The twins arrive at my home with their beautiful 2 year old Birman, MishMish. They look on with pride as Mish Mish steps out of his carrier confidently, his beautiful electric blue eyes flicking from one object to another. Mish Mish, like all cats is curious about his surroundings, he is also exceptionally confident and after inspecting each object, one by one he lets out a gentle tinkle of a meow to signal his approval. His owners ask me a hundred questions, keen to know everything from how I think Mish Mish is coping to how many kittens a cat can carry. They leave for their holiday reluctantly and Mish Mish paws at the front door, saddened by their departure. He soon settles in though and loves to spend time on the cat protected balcony, patting the window to let me know when its time for some fresh air. In the evening he rolls around on the rug and relaxes with all four paws in the air. I message the twins to let them know the irresistible Mish Mish is coping remarkably well.
The next morning I’m up early for my cat sitting visits. First on the list is Sissy a little tortie tiger whose home overlooks Holland Park. When she is not nibbling at my fingers or swiping at me with her paws she loves to sit on the back of a tall armchair and watch the birds fly by. She is as affectionate as she is contrary. Wherever she is in the apartment, if I call her name she runs at full pelt and jumps into my lap, nuzzling her cheeks against mine, making a sound that is a combination of a chirrup and a grumble as I stroke her. Her nemesis is the shagpile rug the she wrestles like a jungle cat, battling it to submission. She also pulls the most amazing poses and is otherwise known as the yoga cat, twisting her body until she is balancing on her head, with her hind legs on the floor, leaning on one elbow for support
My next visit is to Truffle, a purry, ginger bundle of paws. She found her owners whilst living next door and after exerting some of her irresistible charm on them was quick to move in. She is a tiny cat with a gentle nature and when I arrive at her home she yelps softly at me before approaching on the tip of her white toes. Not in the least bit interested in food, she arches her back as I stroke her and begins purring immediately. It's not long before the soft purr has turned into a contented rumble and she is soon rolling around on the floor gentle padding the air with her paws in undisguised ecstasy.
Jasper is next on the list and from the moment I arrive to the moment I leave he doesn’t stop moving. He is a mature Abyssinian as exquisite as he is affectionate and trying to get a photograph of him is a near impossible task. When I pick him up in an attempt to calm him down he bangs his head into mine and rubs his wet nose against my cheek his heart beating wildly. He follows me from room to room, jumping into cupboards as I open them and sitting directly in front of me, purring with appreciation for every head rub he receives. He pauses briefly to acknowledge a noise from the outside world, his head alert he freezes for a second. But as I reach to grab the camera he moves with me, determined to get in my line of vision. Jasper freezes again, he’s ears turning to a noise that is not on my register and there is only a split second to catch him. He narrows his eyes as he stares into the lens of the camera before collapsing into it and rubbing it with his cheek then ducking underneath it and into my arms.
By the time I arrive at Henri’s, a large french cat who loves his food, it is already dark. Opening the front door I peer down the long corridor that leads to the front room and see Henri sitting comfortably on the armchair cleaning his paws. He yawns nonchalantly and slowly unravels himself, hopping off of the sofa and trundling towards me. He acknowledges me with a rub of his cheek on my leg and after a lengthy and noisy dinner he paws at the balcony door ready for his evening constitutional. Rambling around the small balcony, Henri stops occasionally and stretches out on the wooden decking resting for a few minutes before resuming his walk. A bevy of neighbouring birds appear from nowhere and swoop past us soaring up into the clouds. Squeezing his head through the railings Henri swerves his face to the sky in order to watch the spectacle.