My daughter (who has a cat) has a few problems at the moment. She just had a short spell in hospital, and as somebody who was once in care, it seems to have put her onto their radar. They have some obligation.
The upshot is that the council have agreed to clean her bedsit for her. There is some talk, I believe, of rehousing her permanently.
None of this is really surprising to my wife and I. When she lived here, cleanliness was always an issue. We would have to regularly tidy her room when she was young, and as she became older, it became more difficult to gain access without hysterics. When we cleaned, we would dispose of things like McDonald’s wrappers, which she did not throw away herself, even as a teen. We took to going into her bedroom when she was at school, hoping that she did not notice that we had cleaned things up, because if she did, there would be a fight when she got home. It’s only really with hindsight that I realise we had to be much more hands-on than other parents.
Daughter’s cleanliness has not improved, and now that she lives on her own, there is nothing to prevent this mess. With what has happened recently, in the short term, the council have agreed to clean her place. Their only condition – they want her cat out of the way while the clean happens.
So, for the next few weeks, we have a lodger. Daughter’s cat is staying with us.
Comparing her to any cat who ever lived with us, this cat is antisocial. But… wouldn’t you be?
She arrived five days ago, when she hissed at everything – us, the other cats. But I think she has gradually softened a bit. Yesterday, she allowed me to give her a brief fuss, although so far this morning she has been hissing again.
Yesterday, she also caught her first mouse (while staying here). Because we have the other cats, she is always able to come and go as she pleases. We worried about this at first, that she would not come back, but she at least recognises a steady supply of food and a warm comfy place to rest her head.
I have a feeling that, by the time she goes back home, we will be friends.
Despite us having a permanently-open window, plus a cat-flap, the boy comes into the lounge, where I am often working, and paws at the door for me to let him out. I invariably think, “he might be desparate for the toilet”, drop whatever I happen to be doing (which might often be working or writing) and let him out.
The girl likes to get in on the action. Rather than using the catflap, she will come into the porch, then sit and miaow for somebody to open the front door for her.
This morning, he wanted out. As soon as I opened the door for him, the wind blew the other door, to the kitchen, shut. Two seconds later, the other cat is howling at me, because she wants to get into the kitchen for some food.
Needless to say, I have no sympathy from my wife, who just says “well, if you’re stupid enough to get up in the first place…” It really is a dog’s cat’s life!
Anyway, totally unrelated:
The cat keeps me up on my toes, I swear on my life that he knows I’m just having a rest He decides he will test Please just leave me alone to compose.
I then open the door, let him out, And the other door slams with a clout! Then the other joins in, Wants food from the kitchen, How I love this impromptu workout
That’s a stock image by the way. Ours would never be so close.
Reuben is a beautiful cat too but I don’t think he’s very photogenic. He’s not particularly long-haired, but long enough to take away from his definition. And even less well-defined when his regular daytime posture is curled up in a ball! So he usually just looks like a big black splodge. He is, however, the largest cat who ever lived with us.
Reuben’s history is largely unknown, so I shall start with my firm knowledge. Two years ago he arrived here, as Reuben, from my daughter. He was fully grown (I’d say he must be eight or nine now), but underweight and his fur was quite thin. Before that point, the story is patchy.
My daughter, at the time, was living on a tight budget in a third-floor apartment. Six months earlier, she had answered a call for help – we need to move out of our house urgently and can anybody take on our cat? without really considering whether she was in a good position to help. This was Reuben. Except then, he wasn’t called Reuben, and this is where it gets fuzzy.
My daughter says that she did not ask his original name. I find this pretty unbelievable – if you’re taking on a new animal, what is the very first question you’d ask? Even if you’re planning to change it? Anyway, whatever the history, and I am sure we only know a small part of it, daughter christened him Reuben. Even now, he does not really answer to it, but actually we quite like it. Plus, we have no other name for him.
My daughter then tried to coop Reuben up in her apartment, but he had obviously been an outdoor boy and went stir-crazy indoors. He started over-grooming himself and his fur thinned out as a result. Finally, my daughter asked if he could come here. When he first arrived I was quite upset at his condition.
Reuben gradually integrated here. We were all nice to him, except for Lola, the other cat. And Reuben gradually accepted us, except Lola, and his health improved as he became an outdoor cat once again.
Reuben and I are now best buddies. After all, he is a neutered male. His main interests are sleeping and eating, just like me. And he is a happy cat – he purrs loudly and often, he can be heard by everybody in the room. He likes to sleep right next to me on the bed, although that might be because he’s waiting for me to get up to feed him his breakfast!
When he does go out, however, Reuben likes to catch things. Birds or rodents, he’s not fussed. That is the saddest part, for me, about living with cats.
The two cats do not get on, but they have both learned just to be someplace else when the other cat is around. All except for breakfast, when they’re both too interested in food. Reuben is probably twice Lola’s size, but she is the one with the temper.