Friday, 17 July 2009

Cleve West's Cats

A guest blog from Cleve West - which proves that cats are adept at finding the best of people to look after them.. A.S.

We have had cats most of my fifty years and the pain of losing them (even when they are well past their best) is unbearable. In fact the sadness of our last cat, Ushi, joining all the others under the York stone terrace in our backyard was so bad that we couldn't bear to get another as we thought her irreplaceable. But a few months ago, Russ came into our lives. He originally belonged to one of our neighbours but they had children and, being of a slightly nervous disposition, soon left home and moved in with another neighbour for some peace and quiet. It was a tense time. The children obviously wanted Russ back and naturally made a fuss but, as we all know, cats are independent souls and can't be forced to stay put. Eventually everyone calmed down and Russ, oblivious to the chaos he had created, spent two years in tranquillity before his new family decided to adopt Billie. Billie is a spaniel and, by weird coincidence, belonged to Emma Townshend's sister. Russ, who didn't give a shit whose sisters it belonged to, packed his bags and camped outside our front door for weeks before we nervously invited him in. We didn't want to start another war but we couldn't leave him in the cold especially as his nervousness made him lose some of his fur. Eventually we told the neighbour that he was spending most of his time with us and tentatively asked them if they wanted us to feed him. Thankfully they agreed that this was the best course of action and, for the last six months, Russ has again found sanctuary and his fur has grown back. Apart from having an unnerving similarity to Ushi (which makes us wish we'd never read Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary') he has quickly become a welcoming fixture and, as long as we don't let children, dogs or, come to think of it, Emma Townshend, stay for any length of time he might see fit to stay with us for a while. It should be fun, especially as he has a weird habit of trying to do headstands when he's in a good mood but is totally freaked out when I practice yoga of a morning.


Arabella Sock said...

I'm embarrassed to admit that I own one of those indoor mini-trampoline things which unsurprisingly is hardly ever used and resides in a dismantled state under the bed.

This is in part because when I first had it my (previous) cats showed some curiousity when I got it out but then fled in different directions the minute I started bouncing! One was so traumatized she refused to come out from under the wardrobe for an hour.

By contrast Hebe and Luka were totally fascinated by it and the minute I got the trampoline out would line-up on the table, their eyes glittering with amusement as they prepared to watch the spectacle.

This was somewhat unnerving for me as you don't need an audience for that sort of thing. The wretched trampoline is unlikely to venture out from under the bed again.

Ms B said...

I think I might also be fascinated watching the spectacle of you bounce up & down on a trampoline. Perhaps it could be arranged.

I have always felt unnerved when my cats sit & watch me sat on the loo!

But back to the Cleve guest blog: I am really pleased that clever Russ has had the sense to overturn your decision to remain catless.

Victoria said...

Isn't it funny how cats are so fascinated by bits of apparatus? My first cat, Suki, absolutely adored stepladders, which was quite unnerving if you were trying to do decorating or change a lightbulb. You'd take a step up or down, and there would be this agonised yowl from where she'd sneaked up behind you. Or you'd get to the top with your tin of paint and find she'd bounded up there first.

emmat said...

Honestly, you make it sound like it was my fault!!! i had nothing to do with it!!!! Excpet that yes, i would like everyone to know that the evil pup in question is actually the one featured on my blog, one of the puppies i puppy sat!!! Can you believe the smallness of the world??? It was complete coincidence.

Poor Russ though! you didn't tell me the bit about the fur. xx

Fat Rascal said...

I'm not embarrassed to say I don't own a patented exercise device of any kind. I'm getting a good workout with the Dyson which has now developed a tendency to suck its lead back in as fast as I can pull it out.

Getting back on topic, EFR had to be discouraged from encouraging Dear Departed Dog to play with the hoover when he first came to live with us. Hilarious fun for the person who doesn't normally do the vacuuming!

Although DDD could hoover up objects quite efficiently on his own!

It's so difficult to know the right moment for the next pet. Cats do seem to just walk into your life and many a feral or barn cat has tried to walk into mine.

I wish the next perfect dog would just turn up on my doorstep!