Glad and Sad

Remember Ginger-Odysseus-Now-George? MasterB’s bookend who was rehomed by <a

Ginger Likes Catnip

Ginger Likes Catnip

I asked after him this morning when I left a protesting MasterB at the cattery. I was fearful that it hadn’t worked out, that he had been returned as unsatisfactory and unsuitable. It seemed such a leap for him in such a short space of time, and I wondered if he’d cope.
Well he has. Hamilton’s Cat Fund get regular and glowing reports of him. He is as indulged as any cat could possibly be. His owners are adoring and delighted. They want the world to know what a splendid cat he is and he even has his own Facebook page. It’s better than Cinderella.<!–more–>
Next I asked about this little soul, Izzy.
Little Kitten

Little Kitten

If ever there was a cat who was destined for stage and screen this was the one. She virtually had the tutu and tap dancing shoes on to welcome visitors to the cattery before she was homed a few doors away. Again, her owners adored her. They were besotted in days. And now they are heartbroken. She got out to the front of the house aboiut four weeks ago. It’s a busy road. You can guess the rest. At least she had several months being happy and loved. It’s more than some cats have in a lifespan of years.
Now it’s time for me to close the windows, pick up my bags and head for the station. I expect I’ll have updates to share on Westie Boy, the Big Cat, and other animals known on this page.

A Leg At Each Corner

I hadn’t had a pet for quite a while. And I’d never had a cat. My great grandmother was a cat lover, and that seems to have turned my father off completely. He disliked her thoroughly. He would tell us how he had to kiss her through her veil. Her house number, 51, remained a symbol of bad luck to him all his life, though I can’t remember him being superstitious in any other regard. Cats became part and parcel of the antipathy he felt about everything connected with her.

So, we never had cats, though others in the family did. In some way, I believe I thought them rather inferior creatures, though likeable enough.

Consequently, when Cat strolled, or marched, into my life, I was unprepared for his personality. As far I was concerned, he was an attractive furry thing with a leg at each corner; a pleasant but not terribly significant animal. I didn’t expect him to have his own agenda.

But he did, and he wrong footed me from the start.

He had definite ideas about how our time together should be spent, and was not shy about making his feelings known. I’d be miaowed at; pawed; my papers would be scattered; he’d smash his food bowls together to get my attention or express his disdain for their contents; pull books from the shelf; shred newspaper.

He ate my flowers. If anyone gave me carnations he’d be straight at them. When I asked the vet if this was normal behaviour, she looked at me as though I were quite mad. He learned that a sure way to get my attention was to leap onto the chest of drawers and start rocking the vase of flowers there. If I’d had a naughty step, he’d have been on it quite a bit.

The friend-who-gave-him-the biscuits was probably the most obvious cat lover I knew. Ungrateful for her rôle in getting me to feed him, he would treat her to his most brattish behaviour when she visited. He’d huff when she arrived. If she sat beside him on the sofa, he’d get off it. If she tried to stroke him, he’d glare and move away. He would deliberately turn his back on her, and if I cooked for us, it was the only time he would leap onto the table during a meal. Had he been a child, I’d have hauled him into another room for a hissed telling off. She became inured to his surliness, and then one day when she came, he greeted her like a long lost friend, rolling over onto his back and purring at her, and that was that. Continue reading

Wouldn’t it be nice…

…if  tonight Cat slept soundly and his tummy were settled.

At half past one this morning, I was woken up by a horridly unhealthy noise coming from the bathroom, then a lot of digging. We are afloat, so the geographical proximity of the litter tray to the bed where I sleep is rather closer than at home. Before the smell could invade the whole boat, I cleared it up, replenished the litter tray, tied up the black bag and left it on the gunwhale.

For breakfast, Cat enjoyed half a sachet of Sensitive Control while I had a fried egg, and I rather hoped that was that.

I spent the day with Mother, cooking quantities of root vegetables to put in her freezer, reading poetry – The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin had her transfixed – doing lots washing, tidying the hot press (and discovering a missing sock in the process, these small triumphs count for a lot),  and  chatting. She struggled to get our exact relationship  clear. Today she came up with a new variation, asking me if I was her wife. She was very pleased to find I was her daughter, but asked if she was letting me down, saying she wasn’t being a very good mother. Then she said she’d love me to meet Isobel. A year ago she talked often about the circumstances of my father’s death.  Last week, she asked me why he didn’t visit her.  I never know quite where the cheese holes in her memory are going to be from visit to visit.

I got back to the boat about nine hours after I’d left it, feeling pretty tired, and glad I’d picked up a reduced pizza for an easy supper. Aboard, I discovered that Cat’s upset tum had continued while I was away, and the effects had not been confined to the litter tray. It took a bit of planning, another black bag and quite a lot of scrubbing to put things straight. Thank goodness for wipes and old newspaper.

While I was at work, one of the swan families turned up. The single parent family it seems. My knowledge of swan-sexing being on the limited side, I’m guessing it’s a female Mute Swan. She noticed my windows were open and promptly started knocking on the boat, then moving back to make eye contact with me in a clear demand for food. I’d actually brought back some of Mother’s discarded toast to feed the birds so she was lucky, but it took a while to convince her the café was closed.

Cat refused to eat anymore Sensitive Control, despite the evidence in the black bag that he needed it, and gazed  steadfastedly at the cupboard, then ate his biscuits. I put the pizza in the oven. As it cooked, Cat sat up and looked out, his ears swivelling at the sound of the cygnets nibbling at the weed around the marina. Then he asked to go out. I turned off the oven and chaperoned him ashore . Cue grass-eating. I hoped he’d take the opportunity to have a pee and a poo and if there was any more diarrhoea that it would be buried in a neat little hole off the boat. But despite my pointing out some easy dig soil, he came back on board without digging any holes.

I finally got to eat after nine o’clock. Which might explain why I’m here now, still winding down, instead of tucked up in bed asleep.