Regarding a Newly Sociable Cat

Thinking about it, MasterB has had a fairly sociable autumn, and in the middle of December I recall remarking to Michèle that his social life eclipsed mine. He spent November living with Birgit, and both Reinhild and Celia visited. In the middle of December, Bridget, who stayed here in 2016 while I was in Australia, called round for a calendar. I knew she was coming and we had agreed to meet downstairs. I left the door to my flat open. While we chatted we heard miaow miaow miaow from upstairs, and then came himself, barrelling down, tail hoisted like a flag, to greet Bridget. I have absolutely no doubt that he heard her voice and was determined that if she wasn’t coming up to see him, he was coming down to see her. She returned a few nights later with Janet, his other auntie while I was in Oz. We had drinks, nibbles and chips. MasterB had a lovely time.
Now I am the first to admit that MasterB is not the sharpest knife in the drawer; invitations to join MENSA have been notably absent, and though willing, he struggles with games demanding much (any) intellectual ability. However, he does know he he likes and loves, and he remembers those people with whom he has bonded very well. I’d love to see his reaction if the student couple who rescued him turned up. So with B&J he was sooo happy. He rolled on the carpet, he sat in the middle of the floor, he remembered the games that Bridget played with him and played them all over again. Animals, non-human animals that is, don’t lie: MasterB loves B&J. Official.
That evening I was going out. Mariam and Jack, my downstairs neighbours, cat sat. MasterB didn’t really need cat sitting, but nonetheless. Mariam had already bonded with him, but he and Jack were strangers. Strangers no longer by the end of the evening. I had recommended biscuits as the way to overcome MasterB’s shyness around men. Biscuits were not needed. According to Mariam, it was a lovefest.
A few nights later Rebecca called round for a calendar. She used to live in this block of flats, fostered Cookie, and looked after MasterB in 2015 when my new kitchen was installed. I carried him round to her every morning while the work was being done and she looked after him while writing her dissertation. They bonded.
He won’t remember me, she said, as she came through the door. He did. He checked her out thoroughly, his nose catching up with where she has been and what she has been doing since she was last here. He was forward in a way that would be impolite in a human, but which demonstrated his confidence around her, and his pleasure in seeing her. It was delightful to witness.
Those are the stand out moments, but he has become increasingly friendly to Jolita, and butts into our conversations, slips into her flat and checks it out; he has met James and Leda downstairs.
Outside his world has shrunk. He barely goes into the garden these days, but he seems to be compensating with a richer indoor social life. Perhaps on Sunday he looked at our visitors and thought, Why not? after all, his experience of visitors to our flat has been positive, why shouldn’t these people enrich his life too?
He’ll be appearing on Graham Norton next.


4 thoughts on “Regarding a Newly Sociable Cat

  1. I enjoy thinking of him in a straw boater becoming the Bon Vivant of the block, welcoming visitors to your flat. Who needs the out of doors when the interior has so many interesting people?

    • I do wonder if it is a degree of compensation, or maybe a determination that having been intimidated out f his own garden, he’s not going to allow the same thing to happen in his flat. But as for a straw boater, no, afraid not. I don’t like to see animals dressed up as mini humans. I think it degrades them.

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