Around lunchtime I receive a call, a British short hair urgently needs somewhere to stay. The housekeeper arrives promptly the next day carrying a silent Bella in her basket. At 11 years old it is her first time away from home, although I’m told she has a tendency to invite herself into neighbours houses when the urge takes her. Bella wastes no time and shimmies out of her cat basket, her green eyes twinkling with delight, her tail straight up and her little bottom wiggling as she inspects her new surroundings. She is as curious as all cats should be, giving her surroundings a cursory sniff, but she is definitely more interested in the soft furnishings. Bella tries every seat, rug cushion and even the bed for size, rolling back and forth and giving her toes a quick lick before moving on. Before long she is stretched out elegantly on the rug, propped up on one paw, looking up at me expectantly.
The next morning, used to being roused by my feline guests at the crack of dawn, I wake early, but there is no sign of bella. I am just about to call her, when I hear a rustling beside me. Leaning on one elbow I look over the edge of the bed and there is Bella, rolling around contentedly on the rug and purring happily.
Luna, a four year old snow Bengal arrived at my home with her tail half cocked, and her pupils as wide as saucers. She explored a little, but stuck close to her owners. I proffered my hand for her to sniff and she immediately drew back her head and hissed. Her owners were shocked, this was not the usual behaviour of their quirky, friendly cat.For the next couple of days Luna remained anxious, she continued to hiss at me, barely ate and rubbed her cheeks on everything, compulsively marking her territory. Making sure Luna had all that she needed, I gave her plenty of space. By day three the hissing had lessened and she was exploring more. She quickly learned to climb the kitty cloud (a specially designed platform bed) but Luna was nervous about descending the rather steep cat steps. I lifted her down and although she hissed at me gently, she also rubbed her face against mine. By the afternoon the hissing had stopped completely and she was eating well. Over the next few days I enjoyed getting to know Luna as she relaxed into her surroundings. She spent must of her time between the cat protected balcony or up on the kitty cloud, stopping for a head rub on her journey between the two.