Thursday, 28 October 2010

Now we are one

Today, Loki and Otto are a whole year old.

Boisterous, cheeky, charming, manipulative, cuddly, devious: these are just a few of the adjectives that I could use to describe our youngest furry monsters.

But we were right: Boudicca has most certainly benefitted from having feline company – even though she possibly wouldn’t be the first to agree on that.

She’d had 16 months on her own after Mack died – we’d decided, on the basis of experience, that she should have some time to herself, to blossom in ways she hadn’t before. We decided – again on the basis of experience – that it’s best to introduce a kitten into a house with an established adult cat. The only question at the time was whether to get one kitten or litter mates – we opted for the latter so that, if Boudi had decided to give a newcomer a really torrid time, they’d have had sibling support.

Her ‘bored’ behaviour has all but disappeared – hardly any messing with the wooden tulips in the living room and not even much banging the sliding glass wardrobe doors in the bedroom: theses had become her default bored behaviours.

She even plays regularly with Loki – and very, very occasionally with Otto.

She has plenty to keep her occupied – particularly as all her assumptions about being Number 1 Household Cat are being rather mucked up by Otto’s considerations on the subject.

My little girl, having being named for Otto von Bismarck (when I still thought she was a he), is living up to her name rather well.

She may still love having big cuddles, but she never seems to have harboured any illusions about The Queen B’s status. However, unlike Boudi’s own tormenting of the late Trickie – who always considered herself a delicate old lady who wasn’t really a cat anyway but a small human in a fur coat who was put upon by cats – Otto’s undermining process is infinitely more subtle.

From very small she realised that sitting above Boudi and looking down at her would cause upset. So she set about doing it a lot.

Last night, after Boudi had hopped under the covers and was purring away in a tent created by The Other Half’s legs, Otto very carefully insisted on popping her face in to look, bringing forth irate growling and then Boudi’s rapid departure from the bed.

The Queen B’s old riposte would have been to smack the impudent kitten. But the impudent kitten in question long ago revealed that she could smack back. So now there is much chuntering and grumbling as Boudi becomes less and less obviously top cat; and doesn’t know what to do about it.

Even Loki, who is less clearly involved in the business of regime change, is undaunted. Having realised that she can now get on top of the bedroom bookcases, she half chases Boudi up there at night, into what was once the latter’s place of sanctuary and safety from junior furballs. No longer. Cue more feline grumbling.

One could almost believe in karma.

Not that this is surprising, if you take on board the idea (and it’s only an idea, with no real scientific basis) that a cat of a year old is, in human terms, about 15 or 16. In other words, Otto and Loki are teenagers.

Now, brownie points to all those who spotted the reference to AA Milne in the title of this post.

Being well brought-up children, my sister and I had AA Milne books at home. I don’t particularly remember the poem referenced in today’s title, but I do remember – and can quote chunks of – the following poem.

With which spurious link, I give you:


James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James said to his Mother,
“Mother,” he said, said he;
“You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me.”

James James
Morrison’s Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison’s Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison’s Mother
Said to herself, said she:
“I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea.”

King John
Put up a notice,
“Lost or stolen or strayed!
James James Morrison’s mother
Seems to have been mislaid.
Last seen
Wandering vaguely:
Quite of her own accord,
She tried to get down
To the end of the town –
Forty shillings reward!”

James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
“Mother,” he said, said he:
“You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me.”

James James
Morrison’s mother
Hasn’t been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and the Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
“If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?”

(Now then, very softly)
Took great
C/o his M*****
Though he was only 3.
JJ said to his M*****
“M*****,” he said, said he:

AA Milne

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