02 August 2012

Baron Cattington of Kelburn

'So are you going to pat me or not?' (Kelburn, 29 July 2012)

This sardonic-looking fellow is something of a local identity in Kelburn, who can regularly be found presiding in the sunniest spot at the junction of two concrete steps in a wide, sweeping bend in Plunket Street. The road curves from the slightly genteel shops in Kelburn to the head of the long, tortuous road from Aro Valley, and overlooks the dank, moist cranny that is the sunless twilight realm of Norway Street.

The Baron - I'm not sure of his human name - is usually out at all hours watching the world pass by, and is a keen recipient of the attention of his loyal subjects. It's not uncommon to see him in his spot atop the stairs at dawn to catch the stream of potential patters heading to town or the university, and then to see him in the same location later that evening, or perhaps perched atop the long wooden railing beside the footpath, which is an even better location for maximum patting potential because it's conveniently located at arm height for passers-by.

I don't know which local human household he deigns to frequent, but I think he lives on the more salubrious northern side, which is elevated and therefore warmer, rather than the lower, southern side of the street, which slopes sharply down into the bleak, Stygian cleft of student jumpers that never completely dry and recycling bins brim-full of cut-price and unwashed beer bottles.
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