I did wonder whether or not to introduce our new cat to you, even if he is to be called Monty in honour of Wodehouse’s Monty Bodkin. After all, you’re here to immerse yourself in all things Wodehouse, not read about the family pet. But then I was flicking through Richard Usborne’s After Hours With P.G Wodehouse, and came across the following passage:
The Wodehouse’s have adopted, and been lavish angels to, a dogs’ and cats’ shelter and home in Speonk. Ethel drove me to see it on my way back to the station: kennels and cages for puppies and dogs, kittens and cats brought in by sad owners hoping to get them adopted; or collected as strays. A vet presides, with a girl assistant. Both in white coats. Ethel is the Lady Bountiful, bringing bones and bits of treats for them . . . more than a hundred all told, and great is the barking and miaowing when she passes down the alleys. In Speonk and Remsenburg the name Wodehouse isn’t widely recognised as belonging to one of the greatest humorists and busiest writers in our language. But it is known as being on the notice board: THE P.G. WODEHOUSE SHELTER FOR CATS AND DOGS’.
Richard Usborne, originally published in The Guardian (1971)
So perhaps it’s not so out of keeping with the spirit of Wodehouse that I introduce Monty, who was found as a stray and adopted by our family through the local Cats and Dogs Home. I also suspect most of you will forgive the indulgence, as my 2012 blog piece Cats will be Cats still remains my third most popular post.It just goes to show what wonderful people we Wodehouse readers are.
So here’s Monty.