I love cats. I grew up with them. There was old Smokey, the black Persian, who, truth be told, was not all that friendly. But then there was the lovely Ginger Puss and her very cute kittens Marmalade, Whiskers and Fluffy – well, we were only kids when we named them.
When I was old enough to have pets of my own I had a tiny little cat called Graben. She was so small I took her to the vet to find out why. That’s when I discovered that there is such a thing as a dwarf cat.
Since then I’ve always enjoyed other people’s cats when I’ve visited friends, giving them a scratch and a pat and listening to them purr – the cats that is, not the friends.
My latest house/pet sit was looking after two Tonkinese boys. They were both very independent young men. They’d disappear for most of the day and I was never quite sure where they went to, although under the house had a certain allure for one of them – that’s where he found his pet mouse.
Yes, one of them kept a real mouse as a pet. It took me a day or so to realise what he was up to. He had the mouse trapped in the corner of one of the bedrooms, under a bed. He didn’t try to kill it or even bite it. But if it tried to escape he would give it a swipe with one of his paws and send it back to the corner where he would watch it vigilantly. Needless to say, I rescued the mouse and set it free only to find he’d found his pet and brought it back to that very same corner.
The other cat was like a teenage boy. He only came home to eat and when I tried to keep him inside at night he complained bitterly. He even knocked the bedside light over onto my head and did a wee in my suitcase! But he was smoochy some of the time and his purring made up for his transgressions.
And that’s the thing about cats, they can be snooty, off-hand, naughty and tricky, but when it comes down to it they’re just so downright lovable. Even when they sit on your head to wake you up, they always purr.