When Pandora and Chicken first arrived I was taken aback at how big they’d grown but I am very happy to report that Chicken, at least,is still a big overgrown baby. I had some painting to do the other day on the balcony, and with a pet gate keeping the cats on the inside and me out, I got on with the job. Before long Chicken wondered in and peered at me curiously through the gate. She pushed her little nose up to the bars and tried to force it through, then stood on her hind legs, stretching her back so she could almost see over the top. When none of these things worked out she sat on the ledge in front of the window and squawked constantly. ’ Mwah. Mwah. Mwah. Mwah. Mwah.’ Sounding just like a baby, Little Chicken just couldn’t get her head round the injustice of the situation, and it wasn’t long before I downed paintbrush to give her a cuddle.
Later that day I was working on my computer, Pandora sat as usual to my left, nestled comfortably on the printer. Chicken appeared suddenly, immediatly demanding,’Mwah’ she said. I swivelled the bottom half of my chair towards her while still continuing to type and invited up to join us. She studied me silently before readjusting her position and concentrating before taking an effortless leap and landing weightlessly on my lap. ‘Mwah’ she cried directly into my ear. ’ Are you alright Chicken?’ I say, finally stopping typing and giving her back a stroke. ’ Mwah’ she repeated before turning backwards a few steps and then jumping the few centimetres up onto my desk. ’ Chicken’ I say exsasperated as I try to position my hands so they reach around her body and land on the keyboard. Chicken starts to turn in the other direction her bushy tail whacking me in the face, while pandora looks on bemused. I finally give in scooping Chicken off of my desk and cuddling her firmly to me so i can feel her heartbeat. She quietens down still letting out the odd sqwark but at the same time I can feel her relaxing into my arms. I loosen my grip and she leans backwards, her neck stretched back and her head pointing towards the cieiling, her eyes following something invisible around the room. Staring at me she brings her nose very close to mine before shifting position and turning gently backwards on the spot, before changing direction and eventually sinking into my lap, her head resting in the crook of my elbow. I sigh, stroking her head and waiting for her to get comfy and fall asleep so I can continue my work.
Pandora is the larger and more adventurous of the two, the markings around her eyes giving her a wise look that belies her age. She watches silently as Chicken demands attention but is always the first at the door when I come in, already attuned to my footsteps and the sound of the key in the door. Opening the door a few inches Pandora appears already trying to see a way past my legs, a few inches more and i can see Chicken hovering, curious but unsure behind her sister. Ever the adventurer, yesterday Pandora managed to scoot around my legs and Chicken and I watched her as she took a few steps into the communal hallway. Chicken stayed well back looking both horrified and intrigued from behind the door as Pandora hesitantly approached the stairs, she paused staring down into the unknown before turning to me exhilarated. I scooped her up quickly, and felt the boom boom of her heart as i carried her back into my home.
They, Pandora and Chicken, spent a comfortable evening on the balcony, in turn watching and snoozing as Notting Hill life passed them by.
Much later they came in voluntarily and curled up together on the armchair embracing each other, sometimes napping and sometimes grooming, in a beautiful display of sisterly affection.