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In The Company of Cats


Tuxedo Cat

Henry has come to stay while his owners Luke and Gillian are honeymooning. He is shy but curious, hiding behind furniture until after a few seconds of coaxing he appears, his eyes permanently startled and twinkling and his fabulous whiskers trembling with curiosity. A true Tuxedo Cat Henry is always perfectly turned out in jet black fur with white collar and cuffs. The triangle of white surrounding his pink nose stands out against his prominent black cheeks and tiny chin. I suspect he is awaiting an urgent call from owner Luke ‘ Henry old chap, the best mans fallen down a ditch, can you take his place?’. Henry would give himself a final lick and hurry to the venue, his pre-prepared speech already committed to memory..

Letting off some steam Henry walks on his tippy toes before making mad dashes around the apartment, taring up and down the hallway. He spends hours in the kitchen chasing little creatures that are visible only to him. A mostly indoor cat Henry peers at the balcony with a mixture of caution and interest, venturing out before immediately fleeing back inside at the sound of traffic. Living in a mews, it takes Henry a while to get used to the new noises of Notting hill street life but before long he is a regular part of the Notting Hill Scene, nestled amongst the plants, tracking the locals, wildlife and tourists alike as they pass up and down the street.

Henry and I are old friends but this stay has cemented our relationship and he approaches me on his toes, tail and chin straight up and cheeks glowing. When I bend down to say hello he leans on to his back legs and stands up to greet me, rubbing his cheek tenderly against mine. Where once he would allow me to hold him for a few seconds before getting restless and jumping to the floor, he now sits comfortably in my arms, front paws over my shoulder gently needing my back while he stares out of the kitchen window his tail slapping excitedly against my back. Every now and then he leans backwards and rubs his cheeks against mine. Not only adored by me, Henry is also a great hit with my girlfriends and he walks between my two sofas as though on the red carpet, his head held high, cheeks puffed, whiskers fabulously groomed, permanently suited and booted and flanked by my friends on either side, their arms outstretched hoping for a quick stroke as he glides by.

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