Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The pitfalls of feline investigation

We had our first little kitten 'accident' today – no, not a case of forgetting where the litter tray was, but of coming a cropper while investigating the toilet.

I was busy at the computer when I suddenly heard a mad scrabbling; the sound of claw against ceramic. By the time I got to the bathroom, the only evidence of anything untoward was a sopping wet toilet seat and a certain rippling in the bowl itself.

The Other Half quickly found Loki, who, apart from his head, was sopping wet. Fortunately, he was quite placid when it came to being picked up, wrapped in a towel and gently dried off. Although he still sat on the floor looking a little sorry for himself afterwards. I'm not going to say: 'I told you so', but there are reasons that I said, before their arrival, that remembering to put the seat down would be A Good Thing.

But they are now comfortable and confident enough in their new home that every day seems to bring opportunities to try something new. Bed is a case in point.

After we stopped shutting them into the living room at night – not least because The Queen B had started trying to open the door (closed internal doors are verboten to cats, it seems), they popped into the bedroom briefly at night and would arrive again after breakfast for a play and a cuddle if we were having a lie-in or a read.

Last night they decided that coming to bed to sleep would be a cool idea. In Loki's case, he's already decided that scrambling into bed is really good. Otto is perfectly happy to try to balance on some stray limb and purr himself to sleep. You start feeling as though you're trapped into a scenario like that of the whore in the story about King Solomon, when she rolled over in her sleep and suffocated her baby. Fortunately, I seem to have spent quite a lot of the last 17 and a half years learning how to change position in bed without disturbing a cat.

They're chattering more too: chirrups and tweets now pepper the quiet, where none existed when they arrived. We're getting told when they need food and when they need fuss. Furry alarm clock syndrome will not be far behind. Mack was a genius at that – if all else failed, he'd bite my septum: never hard enough to draw blood, just hard enough to get my attention. I long ago learned that, where cats are concerned, giving in quickly is usually the easiest option as well as the quickest one.

Otto and Loki are lucky – we're already well trained in many ways. Although I have little doubt that they'll manage a few more in the coming years.

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