Sunday, 7 April 2019

Cats' Special


Domestic cats give so much enjoyment to so many. Facebook and social media posts featuring these feline creatures are numerous. I have two, now twelve years old, both rescued as kittens. Leo and Poppy. I was persuaded to take the two as I was informed that they were brother and sister and would be good company for each other. I fell for the sales pitch. But I haven’t regretted it. Brother and sister or no they just about tolerate each other, so they indeed could be. One is a home-loving cat, the other an outdoor adventurer. One stays in and doesn’t go out much, the other stays out and doesn’t stay in much. However they are both quite fussy and leave any fresh cat food that has been left out for them for more than an hour. One demands a lap and sticks like a limpet, claws imbedded deep into your skin. The other likes an occasional lap, but only for a few minutes. One accepts being heavily stroked and petted by our three-year-old granddaughter, the other can sense grandchildren ten minutes away before they arrive and disappears without trace until they have left.

 There are several cats on our block at present who venture into our Hertford garden and peep in through our patio window to check if we are about: a huge black and white bruiser who has battle scars over his face, an all-black who is wary and nervous and a large and handsome ginger. They keep to themselves and you never see more than the one at a time. If they are spied by either of our cats there is caterwauling, spitting, swearing and the occasional prize fight, followed by a trip to the vets to get patched up. One or more of these intruders is entering in the dead of night through two cat-flap barriers to finish off any leftovers in our kitchen cat bowls.
A quite recent development is our outdoor cat being attracted to my computer keyboard while I’m using it. I am a two-fingered typist but I am now creating documents with two fingers and a paw. Leo just cannot resist and if he sees me heading to my desktop, he trots along too, jumping on my lap in readiness to be creative.


Cats are good copy for writers and when I’ve written about our moggies of the past, in the past, cat lovers have enjoyed reading about them. The rescue cat who preceded our present two was quite a character too. Freddie the Cat: a star in his own right. He was already long in the tooth (if he had any) when we got him and we soon realised that in his previous life he had been kept indoors all the time and never seen the outside world. He had agoraphobia and when we put him outside, he would spring back as though he was connected to an elastic leash. Being used to using a litter tray and never alfresco toileting, weaning him off indoor litter trays was a problem. He would eventually perch outside in desperation on top of a garden flowerpot to do what he had to do.  He also had lost several teeth, but could still catch a mouse. It was painful for us watching him gumming one to death.

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