We arrived at our new home with only one cat, Mr Mac, and he settled in remarkably. Then came the predicament of the two feral gingers, Pearl and Amber, and we duly adopted them. ‘No more,’ we said. But, more recently, had the wildcat that captured the heart of Younger Daughter at the factory where she works. That is where we declared, firmly, ‘enough already; if we carry on like this we’ll have twenty-two of them before you know it.’
Last week, however, Much Better Half arrived home with another cat! A friend, who on a school run gives her a lift back from visiting her sister, had found it under her car at home looking bedraggled and painfully thin. The family are not cat people, so MBH offered to adopt. Just as well, as things turned out. ‘Not-cat people’ would not have recognised that this kitty was seriously unwell. We did, from her lack of appetite and listlessness, and the next day I took her to the vet where she was filled up with antibiotics.
Over the next few days she would only move out of the room if I was in another nearby. She slept under my chin at night, and followed me around whenever she could, complicating any activities like playing the piano or working at the computer.
I could tell she was recovering well when, instead of greeting me after I had been out by rubbing with great affection against my hand, she pounced on it! Furious (clawless) kicking and scratching and (gentle) biting followed, and I now have to play-fight her regularly before she will settle down — still as close to me as possible.
MBH is a bit miffed. ‘Who adopted you?’ she says accusingly to Tabitha, as she named her, when she sees me receiving such preferential attention.
Tabitha is learning to ignore our long-suffering dogs, be wary of the ginger twins, and explore her territory more and more daily. Mr Mac feels a bit put out, but hopefully will soon learn that he is still much loved, even though no longer completely exclusive in our cottage.
The Cats-22 is that when we say we are not having any more cats, we promptly get another. Yet, if we looked for more, we would certainly find them.