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In The Company of Cats


Russian Blue

It has been a quiet and rainy week at my Notting Hill Cat Hotel. I’d had a cancelled booking and my apartment always feels empty without a cat in it. I awaited Margot the little Russian Blue eagerly, desperate for some feline company. My cat loving friend Tanya arrived a few hours earlier ostensibly so I could help her with a website problem, but I was starting to suspect she was more interested in meeting Margot.

We both sat on the edge of our seats waiting.

When Margot arrived she hopped out of her basket and already familiar with the surroundings immediately began to explore. Ignoring us completely she greeted each piece of furniture she came across with a sniff and rub of the cheek like a long lost friend. She hadn't got very far when unable to resist any longer, I pounced on her scooping her into my arms and giving her a big hug. Margot amiably tolerated me for a few seconds before wriggling her way to freedom.

Thankfully Tanya, a psychologist by profession and cook by nature was much more restrained. She sat back and watched as Margot pawed at the door of the front room eager to continue her exploration and escape from the stream of rain that had got steadily worse since she’d arrived.

Once in the bedroom and after a cursory inspection she settled in her favourite place under the bed and waited for the rain to stop.

A few hours later and Margot was still dozing happily under the bed surrounded by PVC boxes filled with cat toys and shoes. She didn't appear again until Tanya began to roast a chicken for dinner. The smell was impossible for either of us to resist and I hung hungrily by the kitchen door. A less subtle Margot twirled around Tanya's feet, cocking her head and staring at her endearingly and waiting for the inevitable slip up when a scrap of meat would drop silently to the floor.

After our delicious supper (Roast Chicken for us and Gourmet fish for Margot) Tanya took a well earned rest and dozed on the couch, her feet propped up snugly under the electric cat blanket.

While Tanya snoozed away quite innocently on the couch Margot took the opportunity to do a proper inspection. Jumping onto the arm of the sofa she walked up it taking surreptitious sniffs of Tanya along the way. As she rounded the corner onto the back of the chair she arrived at her head. Leaning forward so far she almost toppled off the frame she took a deep breath, half opened her mouth and inhaled deeply. Satisfied Margot squeezed into the space between Tanya's feet and the edge of the sofa and dozed off next to her.

The torrential rain finally stopped a few hours later and Margot spent the rest of the evening on the balcony. Much later after Tanya had left, Margot followed me to bed and curled up next to me, her rhythmic breathing lulling me into a deep sleep.

When I woke up in the morning she was gone. ‘Margot’ I called softly into the darkness. A few seconds later she hopped onto the bed and gently touched my nose with hers before disappearing into the darkness again.

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