Thursday, 16 January 2014

You know you’re a cat person when….

Meet Joker.

He first came into our lives when my tender-hearted Ovver Arf found him abandoned in a rubbish skip on the last day of our summer escape to the In-Laws’ house half an hour’s drive from the city. 

I learned the news when Nikos (for such is the name of the tender-hearted one) turned up at the beach, looked at me sheepishly and bent to whisper in my ear "We've got a kitten".
(Incidentally, ladies and gents, this is the man who swore we'd never get another pet unless it was a Great Dane.)

When I first met Joker, he was not more than three days old. A scrawny, mewling, shaking mass of limbs paddling the empty air trying to make contact with something that wasn’t there, sporting the remnant of an umbilical cord still hanging from his belly. He was blind, scare and scrappy as hell.

….Fast forward four months and he’s now a sleek, smug curtain climber who preys on ankles, toes, fingers and the occasional nose, not to mention any kind of electric cable. A psychotic furball who can jump three times his own height from a standing position, like a feline Harrier jet, or spend 26 hours a day sleeping - depending on how the mood takes him. In short, your average household cat.

Me and the Ovver Arf both grew up with cats, and we had one of our own – the inimitable Max, the world’s laziest ginger tom – some years back. But Joker is a whole different kettle of cat food. Or maybe we had fallen out of the ways of the Cat People? Joker put that right.

And what have we learned? We learned that, with a cat in the house….
*  every shower you take is watched with great interest from the edge of tub, and followed by a personal ankle-licking service to remove every droplet;
*  iPod earphones have the life expectancy of the average fruit fly;
*  you’ll never pee (or pooh) alone;
*  tights are not an option;
*  everything you do, or own, is deemed to be for your furry friend’s entertainment;
*  fingers and toes are teething aids;
*  shopping bags are to be sat in;
*  then wrapped around necks before hurtling round the house in a frantic attempt to remove them (admittedly, this is more of a problem when the bag still contains three tins of tomatoes, a carton of milk and a head of broccoli);
*  as are all cupboards, including (especially) the one holding the kitchen rubbish;
*  the toilet bowl is a source of endless fascination, and hydration (despite the full bowl in the kitchen, which usually serves the purpose of a personal paddling pool); 
*  crashes in the night are no longer greeted with fear, but an exasperated sigh of “Now what’s he done?”;
*  every surface that can be leapt up onto, will be;
*  you develop the art of carefully sidling into the comfy armchair without disturbing its curled up occupant (the thought of simply turfing it out doesn’t occur);
*  you develop a tolerance to hard stares;
*  you worry if more than three hours pass without hearing the sound of a miniature pneumatic drill making its way up the hall;
*  dried turds make delightful balls for playing kitty soccer on the kitchen floor;
*  hours spent searching high and low for “the bloody cat” are pointless. Give up - you'll probably be greeted with a contented blink and smug cat-grin when you open the bathroom cabinet for a fresh bar of soap;
*  your arms and legs acquire an trendy new “distressed” look;
*  interesting new documents in a strange language appear overnight on your laptop;
*  you’re happy to be licked, for hours on end, even in the company of relative strangers;
*  the feel of sandpaper against your cheek makes you feel loved;
*  you wonder what it’s like to have a tail;
*  something feels very wrong if you wake up in the middle of the night and there’s NOT a weight on your chest (accompanied by a steady blink of gold-green eyes and quick rasping lick of ownership).

They’re bloody-minded, egotistical, contrary, cussed, lazy, manic, mad, indifferent, demanding, aggressive, and more. Many claim they’re God’s mistake or the revengeful creation of a fallen angel. But those of us who love them, do so in spite of that all.

Or perhaps because of it?

1 comment:

  1. Such a cutie!...and don't you love that feeling of sitting there stroking them and feeling all your stress just evaporate?