Five cats at the trough this morning.
Head cat, Pippa– (no messing!)
Beau (always first in)…
Ben (politely patient, knowing his place in the pecking order (low), tip-toes round the bowls.)
and Lucien, who stomps around like a grumpy member of a fusty old London Men’s club finding his favourite chair is occupied by someone he’s never seen before and worse–a female.
On a dark night he does a good impression of “Bill Sykes“.
The “newcomer” is Blackie, who is gradually becoming an in-door cat after years of nervous coming and going pit stops–mostly out-doors.
Blackie’s a cat with no tail but a lot of oomph.
She has survived six or seven years in the relative wild–too nervous to put her head down indoors for longer than an hour or two.
Something is changing though–perhaps with age, sleeping rough every night through the seasons is losing its charm.
In summer she’d arrive for a quick snack with insect bites all round her eyes.
It has been slow progress, but close encounters in the tomato patch have helped.
There’s a small bench there, perfect for an early morning cogitation/rumination, after a bit of weeding and watering.
This summer Blackie and I have spent some serious time together.
She appears from nowhere, entwines me in elaborate leg embraces, chatting away anxiously about something.
These early morning approaches have gradually calmed into more of a companiable, “Hi, how’s it going?” greeting, as she jumps lightly onto the bench beside me and nudges my arm.
This morning she “knocks” on the back door and enters at a pace, ate a little, jumps into her chair of choice and watches, unconcerned, as the others arrive.
An indoor cat with rights like theirs.
We’ll see. The arrival of winter may settle it.
Later in the morning, I open the backdoor for Pippa; she’s off for her post-breakfast constitutional.
There below the step is Blackie, tucking into elevensies.
Pippa looks at Blackie for a long beat. She decides to lean forward and give her a nudging nose kiss. She then steps aside and down and saunters away.
Blackie enters and hops onto her favored chair and hunkers down again.
“Wow!” No Pippy hissy-fitting–things are changing round here.
A five cat household–oh my!