Now, let me start by saying … I do. Love ’em, that is. I’ve had cats in my life and they’ve greatly enhanced it. But now I live in a rental, so I don’t. But I visit, I cat-sit and I dream of the day when I’ll have my own once again.
I also used to be well-known as a cat-whisperer. Apparently I speak cat and I’m not half bad at understanding it either. I’ve had visiting cats in my rentals and not because I fed them, oh no. I understand the rules “thou must not steal thy neighbour’s cats by underhand means“, they just visit because they’re lonely and I work from home.
But two things have rocked my cat-whispering confidence. My youngest sister’s cats have yet to succomb to my charm. I’ve cat-sat there multiple times but, still, no. Whenever I walk through the front door, one runs to the feeding station and the other to the cat flap. That’s my only job as far as they’re concerned. No cuddles. No strokes. Nothing …
Then last week, I cat-sat at the parental home, for my mother’s old siamese cat who’s known me for longer than he’s been my mother’s cat, together with my brother and his wife’s two black fluffy girls. One of the girls recognises my (disturbing) similarity to my brother and generally leaps onto my lap in his absence. The other has – largely – ignored me. So I turn up, with my K M Weiland “Structuring your Novel Workbook”, my laptop, various notebooks and pens, and having completed the main task of feeding, I settle down on the sofa … and wait.
She who has never paid me any attention is all over me like a rash. She clambers and climbs, until puzzled at the lack of sufficient frontage, she settles onto my lap. Now, it’s not that I’m entirely deficient in frontage (except when you compare me with other women in my family) it’s just that I don’t overflow. Or provide a suitable shelf for lying upon, should one be a cat. Oddly, I have the same problem with my friend who’s cats I have also sat. Why is my life so filled with frontage overflowers?
Anyway, moving on. My new best friend attaches herself to me for the entire week. I attempt to offer my lap to her sister, only to be spurned. Does she not notice my brother’s absence and my (disturbing) resemblence any more? And as for the siamese with whom I’ve had a long and happy relationship – nope, nothing, nada. When they returned, I popped round. Then, only then, did the siamese clamber all over me, leaving me covered in white hair (on my entirely black wardrobe) and sneezing. I’d forgotten just how much his hairs got up my nose, metaphorically, or allergically I should say, rather than actually. Still …
© Debra Carey 2017
They were seeing you out of context. That happens to all of us, though of course, cats will treat you like, in Terry Pratchett’s words, “the young massa come home to the old plantation” or like scum they need not greet, depending on their mood. I once failed to recognise my nephew’s father-in-law, Peter, who was delivering a parcel to my school, and my Dad complained I never noticed him on the street, though that latter was vagueness on my part. But how often do I see Peter? Only at family gatherings. Out of context! Peter teased me about it later.
I live in a flat. I own it, but really, I can’t bring myself to install a cat door in my only entrance and sometimes I come home late. Cats won’t stand for that. I have been known to be something of a cat and dog whisperer, though, and have surprised cat owners(slaves?) when a very shy animal came over to say hullo.
That’s my Twitter handle below. I can’t log in with Google on WordPress, it won’t let me, as I once had a WordPress account and that comes up as “raventracks.”
Oh crikey, if those are Sir TP’s words, then I need to crack on with reading more of his offerings, as I’ve not come across that one! It’s so spot on (and so sassy!)
Installing a cat flap can be a pain. Luckily I have a handy brother-in-law who will always oblige, although you won’t believe the ridiculous arrangement they have for their cats! If I have them, they must run free. Until they’re old and/or fragile, when I move into cosset mode. But they’re natural ramblers and hunters, and I’d hate to limit their natural instincts – I just don’t have bird feeders to make their lives easier.