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In The Company of Cats

Luna October 2015

At 16 years old Luna is a spritely little thing with a fluffy coat, delicately painted nose, a croaky meow and a killer a stare. Although her demeanour is gentle her face conveys a range of expressions that go from slightly miffed to completely incensed, whilst journeying through perplexed, indignant and absolutely affronted. After spending three days with her it is still a mystery to me how she manages to do all this without moving a muscle.

Luna is only truly happy when munching on her favourite treats or getting lots of cuddles, then she will purr away contentedly as her tail swishes from side to side like tall grass in a gentle breeze. She is also perfectly at ease when sleeping and she has done so in varied positions all around my apartment ever since she arrived. Every 30 minutes or so she will wake up, look around, meow a bit then go back to sleep again.

When she’s not sleeping she will sometimes seek me out to have a good stare, often watching me in quiet, but mounting incredulity as I complete my morning physiotherapy on my big toe (quite necessary I promise). I start with vigorous manipulation of my toe while the timer next to me ticks away the minutes. Luna looks from the timer to my foot then back to the timer again before blinking at me curiously and returning to what seems to be a continuous nap. When the alarm rings and I take the long blue strip of elastic (issued by the hospital I hasten to add), stretch it around my big toe and start doing ‘toe push ups’, she pops her head around the sofa and glares at me with widening eyes, whilst meowing something barely audible to herself under her breath.

At bedtime I carry Luna in with me and she curls up in the little space beside my head. At some point in the night she will disappear into the front room and in the morning I find her comfortably asleep atop her favourite armchair. Sometimes she will wake in the middle of the night suddenly as if from a nightmare and realise I am not there, and then her croaky little meow increases in volume rising to a car alarm like crescendo. Eventually after much coaxing she will hop up on the bed and nestle down next to me allowing herself to be stroked back to sleep.

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