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In The Company of Cats

Cat Swap

On Friday morning I woke to the gentle tapping of a furless paw on my face. I thought Rameses was trying to wake me up, but he was just testing to see whether my face could take his weight. He decided it/I could and I felt the weight of his body as his paw landed in the hollow of my cheek. I was just opening an eye to see what was going on when the second paw landed, filling my socket and briefly turning everything black, before quickly stepping over my face and continuing on his path to the window where he spent the rest of the morning clacking at passing birds.

My new cats the Ragdolls,Barney and Tilly were due around 5pm and I decided to take Rameses up to my neighbour Dean at about 3pm, so I could get the place ready for my boarders. I’d been taking Rameses upstairs to visit throughout the week so when it came to the swap he would at least know where he was and who he was with.

He was happy to go upstairs for a visit and ran up and down the length of the flat excitedly checking things out. The layout is pretty much the same as mine but in the bedroom there is a huge shelf at the window that’s perfect for birdwatching. Rameses loved it, but when it was time for leave he clung to me like a baby. It was the second time he’d been left in a week and even though I knew he was fine I felt terrible leaving him.

I got on with the steaming and cleaning before telephoning Dean.

'He's fine' he said 'stop bloody worrying'. I'd been harassing Dean all week, making sure his flat was suitable for Rameses, forcing him to keep all his windows shut and hoover under the sofas. I was in his words 'doing his head in.'


I tried to put little Rameses face out of my mind as I bleached the new litter tray and swept the floor and before long Chris arrived with Barney and Tilly, two of my Ragdoll regulars. They exited their baskets and after a quick sniff disappeared under an arm chair. They are excellent hiders, and if I don’t keep them out of the bedroom during the day they vanish under the bed and are almost impossible to pick out, there pointy ears fitting in perfectly with the landscape of shoes and boxes that there.

Chris was having none of it and determined to get a cuddle before her trip pulled them out one at a time for a cuddle and some words of advice, and then she was gone.


Just back from a trip to the vet Tilly the smaller of the two,was in a bit of a mood and omitted a low grumble from somewhere deep within anytime I came close. I opened the window and a waft of fresh air tempted Barney onto the balcony and Tilly from her corner and soon they were sitting comfortably outside, as far away from each other as they could possibly get.

When I went upstairs to check on Rameses, he clung on for dear life, attacking my neck with a determined nuzzle, it was horrible and I felt terrible leaving him but Dean assured me he was ok and before long I was back downstairs with Barney and Tilly and a couple of girlfriends that had popped over with a bottle of wine. Tilly was unimpressed but ol’ blue eyes Barney appeared immediately and did a little trot around the edge of the rug so we could all get a good view of him. His fluffy tail floated high behind him and his blue eyes glistened as he showed off for the ladies. A true charmer he stopped in front of Karen, her eyes widening as she stared into his, and put out her hand for him to sniff. So full of charm was he that I thought for a moment he might take it in his paw and kiss it, but he made do with a sniff and the two of them spent the next half an hour like secret lovers stealing furtive glances at each other.

Tilly had enough it was bad enough she’d spent the afternoon at the vet but she had to put up with Barney and his big blue eyes and perfectly fluffy hair (a bit like his owner Barney always looks like he’s just come out of the hair salon), she let out a long hiss as she passed him on her way to the balcony and followed it up with a low gurgley grumble.

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