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In The Company of Cats

Bailey and Belle

It doesn’t take the 9 year old, brown, Burmese, Bailey long to betray his devoted owner. In fact, no sooner had she left, than Bailey had begun rubbing his smooth fur against the side of my legs. He launched his stocky frame onto the sofa and within minutes he is purring contentedly on my lap. His sister, a chocolate Burmese, is more reticent and tucks herself away under a warm radiator, closing her beautiful green eyes and settling into a deep sleep.

Until the afternoon of their arrival these two cats had been my neighbours living happily at the end of my road. Over the next few days their family would be packing up their belongings, and moving to a new home nearby. They had sensibly decided to leave Bailey and Belle with us whilst they got on with the move.

I had been warned about Baileys persistent meowing and advised to keep both cats in a separate room at night, feeling guilty I said goodnight and shut the door on the two cats before going to bed.

The next morning I woke early and went into the front room to check on my charges. Bailey was sat atop a heated cushion on the sofa and Belle was still snuggled firmly under the radiator. I opened the window and the cold air blew gently in, tweaking first Bailey and then Belles interest. Before long they were both exploring the balcony, hopping into plant pots and chewing on cat grass before eventually settling on the roof of the cat house and staring wistfully in the direction of their former home.

As the day wore on Belle opened up, spending her time between the balcony and a comfy spot nearby. Bailey found the meow that his owners had forewarned me about and it soon developed from a gentle moan into a more urgent cry.

Even so I decided to let the two cats into the bedroom that night, and they followed me eagerly into the still unexplored territory. After a thorough examination they leapt onto the bed, curled up next to me and we all drifted into a peaceful sleep.

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