A few days ago I decided that Toby’s fine coat would really look better on a black and white background, so I exchanged his blanket for one I purchased months ago at a nearby Big Lots.
It’s one of those super-soft creations that feels so lovely. It was so nice in fact, that I decided to buy a second one which I would allow the cats access to, while keeping the first pristine.
What good does it do, to have something if you don’t use it? It had been draped out of harm’s way long enough.
Besides, these blankets wash and fluff back up!
Back on the bed went the black and white blanket and a curious thing happened. Everything about Willow is a little curious, of course.
Take this paper bag. The other day she tried to insert herself into it.
Through that hole in the bottom.
Willow, like all cats, is a great fan of paper bags. Her favourite thing is to gently tap them. This may (or may not) be her way of requesting a game of “catch the red light” which she particularly likes to play with Grant.
But only if the other cats don’t join in.
Willow, not yet full grown, arrived at my previous home and said “thank you very much, I’ve come to stay with you” (meaning me). I am quite easily seduced by cats, but Willow cast a spell on me. I felt my broken heart begin to mend and whispered to her:
“Panther sent you, didn’t he?”
She batted her eyes.
Willow has no issue sharing with other cats, but I sometimes wonder if she believes she is a different species. She barely acknowledges them.
But she does notice them and she will not share a space.
Willow has a wide personal boundary. Should one of the others intrude by a mere centimetre, she does not protest. She simply moves.
Willow quite likes knowing my location and we have a few exclusive routines between us. She loves me giving her medication twice a day.
It was immediately clear to me that Willow was special and I hoped she would sleep on my bed, but cats will do what they choose and it was quite some time before she came to settle with me at night.
Which is when Lucy revealed her true colours. Lucy does not sleep with me, does not wish to be held or fussed over. But the minute Willow climbed on my bed or claimed proximity to me, there was Ms Fluff, staking her claim: “I’ve got seniority!”
Round and round we went with this. Different boxes and blankets. I even relocated my sleeping arrangements to accommodate the fickle felines.
What happened in the end was that neither of them slept with me which delighted Blackie, who with her juniority had no rights to claim.
Then dear old Toby arrived.
All of this was perfectly fine with Willow. She had become a super-mouser and was down the basement half the night on watch.
Those few nights Willow had stayed on the bed had meant a lot to me but she is a free spirit and I know better than to be offended by a cat.
So the usual scenario lately is Blackie hard up against me, purring for victory while gazing intently at my face as I read. It’s a little disconcerting to be honest!
Toby is on the bed as well, waiting for me to put my head down, Lucy and Patches happily installed on either side of a heater nearby.
One night recently, I spread out the black and white blanket then sat propped up reading and soon a little grey girl appeared quietly and began kneading, as cats do when content.
“That’s right”, I remembered, “you liked the black and white blanket, didn’t you!”
Apparently she still did.
Willow slept on the bed most of the night, leaving only in the pre-dawn hours to check for mice downstairs.
Predictably, La Fluff had noticed.
The following night she arrived, not to stake a claim to the blanket, but just to make sure Willow would not. Little Madam.
Not that I ever expect to get the better of any cat, but my next move was to replace the black and white with the red and white, upside down.
For Toby’s colour-coordination.
Then, once Madam Fluff is installed on her warm nightly perch, the black and white comes back out for Willow.
Which gained me two more nights of close-time with my special little gray girl. I don’t cuddle her or try to persuade her to stay.
But having her near, at her choice, is so very nice.