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In The Company of Cats

Tommy and Luna

I first met Tommy, a gentle blue Persian with large round eyes and his housemate Luna, a skittish black and white cat with a fluffy coat in their plant filled basement flat during the winter of 2014. Tommy would always be at the door waiting for somebody to arrive and when I did, he would look at me earnestly with his soft round face, roll on his back and pull a series of ever cuter poses. Luna on the other hand would disappear at the sound at the sound of my footsteps, slipping under the bed or camouflaging herself in the furry fabric of the cat tree. She would stay as still as possible until I managed to find her and then look the other way while I tried to bribe her with a series of strokes and treats.

Although Tommy and Luna are housemates they are not best friends. Luna tolerates Tommy, who is aware of his beauty and will not hesitate to use it to gain attention and treats. Last year when Tommy went missing (not to be found until the next day trapped in a neighbouring garden with a broken leg) Luna could not disguise her irritation at his return. Pointedly Ignoring him, as he sat in his vet prescribed cage while his leg healed and walking nonchalantly past while he tossed his fluffy mane this way and that, in a futile attempt to get attention.

When I arrive for my first visit at their new house, Luna is a changed cat. She is waiting for me at the front door, pushing her way in front of a surprised Tommy, eager to show me around their new home. Tommy, unimpressed trots into the front room and lays in front of the floor to ceiling windows staring blankly into the garden.

I follow Luna who is giving me a guided tour of their new digs and when we reach the front room with the impressive windows she breezes past Tommy and pauses in front of them for effect. Not to be out done Tommy rolls onto his back and rocks gently with all four paws in the air. I give Tommy a stroke and he rolls towards me stopping just in front of my camera and holding his pose, he positions his face so it fills the frame. Luna hovers patiently in the background as Tommy proceeds to turn one way and then the other, a practised showman prepared to work for the perfect shot.

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