Cats often go out at night. For domesticated pets, this is unheard of. Your guinea pigs do not wander to the shop after dark. Your horse cannot trot down the lane at midnight without a rider. Your fish cannot even get out of his bowl. But your cats leave the house, and you don’t even care.
This is because cats are the only other animals that go boozing. This is origin of the nickname ‘cool cats’ for people who stay out late. This where the term ‘milk bar’ comes from, and how Al Capone and Nucky Thompson got the method and idea for prohibition.
You often hear the cats at night howling and fighting, like drunks thrown out of a bar. This is because they are.
You are now imagining cats at small tables and chairs, sipping tiny cocktails that mini umbrellas resting on the side. Perhaps a Manx on the piano playing fruity jazz. Or groups of tabbies huddled around huge bowls of milk like gnu’s at a water hole. Perhaps you are wondering who built their drinking establishments in the first place.
What the truth is, we don’t really know. Their bars are hard to find. Secret cat flaps hide in back streets walls. You might see a couple of bricks waving, the tip of vanishing tail, a grubby half paw print Do not get too nosy. One investigator suffered thirty stitches worth of claw mark to his face alone.
Let your cats go out at night. Never judge the cat wailing outside if you have ever drunk too much yourself. And if you are walking home at 2am, keep your distance, but follow a cat for a little while. You might see them vanish into a wall, and hear the light tinkle of a tiny piano, the clink of minute glasses, the smell of milky beer.