From the moment Rameses arrived he made himself at home, springing from sofa to cabinet, running full speed across the rug and skidding into the hallway, nuzzling my legs and nibbling my ankles, his enthusiasm for everything was infectious. When Najwan, Ramses’s glamourous owner left, he meowed his objection and pawed longingly at the front door, but there were so many new things around him that his attention was soon diverted and we spent the rest of the evening staring at eachother in fascination.
Strangely beautiful and wonderfully direct Rameses traverses my flat with the expertise and precision of a born hunter. He dances over my desk which is a minefield of pens, paintbrushes, mugs and clutter, each paw landing in the tiny spaces between the rubbish,and disappears behind my computer. Later as his confidence grows he runs towards me and without pausing or breaking stride, continues straight up my leg and lands weightlessly in my lap. Stretching his squat little face towards mine, his chin pointing upwards, he closes his eyes and relaxes into my arms, before nuzzling forward into my neck and falling fast asleep. Later he impresses me by improving on this skill and running up my legs when Im standing upright in the kitchen. He continues up my back before landing at the top and stretching his paws out over my head.
That night Rameses joins me while I relax in front of the television. He lies on my chest nuzzling my neck and then pushes himself up and starts on my chin.’You smell of Tuna’ I say scrunching up my face and trying to turn away from his determined licking. His tongue is quite large compared to the size of his head and feels a bit like sandpaper, so I tuck my chin into my chest and he pushes his chin resolutely into mine.
The first night that Rameses stays he sleep on his own, wrapped in his blanket, in the front room. I do this so he can get used to the litter tray before I open up the flat fully to him. I wake up early though and at 6.30 am open the bedroom door. Charging in to greet me he dives onto the bed and I scoop him up for a cuddle. He is heavier than I expect and very warm. His skin is soft and smooth with a fine film of hair covering it. A bird lands on a ledge just outside my bedroom window and Rameses ears swivel in all directions before he finally spots it. When he does, unable to contain his excitement, his mouth clacks together involuntarily and his pupils dilate as he follows the bird silently with his eyes.
We spend the day together, me working on the computer and Rameses veering between energetic sprints around the flat to comatose sleep on the sofa. When I work on my computer he is never faraway, climbing onto my lap and demanding my attention. His owner Najwan suggested throwing a scrunchie to distract him, but not having one to hand, instead I screwed up one of the many letters that littered my desk. ‘hmmmm Natwest I must give them a call’ I say before balling up the letter and throwing it overarm into the hallway. Rameses immediately bounds after it and whacks it around the floorboards a few times before picking it up with his teeth and depositing it at my feet.
'You clever boy' I croon, before picking it up and whizzing it through the air to the back of the room. He follows again and I manage to type a few more words before he returns empty mouthed and sits at my feet. I look from Rameses to my desk and grab another unanswered letter and without looking tossing it to the back of the room.
In the evening Rameses climbs onto my chest and pushes his face into my neck, and nuzzles like crazy, I try and detach him but he is so frisky that he starts to nibble, wanting to play. He bites gently on my arm and looks at me out of the corner of his eye as he’s doing it. I tell him to stop and drop him onto the floor.
Even though he’s been biting it’s not vicious, he doesn’t break the skin and overall he’s so sweet I decide to let him in the bedroom for the night. He disappears under the bed and I put the radio on and relax.
Just as Im drifting off to sleep Rameses pounces and lands on the bed with one paw on each side of my face. He ducks down and bites the bridge of my nose between my eyes and I jump awake in shock. He scrambles away and then darts back trying to get another bite in. I pick him up and drop him off the side of the bed. Two seconds later he’s back and refusing to let me sleep, and again I oust him. This happens once more before I scoop him up and carry him into the living room admonishing his bad behaviour. I put him down into an armchair and he stares at me, ears flat, looking slightly deranged.
'Don't worry Rameses I understand' I say as I close the door on him and I do. He is a year old and his best friend and owner is away so he is trying to see what he can get away with. My toes, fingers and nose are all part of his learning experience and as long as I get to bear witness and keep my digits I'm very happy to be part of it too.