Friday, 19 October 2007

A discussion on my cat obsession

With a name like I Like Cats as the title of my blog, some of you may be wondering why I don’t feature my cat Basil on the site more often. There are a few reasons:

Stories about cats are only interesting to other cat lovers – as Antonia tags hers so well: “Shut up about your cats”.

Taking photos of Basil is very difficult, as he is black as black can be, and you cannot differentiate between his head and his butt. Unless he looks at the camera, in which case he then has green alien eyes. (By the way who saw the .gif at Fussy of Happy Cat? Sooooo funny).

He has a very good routine, and doesn’t often do anything out of the ordinary that I could share. This is Basil’s routine:
Wake up on the couch
Watch Mum have a shower (this is getting unsettling)
Lick the shower water from the bottom of the bath
Trip Mum up while she tried to get dressed, put her makeup on and have breakfast
Get sworn at
Get patted for being too cute
Get fed.
Lately*, throw up on the (luckily wooden) floor
Eat the throw up while Mum dry retches and leaves praying it’ll be gone by the time she gets home
*don’t worry we’re going to the vet on Tues
Sleep all day
Upon hearing Mum’s car on the driveway, sit sleepily peering out the cat door yawning.
Trip Mum up while she tries to get inside
Get fed again.
If he’s really lucky, get brushed.
Scratch Mum when she stops brushing.
Sit on armchair, scratching the hell out of it
Have a bath for about an hour
Run up and down the house chasing either the lid of a water bottle, a peg, a lavender sachet, a piece of paper, an earring, a fly or something invisible to the naked eye
Settle down near Mum’s feet at bedtime after a good game of biting the goblin that lives at the end of the bed (my toes).

Seriously. He does this every day. I am also a big fan of routine so it suits me fine.

I used to have another cat, called Polly, or Princess Polly PJ. She was a long haired tabby moggy, and way more snuggly than Basil, probably because we got her when she was about 6 weeks old. From day one she crawled under the covers and snuggled into me and stayed there all night. God knows how she didn’t suffocate from no oxygen and sharing a small double with 2 people. But she’s still alive…. Living with friends. We had to give her up when we moved over to Australia…it was devastating. But anyhoo….I managed to teach Polly to fetch. She had an obsession with chasing the plastic lids on water bottles – like would do it all night. She had a bell on her collar so you’d hear jingle jingle jingle JINGLE JINGLE jingle jingle jingle all night long. It became soothing after a while. Then my flatmate made me remove it.
I digress. We lived in the top story of a run down old house, and had these massive stairs to climb. For some reason, I began to throw the bottle top down the stairs, and Polly would fly down, pick it up, and pad back up the stairs and drop it at my feet. Seriously. I am not kidding you. It was our party trick. She could do it for hours. Some mornings I would wake up, and Polly would be sitting right by my bed, looking at me expectantly, with a Matterhorn of bottle tops by her little paws. What a lovely way to wake up.

In Australia, we swore we’d never get another kitten until we knew we were settled, but me being me, couldn’t help it when I heard there were free kittens down the road. One was super fluffy, and dark grey. I took her home and when her Dad walked in he was greeted by a skittery little dustball dancing down the hallway. Luckily he liked her as much as me so I didn’t get into too much trouble. We named her Ruby. Her mother had died very early so she wasn’t weaned very well. She thought I was her mother and tried to suckle (bad word) on my head. She’d wrap herself around the back of my neck and claw away. I had short hair at the time so when my friend Emma came round who had lovely long blonde curls Ruby would pretty much set up camp in there.
Anyhoo after about 2 months we were at the vet and while the vet was doing the surprise butt sex thing with the thermometer, I was going, oh poor little princess, oh you precious angel. I realised the vet was looking at me funny and I was all what? And he was all, you know this cat is a boy don’t you? I burst into tears and was in denial for ages…..her Dad straight away was all oh he’s a super wee chap etc etc but I couldn’t look at it. Took me forever to think of him as a boy – we renamed him Rudy. Rudy the Rooter. Rudy grew into an exceptionally handsome cat but was never very cuddly. In fact the day I left Perth after breaking up with my fiancée, I remember trying to pick him up and cuddle him, and he just let loose with his claws and ran away. Really helped my mood. Our friends were taking over our wee house and adopting Rudy in the process. After a couple of weeks I got a phone call saying Rudy had been run over which was devastating as you’d expect.

So after all that, you’d think I’d never get a cat again but now that I have a good job, good home, settled lifestyle it was time for one….and I’m so glad I did. Living on my own has a million positives, but the loneliness is one negative. Basil fills a gap with his antics and listening to him purr from the end of my bed always makes everything okay.
And that, my friend, is why I Like Cats.

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