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In The Company of Cats

Framboise et Fraise

Framboise et Fraise

Framboise’s and Fraise arrived yesterday evening, their furry bodies cocooned in their little

baskets. Framboise’s is a stripy tabby in various shades of black and brown with dainty paws

and a rounded surprised face,(reminiscent of Alice in Wonderlands Cheshire Cat) that fills

the wire grill of the basket door. Fraise slightly younger thanFramboise and ginger with a

petite stripy face and and an orange spotted body. An outdoor cat at heart and keen to

explore, Fraise was the first to exit her basket while Framboise had to be upended and

tipped out before she emerged reluctantly. Framboise immediately found a safe space

nestled under an armchair and watched, feigning disinterest, as Fraise staked out her

territory, sniffing and exploring her way around the flat. Eventually Fraise halted in front of

the huge balcony window. She sat on the ledge with her ears pricked up and head cocked to

one side. Every now and then her tail gave the window ledge a large slap of appreciation.

Some time later as I tapped away on my computer I noticed out of the corner of my eye

Framboise slowly tiptoeing towards the kitchen. Unfortunately for her, every step of this

stealth manoeuvre produced a ridiculously loud creak from my ancient wooden floor. I

pretend not to notice her stuck frozen in a comedy pose, as even the slightest shift in her

weight produced loud groans from the floorboards. Her big eyes widened with alarm at

being caught in the act as she tried in vain to get noiselessly to the kitchen.

Fraise has been staring out of the window for a while now and even though it's cold, I

eventually give in and open it up so she can get out onto the cat protected balcony. She

cannot conceal her pleasure and squeals with delight as the breeze wafts into the front


Day 2

Framboise has made a bed on the circular rug at the far end of the front room. Tucked

under a chair with her paint dipped paws emerging from one end and her hind legs spilling

from the other she eyes me with suspicion and warns both Fraise and I off whenever we get

too close. Fraise just wants to be friends and makes up for Framboise’s lack of camaraderie

by shadowing my every move, curling around my legs when I put the kettle on and hopping

onto the sofa as soon as I sit down. As I stroke her, ginger hairs fill the air and attach

themselves in clusters to my iPad and phone. Fraise smashes her face into my hand her eyes

squeezed shut with pleasure, the only sign that she is still under some duress is her tail

which is upright, the fur splayed out like a bush.

By the afternoon a relaxed Framboise, although still affixed to her spot on the rug is happy

to have her head rubbed. Fraise takes advantage of her old friends lighter mood and

perches on top of the chair that framboise is settled under, before curling up and taking a


Later we have visitors and an excited Fraise turns up the charm. She encases our guests in a

figure of eight, trotting around them with her head and tail high, extracting a cheek or back

rub with every twist and turn. Before long our guests must leave and they do so enthralled

by Fraise, their knees coated in thick ginger fur.

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