Thursday, 20 May 2010

We've always had cats

all of the photographs in this post are of Alex carrying out her daily tasks

The first photograph that I remember having taken of me (I was about four years old) included our black and white cat, Mitten. A couple of years later she was killed by teenage boys with their dogs, and I'm thankful that I have no real memories of that happening, although my mum and dad remembered it with horror.

As I was growing up, we had other cats; the longest lived and the most loved was another black and white Mitten (we were a fairly traditional family in many ways!). She would greet my brother and I when we came home from school, often having run down the street into the house when she saw us arrive.

She loved people and it was not unusual to look out of the window and see someone passing (a workman perhaps) with Mitten sitting on his shoulder like a parrot. That was an adorable habit when she was a kitten, but balancing a fully grown cat on your shoulder when you are trying to work around the house is something else.

Another habit that became more difficult to cope with as she grew was her tendency to think that if you were in the kitchen you were going to feed her. This would cause her to leap onto your back and claw her way to your shoulder - again fine as a kitten but a fully grown cat is a different matter.

At that time our phone was in the kitchen - this meant that you would be in the middle of a conversation, with leaping cats the last thing on your mind. Then - SHRIEK! Trying to dislodge a hungry cat from your back is not easy. Recovering from the shock also took a little time.

Mitten lived until she was 15 years old, and although she's been gone for about 20 years, I still miss her.

However, we now have Alex, who is a very fine replacement.

Constantly hungry, very curious, much fonder of Mr. Pugh than she is of me (he seems to be more comfortable to sleep on), casting millions of white hairs all over the house and us, she's charming and we wouldn't be without her.

If only our letterbox was in the middle of the front door rather than at the bottom....Since she learned that a paw can fit through and make a very satisfying rattling noise that attracts her humans, we now have the privilege of opening the front door after our cat has knocked! I think, though, that in a cat's worldview, that is probably the proper order of things.

1 comment:

  1. We've always had cats in the family so this post made me smile and brought back some fond memories. I especially like the second picture! Flighty xx