Contributor Nicky Westbrook writes with another profile on life with cats in her area of Texas.
You may recall the story of LB, a local shop cat, in The Story of an Antique Shop Cat, or of Nicky’s own recent experience rescuing and fostering abandoned kittens, in Country Road Rescue. This time, Nicky tells of a cat known around town as the mascot at the local piano school.
This quaint stone house in Weatherford, Texas is home to the Burch School of Music. Pass by the house on any given weekday and you are likely to see parents dropping off and picking up kids from piano lessons. You will also see kids waiting for siblings in the garden area or climbing the shade trees. You will also see a cat, as the Burch School of Music is home to eight year old Nimbus, a chubby, blue-eyed, laid-back guy often found lounging on the porch or amongst the many rose bushes that line the back yard. Dr. Holly Hughes owns the school and lives in the house with her husband and Nimbus. They found Nimbus’s mother Ivy as a kitten in a patch of English Ivy several years ago. Ivy ended up “with child” the first time she was in heat after a romp with a neighboring tom named Scooter, resulting in a litter of three creamy white kittens. Nimbus originally went to live with a family with a little boy but was returned to his birthplace when the boy’s asthma became too dangerous to have pets.
The kids who have attended the Burch School for the last several years have grown up seeing Nimbus and Ivy on a regular basis. Unfortunately, Ivy passed away last year from a debilitating neurological condition she developed and for which she received years of treatment. But Nimbus remains. Sometimes practices are interrupted by the sounds of Nimbus coyly traipsing across the keys. Sometimes he meows with his husky voice until someone lets him outside. And of course many times he is found sleeping on the pianos or on the porch. He welcomes scratches and pats from all the little hands that pass through the doors of the music school.