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In The Company of Cats

Hebe The Purriest Cat with Fabulous Whiskers

Hebe is a lovely black cat with a white collar, a little black nose, white toes on her front paws and white socks on the back. Above her lips are two round circles of white fur out of which sprout a set of fabulous whiskers.

Hebe makes herself immediately comfortable and although not an adventurous cat she explores my home slowly and methodically. On encountering my bed she clumsily walks into me, then settles on my pillow just underneath my head. We eventually reach a compromise and she curls up by my side snoozing loudly.

Hebe is constantly hungry and being a little over weight poor Hebe is on a permanent diet. When she gets really hungry she begins to work her unmistakable feline charm, turning around and around on the arm of the sofa nearest to my head, rubbing her little cheeks into my face and dragging her body seductively along the side of my arm. For a few hours before dinner time she is on high alert sensitive to my every move, her half closed green eyes follow me everywhere scrutinising me accusingly and sniffing the air for a scent of the snack she is sure she is missing.

In the morning her quest for food is different. At some point in the middle of the night she curls up on my pillow, purring gently. As the day breaks the purring increases in resonance until it vibrates through the pillow and is as loud as the hum of a fridge.

I can withstand this for a surprisingly long time, as ways of being awakened by a cat go this is a relatively gentle one. Mr Whiskers a mischievous long haired black cat would sit atop the tall chest of drawers and when he tired of my incessant sleeping would leap on to the bed, paws akimbo, landing on the mattress with such force that I would be bounced awake. Neeps a short haired black cat would slip a soft black paw beneath the quilt and expertly jab a claw into my bottom. Humphrey a clever little cat, would dip his paw into the glass of water on the bedside cabinet and flick droplets at my face to wake me up.

As the days of Hebe’s visit go by her confidence increases, she will climb on to my lap in the evening and knead my tummy with her paws staring directly into my eyes. She will always choose to sit close to me, her fur grazing my elbows and will even allow me to pick her up and carry her to bed at night.

Her attempt at waking me up has progressed too. She still purrs very loudly but now does this while sitting on my back. Every so often flapping her soft black tail into my face.

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