Happy Birthday Leo and Fat Lily!
They are five years old. As always with a birthday you ask “Oh where has the time gone?” “It doesn’t seem like five years” and other predictable stuff that people say about every birthday when they are getting older. Like climate change, time is definitely accelerating.
Here they are enjoying riotous partying.
Yes. I know. Cats just don’t know how to appreciate birthdays. You can give a dog a present, wrapped up in paper. He will rag the paper into tiny pieces all around the room, seize the gift and carry it about triumphantly, eyes gleaming, mouth in a rictus grin, drooling at the edges.
It gladdens your heart to see it. It’s rare that any of your nearest and dearest ever react quite so positively – even at Christmas. I’m not counting the year that Aunty Betty tried vodka for the first time. The drooling wasn’t pretty and she rather lost control of her knees.
In spite of the frankly disappointing gaiety from birthday kitties, I am very pleased to be a cat person now.
They are not generously life enhancing in the same way as dogs but they do enhance life exclusively on their own terms.
Surprisingly, they do come and greet you when you return home. They are curious about what you’re up to and they settle in your general vicinity even if not directly lying near the back of you neck on the sofa, luxuriating on the lap or requesting a tummy tickle upside down in “Max Adorable” position.
I’ve just been wandering around in the garden with the camera accompanied by Fat Lily. She’s one of those curious characters who doesn’t want to appear overtly nosey. She will show interest in your drink but only lick the edge of the glass when she thinks your back is turned.
She’s a pain sometimes. She emits her “Eh-ow” half miaow repeatedly, indicating she’s ready to take up the restricted position on lap between me and lap top (there’s a coincidence) and I go to lift her up but she trots away and lingers coquettishly in the study doorway.
I know damn well she hasn’t changed her mind because she’ll be back in two minutes asking again. The thing is, she doesn’t want to be lifted. She has to leap to lap of her own accord, when she’s ready – at the precise minute when she’s ready. That entails me ceasing typing and waiting while she decides on the moment. Sigh.
I don’t really know how she’s even wormed her way back into my study taking into account that she quadruple-pawedly destroyed my Dell laptop.
You think you’re going to be as disciplined and stern with cats as you were with dogs. *
They have other ideas. When I arrive back home late after a looong car journey the cats come to say ‘ Hello.’ I give them some Dreamies and some cat cuddles for a minute or two, then it’s time for bed.
They have other ideas. The door closes and there is plaintive miaowing from the landing for several minutes adopting the tone “How could you do this to us? We’ve hardly seen you and you’ve shut us out.”
“Tough” I think, sinking into the blissful bottomless cotton wool of dreams.
Then comes the scritch-scratching… a couple of seconds… a silence… then prolonged scritch-scratching which I realise is the ruination of a recently-laid wool carpet!
I scorch through the dreamy cotton wool like a rocket , fall out of bed and stumble to open the door. I feel a furry rush around my calves. They have entered the room like fleeting wraiths.
Back in bed, I think I’ve escaped but within moments surprisingly heavy paws are kneading…ow!…my….ow!….thigh….ouch!.. and there’s ingratiating purring going on in my hair.
It’s another skirmish in the ongoing battle for dominance. Okay, puss-cats, you’ve won this one but I live to fight another day. Yeah right. Happy Birthday.