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In The Company of Cats

Ginger and Timmy

Ginger is a large cat with beautiful markings in shades of orange that swirl around his body, legs and tail. His eyes are the colour of caramel and match his fur perfectly. He appraises his surroundings methodically, registering each new smell as though taking an inventory. Approaching me with confidence, he sniffs the surrounding air before filing and cataloging me with the rest of the stock. Timmy, Gingers adopted brother is the more timid of the two. A smaller, black cat, with startling yellow eyes, he stays well back shifting from one foot to the other, constantly calculating the distance to the nearest hiding place. I offer up my hand to him for a sniff, and he freezes before turning on the heels of his paws and disappearing head first behind the couch.

Over the next couple of days the two cats settle in nicely. Ginger growing more affectionate and Timmy, whilst remaining shy can be coaxed out of hiding with food. When he does gather his courage and explore he inadvertently wanders onto my computer keyboard and is startled by the ratatatat sound of repeated x’s marching across the screen. He vanishes in a flurry of fur. On another occasion while sniffing a paper bag, his head is caught in the handle, terrified he tares off into the distance, losing the bag on the way.

This morning Ginger hopped onto my bed and walked alongside me until he reached my head. Bowing down into a kneel on his front paws, he buried his purring head into the crook of my neck.This is a delicious way to wake up. The sun is shining brightly and I open the window leading to the cat-protected balcony, Ginger, steps cautiously onto the ledge and peers outside. Cars zoom past and I can see Gingers heart beating, his whole body moving as he absorbs the outside world. Suddenly Timmy appears and bounds past Ginger straight onto the balcony. He is fascinated and stays there for hours, while Ginger hovers on the sidelines. Emboldened by his new found freedom Timmy later sniffs my outstretched hand and allows me a swift stroke of his head before running and hiding behind the living room door. The only part of him still showing is his tale flapping against the wooden floorboards. ‘I can still see you Timmy’ I say out loud. There is a shuffling sound as Timmy gently pulls the rest of his tale out of sight.

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