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In The Company of Cats

Round Two with Hummus Rocky Glass


I'm ashamed to say I spent my second day with Hummus hiding in the bedroom, while he hid under the sewing machine table. I'd talked to Leah (Hummus's owner) earlier that day and she was very concerned that Hummus was not settled and that I was banished to my bedroom. She gave me similar advice to Anita and said definitely don't approach Hummus when he's hissing and make sure you're safe. I worked and ate in my bedroom but at some point I would have to go back into the front room and I already had a plan.

My lovely neighbour Dean came down and sat with me and Hummus for a few hours, while I plied him with tea and chocolate. Hummus seemed to be contemplating his lot and sat thoughtfully under the cupboard while Dean chatted away to me quietly and I got on with my work. Every now and then he'd say something helpful like 'he's just stretched out his leg but is still looking really relaxed,' and I would breathe a sigh of relief and hurry on.

At 7pm I had a date and had to go and get changed. Hummus hadn't yet left his hiding place and still seemed quite stressed, but I left him toys and treats and hoped he'd have a good night.

The next morning my fear had subsided and as I opened the front room door and realised that so had Hummus's. He stood in front of the door mewing gently and perfecting an innocent but sweet look.

I breathed a sigh of relief and dropped the sheepskin rug I'd been wrapping around my legs for protection, before replacing it with a much lighter blanket. I was still nervous but there was a calm atmosphere in the room that hadn't been there previously. The cupboard doors were still flung open like he'd got the midnight munchies raided the food cupboards, but apart from that everything was fine. Could Hummus be back and had Rocky left the building? Only time would tell. As I prepared his breakfast he buzzed around me hungrily and brushed gently against my leg. I spent the day with him and he plodded around happily most of the time only occasionally getting skittish if there was a sudden noise or movement. He also made another very chatty inspection of my flat, ' Meow, meow, meow, meow' he said eagerly as he stood on the back of the armchair and sniffed the walls ( I think he was asking about the paint finish),' I'm not sure' I replied ' but it could do with a repaint.' Hummus looked over with interest and then continued to do a sniff inspection of every object he came across, along with a running commentary. I am still a little nervous of him but so happy that he is now lounging on top of the sewing machine cupboard instead of underneath it, and that he's pupils are no longer dilated and he's chatting away contentedly.


Hummus Rocky Glass still hisses occasionally but only when I do something unexpected. He came over and rubbed round my legs earlier and I nervously contemplated whether to stroke him. I put my hand down but at the last minute he moved and I jumped then he jumped and hissed, which was a shame as we were both doing so well. Later Hummus climbed up on the sofa where I was relaxing and curled up in front of me, his head was facing away from me and I gave him a gentle pat. He responded by stretching his head back towards me and elongating his neck so I could give him a full head stroke.

We curled up together for forty winks before being disturbed by the doorbell, Hummus scrabbling out of his position and heading for his safe place under the cupboard. It was an old friend at the door and he came in for a chat. Hummus soon wandered out from his hiding place and casually stood a few feet away and downwind from my friend, trying very hard not to act suspicious but sniffing in the air deeply and definitely checking him out.

With a final sniff Hummus Rocky Glass appeared to lose interest and wandered over to the leather armchair and slid comfortably underneath it before curling into a ball and squeezing his eyes gently shut. He glanced back at me over his shoulder and gave me a gentle so blink of his eyes before floating off to sleep.

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