In contrast to my last post, I wondered why we really do love our animals so much, despite all of their annoying habits. If I get it right there should be a lovely picture of myself, my daughter and Maisie the cat below the text…aww!
This image of domestic bliss is not always the reality where my furry companion is concerned: oh no! She can be a right pain in the neck and is infuriatingly self-obsessed.
There was the time that she climbed out of the dormer window from the attic room onto the roof of the house and wouldn’t come in. After an hour of worrying what i would say to explain the squashed feline on the front path, I bravely clambered out of the window myself. Trying to ignore the terrifying drop to the paving below, I inched my way up the roof towards her. I was half expecting the police and fire brigade to turn out, thinking that I was suicidal, or something.
Anyway, I eventually hauled myself up on top of the flat roof above the attic window. Maisie stopped washing her face and scampered down the opposite side away from me. She was as graceful and poised as I had been clumsy and inept.
Now I was on top of the roof without a ladder and realised that getting down was harder than climbing up. I waved cheerfully at people passing below and yelled to reassure them that I was fine and just rescuing my (now invisible) cat. Eventually I made it back inside without anything badly dented except for my pride. Maisie was curled up asleep downstairs.
A few years later, I had forgotten about this humbling experience and tried to ‘rescue’ her from my first floor window ledge in the wee hours before dawn. This resulted in my climbing a ladder in a howling gale while my dressing gown billowed up around my waist, revealing to anyone who might have passed by that I wore nothing in bed. Once again, the little darling waited until the last possible amount of embarrassment had been wrung from the situation before jumping back through the open window. Doh!
Recently, she has come to the conclusion that whenever she comes in through the cat-flap, day or night, that I will be delighted to greet her and pet her. To make this easier for me, she meows loudly and repeatedly to let me know that she is back. During the day this is not so bad. Her yowls do not seem so deafening and she finds me in the living room fairly quickly.
At night, it’s another matter. She has a methodical system of locating me. First, she checks out the larder, presumably thinking that I may have taken to sleeping in the freezer. Next comes the kitchen, downstairs hall and living room. Finally she pads up the stairs and enters the bedroom. Now, bear in mind that all of this time her incessant caterwauling is driving me nuts. She doesn’t even stop it when she enters the bedroom…no, that would be too easy. She stops only at the moment that her paws hit the top of the quilt.
You may be wondering why I don’t call to her, to let her know where I am. Believe me, I tried this. If anything she got noisier. It was as if she was pleased that I was joining in the nightly serenade and redoubled her efforts to make a real concert of the occasions. I then tried ignoring her. That didn’t work either. Next I got mad and tried to shout at her loudly enough for her to know I was angry but quietly enough that I didn’t disturb my daughter, who always sleeps through the mayhem. As you can imagine, shouting in a subdued fashion is not at all easy to do, resulting in a weird combination of a whisper and a mumble, whilst gesticulating wildly at the cat, who is not even in the same room at the time. I have tried hissing at her like an angry cat. This does shut her up for a while, as she sneaks around to check for traces of the non-existent intruder: then she carries on from where she left off.
It’s driving me nuts, as well as depriving me of decent sleep.
Still, to make up for all of this aggravation, she’s a great hot water bottle on cold winter nights. There’s nothing like the contented rumble of a cat’s purring to relax you or send you off to sleep (even if she woke you in the first place); She never judges and never remains mad at me.
Maybe the picture’s representative of our relationship after all.