Cats: What They've Done To Me
Cats: Various Little Beasts Over The Years
Four cats have lived with me over the years. They've all had mongrel parentage and the customary regal manners and they've all been a source of joy and pain. Real pain and drawing blood in some cases.
I thought I'd reminisce about each of them in turn; I suspect that at the end you'll be nodding in recognition (cat lovers) or you'll have left after two paragraphs thinking what an idiot I am (cats, hate 'em). Anyway, let's see what comes out as I ramble on.
I'll post first about Cat 1 -- if anyone likes it I'll add Cats 2-4 as time goes on.
About Me And Pictures
I'm not sure I should be writing about me -- I don't think the cats would have approved of losing the focus of attention ...
Sadly I don't have a cat at the moment as I live in a first floor flat on a very busy main road -- and if you read on you'll understand why the road especially bothers me..
I moved around quite a bit for some years and in the process cat pictures got lost. I'll scour the web for pics that are as close as possible. The intro image almost literally leapt off the page at me as the spitting image of Cat 4. My thanks to all the cats pictured here for deigning to pose,
ps "leapt" and "spitting" are words that may reoccur in the course of this lens ...
Cat 1: Let's Have One Of The Kittens
Living in Croydon at the time with two lovely Irish women. One day P said "So and so's cat has had kittens, let's get one."
"Okay." and that was it. Off to see mother and kittens, nesting in a large box on a gray blanket. Anyone who knows of ducklings imprinting knows what happened next, and a few weeks later a tiny black and white cat arrived. "Fang" came into my head, god knows why, and so he was baptised.
Good little cat, rapidly housetrained, though we kept the litter tray just in case.
It was the middle of Winter when we got him and he decided he'd sleep on the mound of blankets that covered me at night. Every blanket I possessed, it was freezing. Woke up feeling odd, blearily peered at clock: 2:30 am. Odd feeling = moisture. Fang mews piteously. Waste of litter tray. Comfort cat, strip bed and change sheets. Put cut-up bin liners below blankets, drop off again. Woke up feeling odd. Peered blearily at clock: 3:30 am. Odd feeling = .... . Blow it, back to sleep ahead of a long laundry day. Took cat to vet who pointed out that he was young, the night was cold, it was perfectly normal and that'll be a week's wages please. Fang objected to vet trip and bit me.
First outdoor game Fang taught me was chase cum hide and seek in a small back garden. He didn't like to be found, though he always kept his head out to check my progress so I had to make allowances. Snow arrived and he loved it -- tiptoed stiff-legged across the unbroken surface barely leaving a track. We had to play hide and seek in it, of course: a good long game. It only finished when I heard a noise and looked up to see a couple of workmen on a neighbouring roof staring at this lunatic zigzagging across snow while talking to himself.
This Is How Close I Get When You're Asleep
Here's looking at you, kid.
The Downside Of Having A Cat
Fleas, damage and disease
First problem wasn't too serious -- cat fleas. Mind you, if you've ever lain awake scratching feverishly you'll know what the little creatures are like. At that time the best treatment was an aerosol spray. Three times a day for five days. Fang hated aerosols -- no idea why but he treated them like they were the devil incarnate, He weighed seven and a half pounds and I was glad I had elbow-length leather motorbike gauntlets to wear - he ripped those in his objections to being sprayed. Non cat owners would not believe the strength in a furious cat.
Second problem was worse: he used to follow us down the road. Normally he was fine with cars but if he was with us he thought he could walk in the middle fo the road -- no matter how we tried to chase him. One dark wet night, off to the pub, car speeding by, disappeared cat. We looked for him but no sign and assumed he'd run off home, Got to the pub, couldn't sit there - back out into the rain, whistling and calling "Fang" as we peered into gardens and under hedges - and there he was, barely able to meow.. I got him home very carefully and settled him on his favourite jumper in front of a gas fire. Off to the vet next day - broken ribs and various bruises. To his credit, Fang wanted to take on an Alsatian in the waiting room amd he did bite the vet. Fang recovered, the costs near bankrupted me.
Third problem was the dreaded FIV -- often a killer in those days. Vet said, "nothing to be done, see how it goes." Took him home, gave him the best armchair as he weakened, carried him to a litterbox when he asked. Through a week I tried every one of his favourite foods -- never mind tinned or dry cat food, I tried raw liver (several kinds), lamb's kidneys, chicken, cod, crab - not a bite would he take, He was getting weaker and weaker and I had to think about The Choice. Fortunately he wasn't in pain but he couldn't even clean himself. Then one day, in absolute desperation, I dissolved a chicken stock cube in some tepid water and tried a teaspoonful - he lapped it up! About four spoons then, more later. Within a day he was tottering around the kitchen directing operations. No lingering ill effects whatsoever.
Fang went to live with my parents when I went back to Uni and went on to live a long and happy life. He had my mother wrapped round his little finger -- yowl if he didn't fancy tinned food and she was down the road to the butcher for bit of kidney. "He's a very fussy eater, isn't he?" she said. No, he's a cunning, manipulative little beggar. First proper pet I or she had ever had -- an astounding difference made by a little moggy.
Fang And Toys - Apart from curtains and furniture
He'd have loved this - we used to have great fun turning off the room lights and letting him chase a torch beam.
Cats And Christmas Trees
A real Christmas tree is just an adventure playground to a cat and any presents around it are to be unwrapped by the cat. Accept that and Christmas will be a lot less tense! Beware though, cats may try to eat chocolate ornaments and they shouldn't - so perhaps don't put anything like that on the tree,
Best Thing About Cats?
That little chirrup noise they make when they're happy
A cat with a job - purrleeze! Very funny book.
"I am not a cat man, but a dog man, and all felines can tell this at a glance - a sharp, vindictive glance."