Over the weekend I had an enquiry for a last minute booking. The client was going abroad and in a breathy, accented voice, said she needed someone to take care of her one year old Sphynx, Rameses.
'A Sphynx?' I repeated back to the customer. Although I'd never actually met a Sphynx in real life, I'd seen plenty of pictures. Compeltely bald and boney, wrinkled cats, with massive ears and huge staring eyes. The owner sighed quietly, before pausing to allow time for all the google images of hairless Sphynx Cat's I'd ever seen, to flash through my mind. She continued in her rhythmic, lilting accent,
'Yes, she said, he is my baby you must love him for me. Sometimes he bites but you must understand it's not aggression, he's just playing'…
After my recent run in with Rocky, the ginger Tom who spent three days hissing at me from beneath a cupboard in my front room, I was understandably weary, but how could I resist the lure of the Sphynx.
Before making any hasty decisions I decided to pay the pair a visit. The house wasn’t far away and as I locked my bike outside I noticed a petite blonde lady waiting on the pavement and looking anxiously around. As I furtively stole another glance a strange little creature suddenly appeared on the pavement beside her and returned my gaze. The owner laughed, as following her cats eye line to the lamppost where I was attempting to lock my bike, she spotted me staring mesmerised at Rameses.
His ears and eyes are huge and, although his body is angular and muscular, his legs bow out from a chest solidly packed with muscle, he looks like a cross between a bald alien and a cockney bricklayer, with a tiny head and big attitude. The tiny cockney alien approached me cautiously and stood transfixed on the pavement a few feet away. From here I could count the wrinkles on his brow as it furrowed slightly, casting a shadow over his clear blue eyes. His skin lay in soft folds of greys, blues and pinks about his body, and his wide black nose glistened in the light as he stared at me intently. Above his nose sits a fine fuzz of hair and it was this that he now presented to me with his head slightly bowed and eyes narrowed. He nuzzled his balding fuzz into my hand and his skin felt warm and soft to the touch.
It had taken me all of a few seconds to fall completely and utterly in love with him.
As I made arrangements with his owner for Rameses to be boarded mid trip with a neighbour ( I am already pre-booked and would be temporarily ousting Rameses mid stay), he stayed close by her side returning my stare with huge clear light blue eyes. Forms were filled and times were fixed and I left on a high excited by the prospect of my first Sphynx boarder.