up until his adoption. We knew early on he was a character. He would purr incessantly when we were near him and just want to be near you. He was to live outside however – alongside Rocky and Pancake on our back deck.

That all started off very well, with Rocky being very much his mentor to our backyard and our quiet street. They’d go off and explore together and sit close to each other when napping.

One day, about a month into owning him, we noticed Martini had incredibly large pulsing heartbeats in his chest and we had to take him into a vet hospital. He stayed overnight for a few days and was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He was given 6 months to live by the vet. They told us we had the option to put him down then, but we couldn’t do it. We decided to give Martini to best life possible and have him live it up at the Hotel Dunkin.

Martini isn’t exactly as docile as his older brother Rocky. In fact, he’s quite prone to being completely insane. Known for occasionally biting people who get in is way of food. Or scratching people for no obvious reason. Or slapping other cats for their food.

But, he’s still an incredibly loving cat. He loves his mum, he loves his food, and he loves being near his people.

It’s also been 30 months since his diagnosis. He’s lived well and truly past his 6 months life expectancy. As I’ve started to say to people, he is the cat that sold his soul for immortality. I imagine come the heat death of the universe, Martini will still be around. There’ll be cults dedicated to the Orange Cat God, telling legends of how he was born in 2017 AD, lived through 3 World Wars, ended 2, and was responsible for man landing on Jupiter.

Marty is such an important point in my life. He’s lovely to have. He’s entertaining to just spend time with. We love all his little quirks – his inability to eat food without dragging it off his plate, his bendy paws, his continuous purring and probably my favourite one – his tendency to just meow for hours on end at the windows.

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We often get calls from people saying they’ve spotted Martini somewhere and each time we’re amazed as to how far this small orange cat travels. He’s been found up to over a kilometre away from our house – usually in someone’s yard having a nap. Everyone always says similar things about Martini, almost always positive. That he’s very talkative, very friendly, and never lacks an appetite.

He’s also quite prone to following us places. His adventurous spirit knows no bounds. On my way into TAFE he tries to follow me to the bus stop and walks alongside me like a dog. When he’s happy, he wags his tail like a dog. He’s a loyal hound in feline form.

I’m lucky to have him in my life and he always makes my day better. He’s a constant source of just life. Even if he’s prone to doing nasty things to people sometimes like scratching, or attempting to maim Rocky and Pancake he’s still my lovely orange boy. Nobody is perfect, and definitely no cat is either, but Martini has taught me a lot about love, responsibility, and life.

Martini and I have something in common – we both are medically diagnosed with chronic health issues and have to live through them on a day-to-day basis. Neither of us know what being normal and healthy is like- he could just drop dead any day without notice. Yet he still carries on everyday, constantly exploring, trying to get the most out of his feline life and I think that’s admirable and adorable.

In face of everything going on in the world, I’m trying to be like Marty. Minus the biting and scratching.

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Love you, Marty.
Jamie Dunkin
Aspiring media hack and administrator of All Sides Of The Harbour.

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