Just lately it is sheer willpower that finally forces me from my bed.
Willpower and Lily’s nagging.
She has a voice like sand paper, grating and growly.
“Get up!”….”Get up!”
“Oh for heaven’s sake…GET UP!…”
By 0830 we had already dealt with the first 3 vomits of 2022. And by 1030 I had almost pitched myself downstairs, after skidding on the 4th.
Part of my reluctance to rise is that Patches has taken to arriving in the early morning to be petted.
She presses up against me, purring gently. Then I stroke her ears and head and the purr becomes intense.
For so many years Patches seemed to exist on the periphery of my other cats, too timid to assert herself.
We have always done our best to show Patches and Sofia our love, but it’s difficult in a multi-cat house because there is always going to be a pecking-order.
One or another of the cats will be dominant, some will be laid back and some, like these two will tend to stay tucked in their safe places, no matter what.
Leaving them in peace seems the kindest thing to do.
Sofia has advanced to sitting on Grant’s lap to be petted and I can now approach her with my hand extended to offer food. When I drop her bowl I can then run my fingers over her head and she will allow me to stroke her, purring madly.
So we have made very slow progress, and when Patches began to seek us out, we were much surprised and pleased.
After morning pets with me, she will take breakfast and then she goes downstairs to spend the day with Grant.
Well of course, new behaviour in one cat is going to cause a shift and a disgruntlement among the others.
Lucy has always been inclined to follow me around. She tries to round me up and when she’s got me settled at my desk, she goes to sleep in her favourite chair.
But lately she’s started checking on me, calling out loudly and wanting to climb up, like a kitten.
The thing is, Lucy doesn’t actually like being held, so having gained access to my lap, she realized that’s not what she wanted.
Yesterday she was clamoring so insistently, I asked Grant to lift her up and she climbed all the way up onto his shoulders. There she would have stayed, quite happily, riding around, but you can’t get much done with a sharp-clawed cat attached to your shoulder.
Sikkim (Muffin), our other Himalayan is one of the laid-back ones. She seems very meek and mild, however any other cat who has thought to chase her discovered in short order how false first impressions can be.
She has taken ownership of a Wolferman’s box saying “of course it’s mine. Doesn’t it say ‘Muffins’?”
The only thing that really upsets Muffin is transport. Any kind of transport. She gets violently motion sick.
We discovered this on take-off from Seattle in 2018.
It was a most challenging journey.
The one most put out by Patches sudden bold moves is Blackie because cuddling up close to Mum has always been her privilege. Because, of my current cats, she is the only one who has previously claimed it.
Though only at her pleasure, I should point out.
Fickle beasts, cats.
However, seeing another cat draped over my legs, getting petted…well! For a couple of days Blackie gave Patches “strong eyes” and grumbled a bit.
Lucy, meanwhile tried to round “it” up and off. Lucy appears to believe herself to be a border collie.
Patches, however, has become emboldened. She remained lying on my legs and she has now established that this is the way things are going to be.
“So who CARES?” says Tinkerbelle.
Grant tries to wear her out chasing the dot with the dual purpose of exercising her rotund body and shedding nervous energy that propels her into chasing Sophia.
Willow’s temperament is harder to gauge.
She considers me “hers”.
This doesn’t mean she wants to cuddle or sit on my lap.
She might, sit on my lap, twice a year.
She just doesn’t want other cats to be given the privilege.
And as I may have mentioned, a time or two, Willow’s displeasure is normally expressed in terms of peeing on things. The more inconvenient the better.
This morning though, she enacted her version of Lucy’s round-up. She corralled me into a spare room where she sometimes gets her medicine administered and where I therefore keep treats.
But she didn’t seem to want a treat. She looked up at me, purring. She just wanted to be petted.