8th July 2022

At one o’clock this morning, I was chasing a mouse around my room, not because I didn’t wish to share my space, but because it’s impossible to sleep while murder and mayhem are happening around you.

My mouse-rescue kit is always close at hand and previously, the mission has been quickly accomplished.

Last night’s mouse sought refuge behind my nightstand, then shot out and dived behind the bookcase.

By the time I had effected capture and release, I was wide awake and Willow had gone off in search of another mouse. No point in trying to sleep until she had settled.

It seemed like mere moments till the next disturbance, though it must have been some three hours.

After her ten hours of blissful sleep, Patches senses the approach of dawn and is keen that I should enjoy it too.

It is touching to witness the new joie-de-vivre this cat has found and I am delighted for her. I really am.

For years, Patches lived a sad, isolated little life, mourning for her buddy Bu.

Bu was the cuddler-in-chief. His entourage of girls spent hours grooming him. He’s been gone for over 5 years.

After all this time, Patches woke up one day with a new lease on life. How can we not be happy?

The problem is that she remembers the thrill of grooming the object of her affection. At 5 am she arrives and sets about grooming my head, in depth and with gusto.

When she’s done with me, Patches goes off to groom Grant but apparently not with the same vigor.

When I told him I was going to have to obtain a fencing mask to sleep in, he laughed.

“Push her away. She doesn’t take umbrage!”

No. She intensifies.

Maybe I am just a bit wary.

Early one morning a few years back, I was rudely awakened by a twenty-pound, suddenly alarmed cat with extended claws landing on my face. One claw raked a cheek, missing the eye by millimeters.

At the time I was still working, dealing with passengers, so I applied make-up, but my wound was very obvious.

At least for a day of two it kept my passengers quiet!

But this is why I get a little unnerved when cats get near my face. (I am also slightly allergic to cat hair!)

Patches isn’t the first cat I’ve known to have a complete reversal of behaviour.

For all but one year of his life, my twenty-pound boy Cisco hid from all strangers, even friends who had visited many times. They used to say he was a figment of my imagination because they never saw a single whisker of this very large cat.

Then, just a year before he died, he not only stopped hiding but came out to inspect visitors.

Who knows what makes these curious animals tick?

When you invite anyone or any creature to share your residence, you make adjustments. With another human you can negotiate and compromise. (There’s a concept!)

Other creatures can be trained. Um. Well, some can.

With cats, I think their attitude is you can like it or you can lump it. They have crafty ways of getting what they want.

The very gorgeous and beloved Kina did not want to live with a single person, particularly not a single woman.

When a boyfriend visited, Kina was all over him, the model of fine behaviour.

At other times, he was a brat.

It broke my heart, but he chose to live his very long happy life with a family. I had invited them to meet Kina and the moment they set foot through the door, he leapt into their arms. “Save me!” he seemed to cry.

He didn’t even pack his saucer.

No amount of compromise was ever going to work with Kina. If you care enough about an animal you do what is best for them, taking your own feelings out of the equation. It’s what decency and compassion requires us to do for those who depend on us.

It is a little galling to see my darlings slumbering in peace all day, knowing they will keep me awake again tonight, but that’s life with cats.

6 thoughts on “Compromise?

  1. I didn’t realise you were allergic to cat hair! That is devotion indeed. You do have to be careful with them that close to your eyes though. It would be so easy for those razor-sharp claws to blind you in one eye.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I really enjoy your kitty cat tales!
    I have 2 of these beauties, and can’t imagine life without them.
    Thank you for sharing. ❀


  3. Oh my … I had to laugh … you are “slightly allergic to cat hair”? You are a wonder woman Carolyn 😊 … I am also allergic to cat hair and won’t be able to endure half of what you do! And I’m (hopefully) off to a good night’s sleep … except for a bit of snoring maybe from my bed partner, but I think (after 26 years) I can handle that πŸ˜‰.

    1. The cat hair doesn’t always bother me unless it gets in my eyes. Once I woke up with a strange feeling in one eye and when I looked in the mirror the eyeball had swollen up and looked like a golf ball!

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