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In The Company of Cats

Oli from the block

I have been looking after Olivia Fernandez- Hanna, or Oli from the block as we like to call her, for just over a year now, visiting her at her home when her doting parents make short trips away and boarding her with us when they are away for longer. On this occasion this sassy tuxedo cat, adopted from the Bronx, New York with oodles of attitude and a gently persuasive nature, is lodging with us.

Mornings she is up at just past 5am and she takes turns waking up myself and my partner John, circling us like pray before making her move. Starting with me she sits in front of my snoozing head on a small corner of the mattress and gently taps my nose with her paw. I open one eye and she narrows hers looking at me before letting out a plaintive mew. Hopping off of the bed she runs hopefully towards the kitchen.

I close my eyes and a few minutes later I am awake again when Oli jumps from the window ledge and lands on Johns back. John wakes with a start as she walks around us her little paws gently shaking the mattress. Luckily she has already worked her significant charm on John, Oli from the block is a number one flirt. She follows John about as he does odd jobs around the apartment, gazing up at him with twinkly eyes full of admiration and sitting on his lap whenever he pauses for a rest. John is smitten. But he is not getting up at 5.30 am to give her breakfast so here she is tapping on my nose with her paw again. When she realises she is not getting a response she sits on top of John and starts her cleaning ritual and the bed rocks under her efforts. When my alarm sounds at 6 am she lands in front of my face and bounces off of the bed and into the hallway. I follow her sleepily as she waggles her bottom and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. Later as John and I drink tea and chat in bed, Oli, breakfast finished hops up and settles in between us, her face pointing towards John and her bottom towards me. Every time I talk she flaps her tail so it lands in my mouth filling it with fur and shutting me up as she continues to gaze lovingly at John.

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