Thomas was an enigma. He would turn-up in the mornings, settle down on his preferred sofa, and snooze the day away in the comfort of our home.
Where he came from, we had no idea. If he was someone's beloved pet, we also had no idea. Maybe he was a homeless alley cat; we really didn't know. All we knew was that he had discovered our cat flap (we had no cat at the time), and used our house as a free daytime hotel.
We called him Thomas, rather predictably, because he was ginger and male. He was quite friendly (when awake), and presumably preferred us to his actual owners (if indeed he had any).
As he was a good sitter (sleeper) he was fun to draw and paint, and he appeared in several paintings and drawings. Here he is (below) in my painting 'Après la Fête', whilst it was still being worked on in my studio.
I have always liked cats, and was brought-up with them rather than dogs. We always had a cat around. They looked after the mouse and rat population that lived around our chicken, bantam, and duck runs at the far end of the garden.
We only ever had two types of cat; black and tabby. The black ones were always called 'blackie' (whilst such names were still allowed), and the tabbies were always called 'tiddles'. Not unlike my aunt who lived nearby, who's dogs were all called 'rover'. Not bothering with new names seemed to run in the family.
We haven't had a cat since Freddie died back in 2018, and I can't see us having another one. I miss having one around. I like their haughty 'holier than thou' attitude towards humans. Another one like Thomas would be good. He'd come to see us, then go home again at night. Perfect.