He’s bigger, longer, heavier.
I noticed it one day last week–the change from kitten to cat.
Found myself feeling sad–never gave much thought to him growing up.
His kittenish-ness was who he was–day to day.
What I noticed last week was a physical change.
His behaviour, though, is still kittenish.
I just saw him doing his whirling dervish routine; lying at ease full length on the kitchen floor, he suddenly launches into a wild circular dance chasing of his tail.
Then just as suddenly he straightens up–head turned in the direction of a noise, another distraction–and is perfectly still.
He’s now a “teenager” I suppose.
But he still does childlike tricks, like flashing passed you and re-appearing on an overhanging branch of a tree–showing off.
Look at me!
Or lurking behind the rubbish bin, preparing to jump out and scare the living daylights–he hopes–out of another cat minding its business.
We should have called him Tyler–he loves the floor tiles in the house and immediately drops into a languid pose when he comes into a room, like a fop in a restoration play–“la-di-da’!
A habit he may have adopted in the canicule [very hot days] this summer–the coolness of the tiles giving his little fur-covered body some relief.
Rather less like a teenager, he keeps regular hours and is a homebody.
Walk into our bedroom about 11pm and he’s already nonchalantly stretched out fast asleep—his snowy white undercarriage in full view; his busy day–lounging about, patrolling the boundaries and teasing the chickens and anyone else–over.
He’s said to himself, like Pepys: …and so to bed!
He came to us through the cat-flap in the garage a year ago on the 7th of December–about five weeks old–a domestic kitten, not feral.
We have no idea who left him–clearly someone who knew we are a cat-friendly family.
He has a touch of Beauty’s natural hauteur. His sense of entitlement seems inborn in him.
He manages a look of surprise–indignation even, when one of our outdoor cats puts in an appearance–usually at mealtimes.
Who are you? This is my patch–these are my people!
Lily*, brave mother of the late and beloved Beauty, gives Beau an old fashioned look and carries on eating.
Pah!–who are you?