Posting days: Sunday and Wednesday and, sometimes, maybe, extra ‘news flashes’!
Wednesday May 18th 2016
During my visit to Wales, I receive a lot of attention: cuddly cat attention. I am delighted to be greeted with purrs soon after I arrive, and this feline generosity continues.
On my first night, seventeen year old Daisy settles comfortably on my pyjama shorts. Since one doesn’t move curled up cats, especially curled up senior cats, I sleep in my T-shirt.
I am rewarded handsomely. As I slide deferentially under the duvet, she accommodates herself calmly and good naturedly. Waiting until I shuffle into a comfortable position, she shifts just enough to nestle against me in a soft, warm, sweet smelling curl before bursting into contented purrs.
How sweet. What a treat.
Each time I move, Daisy readjusts herself so delicately that I can hardly feel the movement. We sleep harmoniously all through the night.
This blissful state of affairs continues throughout my visit. No protestations, no challenges, only amicable compromises which end in gentle purrs. Each night I sleep well and wake up refreshed.
When I return home, I am very happy to collect my little canine treasure.
But life is very different. Nights are no longer blissfully calm.
We begin by changing our bed. Because Isis has been chewing her front paws assiduously, her sheet (which covers the duvet) looks as though it has been used to wrap her in after she has been rescued from a particularly repugnant swamp.
Sigh. Cats are so meticulously clean.
Isis waits impatiently until the change is complete and then jumps onto the bed and settles. In my space, of course.
“Sweetheart”, I cajole ingratiatingly, “P. needs space too.”
I shuffle a little closer. No response
“Move up a bit dear”, I add, giving her a little prod.
I climb into bed, giving her a gentle body shove.
Sigh. Cats are so quiet and self contained.
It’s Sunday night once more, and just a week since we returned from our separate breaks.
Isis has begun to eat Dentistix again. Good. But she decides to take tonight’s upstairs. There’s a scuffle, snapping and a burst of angry barks. I ignore them. Isis is easily annoyed.
Cats are so laid back.
When I go up I discover the abandoned Dentistix on the landing. It has a fracture mark on it, and Isis is on the bed looking disgruntled. She must have caught it on a floorboard and given herself a nasty jolt. There’s no blood though, and no apparent damage.
I break up the Dentistix and place the bits beside her. She scuttles to the pillow end of the bed, drawing up all of her paws and hastily tucking them under her, as though she is shielding them from a crocodile.
Every time I move she growls and snaps. Even when I lie very still it’s not long before the growls begin again. Perhaps the light is bothering her. I can’t see any but I put her Doggles on her anyway.
This goes on relentlessly.
By now it’s two o’clock.
I stroke her very gently. GR-rr-rr-rr-snAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArl -SNAP! BARK.
Nothing will comfort her, and, at two-thirty, I shamble downstairs to fetch her Thundershirt.
I remove her Doggles. The problem is obviously not light leakage.
At three, feeling very hungry, I go downstairs and make some toast.
I slide back into bed. A more gentle growl this time.
Finally, at about three thirty, Hairy One falls asleep.
I am now thoroughly awake.
I switch on the World Service.
Why didn’t I rescue a cat?
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk