Spooks exhibitionism brings to mind a slightly unpleasant image from years ago when friends described their housemate, Bill, as forever lying outstretched on the couch in his underpants, legs splayed, whilst simultaneously eating pizza, chatting on the phone and scratching his balls.. Who said men can't multi-task?
Spook is a cat of simple, but often unsavoury pleasures. He likes water. He likes to sit in the sink alternately batting the water with his paw as it flows out of the tap and licking the drips off the end of it. He likes to observe me in the shower like some furry little voyeur, his nose pressed up against the glass cubicle. But it is not me who is of real interest it is the splash of the 'rain' shower and the water swirling away down the plug hole that he fixates on. He also has an unfortunate fascination for peering down the toilet. You are asking yourselves what kind of people leave the toilet seat up for the cat to spend his time gazing down the bowl? We don't. He sneaks into the bathroom behind you like a little silver spotted shadow when you are too befuzzled with sleep to notice. One morning as the Bedsock went to pee, a furry head shot up between his legs to peer down the bowl and narrowly missed being caught in the line of fire.
Spook likes small things.. my small things.. my intimate, small, things. The old bureau that serves as my dressing table is his treasure chest, the compartments full of small objéts that he can ferret out, carry around and hide in one of his secret places. Curled up on the sofa watching telly downstairs, a sudden thud on the ceiling will herald the arrival of Spook, jumping down from the bureau and bringing his latest trophy downstairs to us for a game of fetch. We keep a supply of shower caps, stolen from hotel stays, which he likes crushed into a ball and thrown for him to retrieve. No matter how many times I put the packet of cotton wool pads back in the bureau they reappear on the living room floor. Panty-liners in their little pink packets will be placed each on a separate stair, the trail once culiminating in a little tower of pink packets neatly stacked on the landing. Scent and make-up samples, lipsticks, the screwed up packets from my HRT patches, all join the little procession of 'found things' that he hides or deposits at our feet and waits with patient insistence in pounce-ready 'on his marks' mode until they are thrown for him.
Spook wakes up to play as we are ready to sleep and no bed-time is complete without the 'fetch' game. Just as lights are about to go out he appears on the bed with object in mouth for us to chuck around the bedroom for ten minutes. His latest treasure, a (wrapped) tampon which we named 'Mousie', was hurled around the room for him until eventually too tired to continue we hurled it out of the bedroom and down the stairs quickly closing the bedroom door whilst Spook hurtled after it.
|Spook the Hunter|
The Bedsock awoke the next morning to find a tampon next to his nose and Spook sitting patiently waiting for 'Mousie' to be thrown again. 'Mousie' lasted several days before Spook finally killed it on the bedroom carpet.
And what of Hebe in all this you ask? Hebe uses the distraction to squeeze herself into the back of my knicker drawer, hiding to avoid being chucked out of the bedroom for the night. When the bedside light goes out, signalling the 'all clear' Spookwise and I am sleepily snuggling into the duvet, I will suddenly feel a warm pressure against the small of my back as Hebe takes her place for the night ensuring that her stretched body encompasses the vast majority of the bed. As I drift off I can hear the distant scuffles of a Spook patrolling the house in search of a new small object to destroy.