The Changing Lives of Cats
Minimus the Little Grey Cat
When I write about my cats I see them as they are at the time - I don't think about them getting old and boring, or being any different. But cats do change. And sometimes they completely rearrange their lives.
Jerome the grey cat spent her last years completely retired from active gardening life. All she did was sleep and purr.
But my early writings are full of young Jerome being always in the garden. Old photographs of me always included her - my furry champagne-grey best friend, walking behind me or posing in the garden. I can't remember when she stopped coming outside.
As one gardening cat retires there's always been another one (or two) to take its place. Now Fluff-Fluff (pale ginger) is my most co-operative gardening cat.
Angel with Fluff-Fluff the Cat
Some cats, however, just don't understand the concept. Tiger the tortoiseshell has never, ever, ever come gardening. She's always been a fridge-feline, a kitchen-kitty, a pantry-puss...
Cats choose their own spaces in the house and garden, but these, too, can change. Lilli-Puss is the latest to refresh her life. Called 'The Apprentice' grey cat, she used to share the upstairs bedroom with Jerome, and was destined to be Top Upstairs Cat when Jerome passed away. Enter little Minimus, also a grey, a little cat with big ideas. Timid Lilli-Puss was rudely chased away, out of the window.
Now Lilli is the Stables cat - I feed her over there, and she's so much happier. She has the most loving, smoochy nature, so we two have rather pleasant, purry breakfasts together. Lilli has always been timid, so being chased around upstairs by little rodent-sized Minimus was just too much for her confidence.
A new cat usually tweaks the feline equilibrium. Minimus, found wild in the woodshed, certainly did this when she joined the downstairs of the Moosey house. Percy and Fluff-Fluff were super-friendly, Histeria was rather horrible, and Tiger outrageously horrible. Overweight Tiger would spend hours hiding underneath chair covers, just waiting for the new kitten to walk innocently past. Fat bully!
Kaya the Black Cat
But other newcomers simply blend in, and nothing changes. Kaya the latest Moosey cat, a young black female, is a most mellow and friendly cat.
She lives mainly in the garage, doesn't bother any of the other cats, and oddly they don't bother her. She minds her own cat-business and potters happily about the house and the garden.
No need to Flex her Claws
Kaya cat doesn't feel the need to flex her claws and chase anycat out a window (Minimus - I'm talking about you). She's a mature, self-assured cat.
Then the dearly departed cats provide unchanging memories which live on. How often have I 'seen' B-Puss peeping shyly around a rose bush in the garden? Or Stumpy snoozing on a sunny patio table, Smoocher zooming up and down a Cordyline tree trunk, little Mugsy wandering dozily down the driveway, thinking she's following someone (don't get lost, Mugsy!)
One ex-Moosey cat has become (after his presumed death) even larger than life. Sifter - I still haven't forgotten! You had no concept of loyalty what-so-ever. One week in 2005 you decided you needed a change, so you just wandered off to find greener pastures and fuller fridges...