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>> Friday, 28 March 2008

Don't you just hate it when someone starts a sentence (or, in this case, a post) with the words: "Now, don't get me wrong. I like cars / men / football / trapeze acts, but..."?



Well, don't get me wrong. I like cats. Grew up with them, actually. Though we started with dogs; a bitch, called Rosie. A sweeter Golden Retriever puppy you could seldom meet. The Andrex puppy had nothing on her big brown eyes and cuddly tummy. Granted, she bit the postman, and chased the milkman so often he took to leaving our daily pinta just inside the gate. And she refused to move out of my sister's and my room at bedtime after she had snuck upstairs when my parents' backs were turned, baring her teeth and grabbing onto the carpet with her velvety paws. But, when she arrived whilst we were aged 7 and 5 respectively, she won our hearts.

No happy ending here though. Within six months of our first family walkies, she had to be put down due to suffering from diabetes.

(You would think that this would leave a lasting scar, but I was clearly a shallow little girl as within a short space of time all I could remember was her cuddliness, rather than the fact she had died. Kids, hey?)

After that, my parents - understably - balked at forking out a relatively large sum of money with no guarantee they wouldn't have to simply repeat the whole sorry exercise (at the time, retrievers were so inbred that this was a common problem - apparantly). They decided instead, to get a cat. (I'm told that it was purely coincidence it was around this time my mother spotting a rat in the drain outside the kitchen).

Shortly after this, Cindy arrived. Cindy was tiny (8 weeks old. Which, by the way, seems the height of cruelty to me now I've had kids and regularly lecture Boy #1 on why it is so cruel to take the baby chimps away from their mummies when we're watching Monkey Business on Discovery...), She was mainly grey, with a white napkin and white socks, and in short, was the cutest kitten you could ever hope to see. But man, were her little claws sharp when you went down to the kitchen in the morning with no slippers or socks on...

No tragic story this time, you'll be glad to hear. Cindy lived to the ripe old age of 17; fat, sleek, and happy, a champion mouser who was even known, in her time, to drag a beheaded wood pigeon back to the front door to horrify my mother. (Probably her way of making sure mum knew who was boss. She was a bit like that, Cindy). My sis and I, blood-thirsty country kids that we were, simply thought it astounding that she could manage to hunt and kill something twice her size. But then we also took a mole that my father killed into school for show and tell. Aaah - happy memories...

We had moved by the time Cindy died, but my parents were still beset by rodents - or were, once the local mouse and rat community heard the big boss had passed on - so they got another cat; Chloe.

Chloe was a rather different kettle of fish. No big sleek mouser here; she was instead a rather fetching tortoise-shell. She was also nervy and a little tetchy. Aged around 3 years,she had to be given hormone replacement therapy after she was found to be marking her territory in a rather male fashion. Around the house. (I think what finally drove my parents to the vet was the discovery she had decided the toaster was also her territory. Inside the toaster, to be precise. Which of course they didn't discover until they used it... Would you care for butter and marmalade on that?)

But I digress. The drugs do work, and once treated for this hiccup Chloe rapidly became a much loved and very successful replacement for Cindy, and my family's association with cats continued until she died a couple of years ago, at the grand old age of 18 years old.

So, I should like cats. In fact, I do like cats. But we're staying at my brother-in-laws right now, and he has three. The Boys love them of course. They spend hours chasing them round the house, and I think that Boy #2 will sleep soundly despite the lighter mornings due to the number of times he's chased them up and down the stairs today, the cats always two steps ahead and looking back at him with that horrified feline expression that practically shouts: A toddler? Here? What the hell's going on?

But the Boy's eczema has flared up, all our clothes are covered with cat hair, one of the blighters is sleeping in the middle of our bed right now, and to cap it all, when I got up this morning to fetch Boy #2's milk, slipper-less, sockless (you would think I would have learned all those years ago with Cindy), and contact-lens-less, I trod right in the middle of the overspill from the litter tray.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like cats, but....

11 comments:

Iota 29 March 2008 at 02:09  

That bit about the toaster. That's the reason I blog. With nuggets of people's personal histories like that strewn around the blogosphere, who needs real life?

Sweet Irene 29 March 2008 at 02:57  

We had a male cat who, although he was castrated, continued to spray on every item in the house and nothing we tried deterred him from doing it and everything got ruined. Clothes, furniture, books...

We finally had him put to sleep, as there was no other solution. We have one male cat now and two females and on dog and all is well. They give me much blog fodder.

I really do like racing cars, but Formula 1...

Potty Mummy 29 March 2008 at 14:15  

Iota - and of course, that's all of our problem...

Hi Irene, sounds like a rather challenging animal. And as for Formula 1 - sadly it's husband's preferred sport.

aims 29 March 2008 at 14:40  

I laughed out loud over that last bit girl! Ewwwwwwwwwwww!!

We are of course cat lovers here - and even tho The Man is allergic to them - he soon learned to love them. Now that the one has gone - well - let me just say quietly - The Man's pain is usually concealed - but sometimes very evident. It just makes me weep.

So - good thing I can come for a laugh over here...

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong 29 March 2008 at 22:56  

I love cats too, but I couldn't eat a whole one .... M :0(

Grit 29 March 2008 at 23:39  

i am right put off cats.

ped crossing 30 March 2008 at 06:31  

I don't mind cats, if they leave me alone. They seem to know I was a dog in a former life and always scratch me. And I'm allergic. So doggies only for me!

Potty Mummy 30 March 2008 at 20:29  

And which Man would that be, Aims? I am waiting with bated breath to find out his identity...

MPIITW - you know, that's one of my favourite jokes - but I used to substitute the word 'children'for 'cats'.

Grit - can't believe you've got away without having one. Though I suppose that for you guys it would have to be 3.

Hi Ped - I thought being allergic to cats meant dogs too. So maybe there is a dog in the boys futures after all!

Elsie Button 30 March 2008 at 20:36  

i am so pathetic around cats i would have had absolute hysterics if i'd trodden in the overspill. I just can't get on with them. it started when i was about 15, staying the night at a friend. i was sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag and in the middle of the night a big fat cat (my friends) had crept up and was breathing in my ear, i lifted my head and came face to face with its huge orange eyes glaring at me menacingly in the dark, like it was about to savage me. perhaps an overactive imagination but i was terrified and now can't go near a cat. although they always bloody well make a beeline for me in a crowded room - it's like they know, or there is some cat conspiracy against me.

i loved your cat anecdotes though!

Potty Mummy 31 March 2008 at 21:16  

Elsie, I know what you mean. Cats ignore those who patently love them and will always fawn over those that can't stand them. I think it's something to do with their contrary mindset...

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