This little book of poetry was passed on to me when I was very young. It was presented to my great-grandmother Deer “for general improvement” in 1889. Sadly, it had not been at all well looked after. I have always treated it with care but it is slowly disintegrating. It has travelled around with me for some 65 years, so it’s hardly surprising. If it hasn’t completely turned to dust by then, I suppose it will pass on to my niece, Alison. I like the idea of items staying in a family.
It may well have been this little book that inspired me to love cats.
Ah cats! I could have boxed Blackie’s ears this morning when she came to dive bomb me at the crack of dawn, yelling “Breakfast Time! GET UP!”
Grant being a guy, you would think he should be the disciplinarian with all these cats, but, no, he mollycoddles them and spoils them rotten, encouraging the little so-and-so’s to make all sorts of demands.
I think they formed a Union, albeit a rather dysfunctional one, given that they all believe their particular needs are the most important. Colin regularly will decide he wants someone else’s seat and will simply turf them off it. Just as Lily pushes me off my chair.
Grant said I must have a “proper” chair for my new office, that would support my creaky back.
He forgot to inform Lily of this.
But I shouldn’t feel bad, she does it to Lucy as well…
Lucy was minding her own business in the basket. Till Lily decided to oust her.
Senior cat Lily may be, but she has no interest in responsibilities. Lily just wants to do her own thing, and does.
So she deferred seniority to Lucy, La Fluff. Lucy is a born shop steward. She has a loud and very demanding voice. Which doesn’t gain her any respect from the cat brethren, but she is useful for announcing “time”, and she has a built-in clock.
About 1030 every morning, treats must be administered and woe betide if they are not.
Late home from an appointment? Out shopping for cat food? They don’t want excuses.
If you didn’t know the truth, you would think the little beasts are overjoyed to see us, but no, as soon as we are through the door, they all queue up in front of the “treat cupboard”. Which can now only be used for cat treats because, if you open the door, they all come running expectantly, and you don’t want to see a look of disappointment on those sweet faces!
So much for Time being 1030am. Grant has a stash of treats downstairs and now there are all sorts of “Times”:
THAT time for Sasha aka “DD”
THIS time for Tinkerbell (Tinks)
HALF time for Toby
NOW time for Blackie
PAST time for Lily
ANY time for Sikkim
SOME time for Penny
PRESENT time for Patches
WHATEVER time for Sophia
BREAK time for Lucy
MAKE time for Willow
ALL THE time for Colin
It’s not that we are really all that indulgent. It’s just that we have a couple of rather corpulent cats. They will eat anything in sight. Colin gets fed in a closed room because otherwise he would push the others away from their bowls and hoover up their food as well. Tinks at least doesn’t do that.
Obviously, we can’t put down a bowl of kibble for our normal-weight cats to nibble periodically, which is what we would normally do .
Consequently ,when the other cats look up at us and cry pitifully that they are – “Starved!” “Weak from hunger!” “About to faint!” …we are not unsympathetic.
Hence all these “times”!
I can’t forget poor old Tom who was apparently a calming influence on this gang of reprobates, judging from the squabbling that has gone on since the dear boy departed, hopefully for greener pastures.
Tom’s favourite was CHEESE time!
And surprisingly, I also can’t forget the cat that was next door, Mr Pancho. His people moved away last week. A couple of times, in the evening, I have seen Lily and Sasha staring out the front window, down the driveway, as if they are looking for the boy to come sauntering up, but I daresay it’s only me who misses him.
Pancho made us crazy, constantly chasing birds and the wee creatures we love, but in spite of his wicked ways he was a really neat cat and I miss his face in the window. I miss having him rush out of the bushes to greet me.
I am just soppy about cats.