Sway arrived on Monday evening with his owner Mark. We had met previously, Sway and I, when his co-owner Agnes brought him round to my place to check it, and I suppose me, out. Luckily and unusually I had no other cat guests and Sway was free to wander around the flat while Agnes and I watched him explore. The creature that emerged from Mark’s basket looked like Sway but seemed so much bigger. First one huge soft fluffy paw emerged and then his little pink nose, outlined in black like a cartoon, and sniffing the air. He was soon out of the basket and making circuits of the flat, checking everything out with a sniff and a rub. Sway has such a sweet little face, set into a really majestic mane of tawny fur. The fur on his back is a bluey, silver, grey, all the colours in fact you’d need to camouflage you perfectly in a Siberian forest. His tail could be some kind of forest fern, springing up from the undergrowth and splaying like grass in every direction.
Mark picked Sway up to say goodbye with a hug before he left, and after he put him down, he picked him up again.
He left Sway reluctantly but Sway, all his senses alert as he padded around his new domain, was so preoccupied he didn’t notice immediately. I stayed up late with him that night me and he spent most of it on the balcony, watching fast cars and tipsy people. Every now and then he would come in and reconnect with all the objects in the flat including me. He would make a rough circle of the flat rubbing his scent on anything he deemed worthy and come as close to me as he dared before giving me a quick nose bump and running off again.
Bedtime and I coaxed Sway in from the balcony with treats then shut the window. I checked to see if he had used the litter tray and was pleasantly surprised. All visiting cats are barred from the bedroom until they have used the litter tray to avoid accidents, but Sway cracked it immediately.
I collapsed and Sway clambered onto the bed checking out the big window and giving everything a sniff. I drifted into sleep and the last thing I remember is a Sway standing on my legs with his sweet face and glorious mane looking down on me.
About 5am I woke to what sounded to me in my sleep like piano scales being played repeatedly ‘doh, ray ,me, fah, soh, lah , ti , doh’, but as I listened the piano scales turned into the quiet but plaintive meows of Sway as he wandered around the the flat in the early hours of the morning.
Easily worried, I got up to go and see if he was ok, and make sure he had everything he needed, water, food etc. He rubbed my leg as I stopped over him, giving his beautiful coat a stroke. He looked up at me and meowed softly, and I sat with him a while in the hallway stroking him.
He carried on mewing as I went back to bed and I worried he was missing home and the people in it. I lay back and listened to his meows and this time as I fell asleep I heard not piano scales but the voice of Sway, muttering to himself as he wandered happily around my apartment,
'What's that, meow, a sheepskin rug, sniff, never seen one of those before, meow, I might just have another, sniff, meow, and then a rub, meow, and while Im here maybe just, meow, curl up in it, meow just to make sure it's asleep,meooooow…