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In The Company of Cats

Comfy Cats (Pandora and Chicken)


I woke this morning to the gentle motion of little feet trotting across the bed. I knew who it was immediately because as her pace quickened I detected the bambi like spring in the step that is unique to Chicken. I was just thinking this when she landed full bodied on the calf of my right leg and wrapped her fluffy paws around it. I twisted around just in time to see Chicken collapse, sideways onto the bed, before bouncing back up and springing out of sight. She appeared again 5 minutes later on the end of the bed and sat patiently waiting for me to stop pretending to be asleep. I opened one eye and she mewed me a good morning, before approaching slowly. She crossed the quilt cautiously, as though it was treacherous terrain, liable to open up like quicksand and swallow her up in an instant. She gave my hand a little lick before jumping off of the bed and heading for the kitchen. Stopping at the door, she looked back at me questioningly: ‘come on then’ her huge eyes seemed to say before throwing a final meow in my direction and disappearing out of the door.

Pandora and Chicken had arrived with their entourage (Alex and his mum) on Thursday afternoon, following a few quiet cat free days at home. The cat’s bounced into life immediately inspecting every inch of the flat and completely ignoring us as we discussed Alex’s mum amazing collection of feral rescue cats (she has 12). The kits paraded around like they owned the place re-aquainting themselves with the balcony and giving everything a good sniff and a rub. Chicken whose coat has reddened since the last time she was here, making her easier to identify, rushed past with her tail in the air, while Pandora made a slower more thoughtful tour of the flat. Both less than a year old Pandora has always been the larger of the two but now the difference seems even more pronounced. When Pandora rushes by, her huge shock of a tail wafts past us like a great jungle fern, floating high in the air and following her little upturned face as she heads for the balcony.

Chicken on the other hand is the baby of the family and seems determined to not to change, managing to stay a comfortable armful, the perfect size for the perfect cuddle…

When Alex and Marie Ellen leave for their Icelandic adventure the kits hardly blink, continuing to explore, their senses on overload and unable in this instant to deal with human conventions. I sit back and relax for a bit and am just starting to feel overlooked when I hear a gentle mewing at my feet. I smile inside and out because this means only one thing, Chicken’s after a cuddle. I turn my chair in her direction and pat my knees and after a moment of contemplation she jumps into my lap. Once there, she turns this way and that before settling for a second then changing her mind and standing, turning and padding her paws deep into my lap. I smile at the familiarity of it and at Chicken trying to re-accustom herself with the shape of my lap.


Pandora always a little more reserved has tucked herself under the bed and into her favourite bumpy resting place, my shoe box, and the evening passes uneventfully with both the kits appearing intermittently and parading between the settee and the balcony.

In the morning after being roused by Chicken we three head into the kitchen for breakfast.They scratch the window by their food bowls and I fill them quickly and set them down in their usual place. But they continue to scratch at the glass determined to get back to their places on the balcony and continue their surveillance of the street below…

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