It began with Muffin. Muffin’s owner buried him in the far corner of the old churchyard. That was where the poor people used to be buried, said Mrs Green in the Post Office, but cats don’t mind whether you have money, so that was OK.
Then it was Thistle’s turn to go. Her owner had seen Muffin’s lovely cat-shaped wooden headstone, and she ordered one from Jack, who sometimes helped out behind the bar and sometimes sat at their bivvy in the woods, carving.
And then Jack’s semi-feral tabby, Kitty, went, and she had to have a marker…
And before long there was a whole cat graveyard there in the shady corner by the church.
Even when the church was sold off and turned into a glamorous new home by a local writer, the headstones continued to appear.
Archie and Pippin, Sasha and Milly, Friday and Einstein.
And in the late afternoon, when the sun slanted in under the yew trees, the live cats came there too, lazing or washing, chatting to the ghosts of cats long gone and cats yet to come, or those from as far away as the other end of the village.