Colm’s latest book is a joint venture with his wife RTE newsreader, Una O’Hagan, and is a subject close to his heart. Animal Crackers is a collection of 60 or so tales of heroic horses, daft ducks, prattling parrots as well as cat and dog adventures too numerous to mention. It’s no coincidence that their neighbour’s dog Frankie adopted Colm and Una and he now takes them on at least two walks a day – for their own good of course!
Here’s how the story of Chester begins….
Chester is a stray cat who was taken in by a friend of ours. He was part of a litter of four kittens. We took one and they kept the rest. He is black and white, with black spots around his eyes and black spots on his nose. He was about six or seven weeks old when we got him and he is very cute.
From the beginning he was very inquisitive and fearless, with no sense of self-preservation. He would do things that would almost give you a heart attack and that other cats wouldn’t do because they’d be too smart. For example, he would jump to catch flies but he’d flip himself over when he’d jump and he’d land on his back really hard. We’d look at him and think, ‘Oh, no! He’s just broken his back!’ Then he’d get up and do it again.
He’d also climb a tall tree out the back. It’s an elder tree. From day one he’d climb up to the top of it. You could see his eyes following the trunk upwards and he’d be thinking, ‘My God! I can climb that!’ So he’d go straight up and would stand there. You’d see this little kitten right on top of the tree. He always had a great sense of adventure. But he’s not stupid; he’s just fearless.
We only had him about two weeks when he went missing………..