When Sandy Hill resident Seymour Mayne suggested a regular feature on the pets of Sandy Hill, and that the first profile be of his neighbour’s cat, Pepper, I insisted that I be the one to write it. I am not Seymour’s neighbour however; I am Pepper’s former human.
Faithful readers of IMAGE might recall reading about Pepper’s antics in 2014, back when Pepper was still my cat and I was grumbling about his roving ways. I have written many Facebook posts about Pepper, been encouraged to blog about him, and on my to-do list is finding an illustrator who would like to collaborate on a children’s book. My working title is The Many Adventures of Pepper the Cat, though I hope to come up with something more original and deserving of this truly unique feline.
I tell people that Pepper moved out on me, though the story of how Pepper came to be adopted by Goulburn Avenue resident, Deborah Gaon, is complicated: another story for another day, perhaps. Like me, Deborah had to play go-fetch-Pepper in the beginning of their relationship; however, after a very irate phone call and a close call with a bus on Rideau street, Deborah decided she needed to corral this vagabond.
Pepper is still able to walk the streets of Sandy Hill, but on a leash alongside Deborah. Much to my surprise, he seems quite content, although Pepper has always behaved more canine than feline. It seems that so long as he gets in his daily jaunt about the ‘hood—occasionally following people, saying hello to the neighbour dogs, even pouncing on mice—he is fine with his range being limited.
This is good news for the people of Sandy Hill: “Pepper’s a very popular fellow. Everybody in Sandy Hill loves him,” says Deborah. “He’s got his following.”
Deborah tells many stories to add to my collection about Pepper—he even helped sell a house! One of my favourites though is the time a car drove past them, kicked in reverse, the driver rolled down the window to exclaim “Is that the mayor of Goulburn . . . Avenue?!” Maybe that could be the title of my book—Pepper, The Mayor of Sandy Hill.
If you have stories or fond memories of Pepper, or if you are interested in collaborating on a book, I would love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you have your own stories about a Sandy Hill pet—canine, feline, or other—send it along with a photo to IMAGE at email@example.com (500 words max).