The Mystery Cat

- A true story by Bridget Metcalfe, featured in The Moulsham Times


This week I’ve been sifting through some ancient files on my PC. I came across a file called Mystery Cat and I opened it.

The story goes that a very charming ginger and white cat had started dropping by. Being a lover of animals, this little cat impressed me with his confidence and friendly personality. When I opened the door, he’d be waiting for me in the garden and would hop, skip and a jump across the lawn towards me. He’d rub himself around my ankles and purr as loudly as I think any cat could purr. He was delightful.

He wore a collar, but there was nothing to identify his owner. His coat was beautiful and shiny, his eyes were bright and he was quite the happiest cat I’ve ever come across.

One hot, sunny afternoon I offered him a drink of water and he drank the bowl dry. The following day, I couldn’t resist and bought some little cat biscuits for him. He was so thrilled when I offered him one, and then another, and then another. Then his visits became more frequent and he would announce his arrival every morning by meowing loudly until I opened the door.

A day or two later, James came home with some cat food and we fed the mystery cat. He’d found his way into our affections, but I knew that this couldn’t continue.

I was concerned because he must have lived close by, but none of the neighbours knew him. So, I decided to send him home with a message. I typed a tiny letter, folded it and then rolled it into a tube shape. I threaded his collar through the tube and made sure it was comfortable and safe for him to wear.

It read: “I have been sent home with this message by some people who have been feeding me recently. I keep turning up at their back door and meowing VERY loudly (sometimes for a very long time), claiming that I’m hungry so that they feed me.

“The lady says she has never seen such a hungry cat as I eat everything and she wonders if I live locally or perhaps my owners have moved. Or, maybe I’m just always a hungry cat who likes to get fed in two houses (as many cats do). After all, this is typical cat behaviour.

“The man (I like him a lot) has asked me to ask you to phone them on (number provided) if I’m your cat. Then they’ll know whether I do have a home or not.

“They are very nice people who stroke me a lot and I have been enjoying eating out at their place most evenings. They have also been serving a fantastic all day breakfast.

“Please let them know if I belong to you.”

And then, the strangest thing happened. He never dropped by again, nor did we hear from his owner.

I did perhaps catch one last glimpse of him walking perilously but confidently along the top of a distant neighbour’s fence. He jumped off the far side and that was that. He disappeared and I never saw him again. To this day, the mystery cat remains a mystery.

bridget metcalfe



  • As well as my long-running BBC radio show, and my Live Music Correspondent page for the Essex Chronicle, you've probably gathered I've written many articles independently on music and the arts in various other newspapers and magazines. 

One article I particularly enjoyed writing was for an interview I'd done with Stanley McMurtry MBE, known by his pen name Mac, the British cartoonist. McMurtry is best known for his work for the British Daily Mail newspaper. The 4 page article featured in the upmarket and stylishly glossy Essex Life magazine.

I like to support local organisations with an interesting history. I wrote an article for the Chelmsford City Times about the Princess Marie Louise Bowling Club. I'd heard that they were looking for new members so cycled round for a chat. The club gets its name from Queen Victoria's granddaughter and the article tells the story of how that came to be. An interesting tale of Royalty and a way to show potential new members that there's certainly an interesting history to the club as well as their pavilion's winter indoor short mat bowls and the summer's outdoor bowling matches on the bowling green. Membership enquiries tel: 01245 358516 or

You can read about the Chelmsford City Times online at

Chelmsford Community Transport needs VOLUNTEER DRIVERS

I recently took a ride in the car of a lovely lady called Julie. She is a volunteer driver for Chelmsford Community Transport. They provide transport to Chelmsford & District residents who have difficulty using public transport and voluntary and community groups who require affordable and accessible transport. THE SERVICE IS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEER DRIVERS!

If you'd like to help tel: 01245 477789 or email 

A great service for local people to get out and about. RECOMMENDED!

Bridget's beautiful

handmade jewellery

Julie drove me to a beautiful Essex village gift shop and tea room called Bygones of Writtle who stock my handmade jewellery. My jewellery is also available at 

Gallery43, 43 Moulsham Street, Chelmsford, Essex CM2 0HY


Oak Tree Gallery76c, High StIngatestoneEssexCM4 9DW

Thoughts or comments?

Bridget x 

COMING SOON: news of an exhibition of Bridget's exquisite watercolour paintings!