Monday, May 05, 2014

Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

 It's now 4 months, more or less since Rummy came to live with me. It's not been an easy transition for either of us. I wanted a different natured cat than my beloved Cat and yes, I certainly got one. It's true, you should be careful for what you wish for. 

He has big brass ones. I think the vet might have neutered him, but they left the cohones. He picked an Alpha fight with Dave and then one with Boy. And that's just the start...

Gin Rummy was supposed to be a house cat. By the end of our first 6 weeks together he and I were about to kill each other. He meowed constantly. And I do mean constantly. Like a fractious baby, throughout the night. 

I got him a nice shiny disc, engraved with his name, my mobile number and a bell. I attached it to a bright red cat collar and I then put it around his neck. Off he went into the big, wide world. Not a moment too soon. 

My unhappy, vocal cat, restless, grumpy and demanding, chilled right out. Nowadays, he comes running when I shout "bedtime Rummy", curls up on my chest for love, then moves off to sleep at my feet. There he stays until I have to get up the next morning. He goes out for a pee and then demands breakfast. After that, he goes out again and I won't see him again until I come back from work. He's happy and contented and so am I. 

He's a very solid, physical cat. He actually likes being hauled about. Firm petting is definitely preferred. He will push his way onto my lap and demand attention. He's not shy about coming forward. He might have a very kittenish meow but he's all male.

When I say the following, please understand that I am not sure whether I am deeply appalled or deeply impressed about the following. 

There are quite a few cats that live around here. In fact, there's one across the road that looks pretty much identical to my Rummy, apart from the fact that he's heavier and has a very grating voice. These are cats with a well-established territory. Here comes this upstart in their know how it works, right?

Well, think again. Rummy might have a couple of battle scars, but he is the big dawg round here. The other cats yowl and puff themselves up when he's around and they very carefully back away from him to run under parked cars, to hiss at him from a distance. As far as I can tell, he's quite pleased with his new territory.

And then there's the small matter of his kill.

Remember I said I bought him a collar with a disc? Two days after he started going out, he came home without it. We looked everywhere and couldn't find it. I got a phone call from a neighbour to say she found it in the nearby car park. I went picked it up, put it back around his neck. The next day, he demanded to come in, sauntered in and shook the collar off on the carpet.

I got him another collar with the disc and a bell. It never came home when he did. 

The thing is, I wanted him especially to have a bell.

I went running one Tuesday morning, he came out when I did. I did my run, limped up the steps to my front door and the sight that greeted me still haunts me.

Other cats bring home rodents and song birds, my cat brought me home a sparrowhawk. Yes, a sparrowhawk. A mother-lovin' bird of prey. Not only that, a female of the species - the species which is notorious for its grumpiness, feistiness and general stroppy behaviour not especially favoured by any but the most experienced falconers.

Big, brass ones.

The thing that surprises me about him the most, my big, bruiser, hunting cat is really lovely with kids. Small kids. My neighbour has a two year old girl, who was very curious about this big black and white cat. He was affectionate and patient as she fussed and petted him. I swear he looked sad when they went inside.

I can't say I absolutely love him to bits, but I am very fond of him. Boy said he's a dick and that's not far from the truth. But he's my dick and I'm very glad he hangs out with me.

Waiting for Paint to Dry

Yesterday evening, I thought I'd finished the triptych. I kicked back, drank a glass of raspberry beer and contemplated my work. As I co...