Thursday, February 22, 2007

The cats' paranoid mother

The face at the window was Sylvester the Cat made flesh and fur, only with more plaintive eyes. I first saw him when I was moving things into the bungalow a couple of months ago. He sneaked through the open door when I was carrying boxes in from the car. “Nice cat," I thought and mentioned him to a friend who lives around the corner. “No he’s not,” she said. “He goes around beating all the other cats up.”

My two – the boy is a big black and white fella more of the Felix variety and his sister is sleek and black – are mainly house cats. In the flat where we spent an unpleasant few months before moving here, they didn’t get to go out at all. Now they play in the garden under supervision. I am a paranoid cat mother who doesn’t let them go on the wander.

I’m even more paranoid since this Sylvester character and his alleged thuggish tendencies appeared on the scene. He keeps popping up on the bedroom windowsill at night, and this morning, he was gazing into the living room. My two are fascinated by him and the feeling appears to be mutual.

I wonder if he wants to play – or whether he’s teasing them because he’s outside and they’re not? Perhaps he’s saying: “Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.”

I think not. My cats’ ears are little black silky triangles devoid of battle scars. I’d like them to stay that way.

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