How Many Cats?
Before I admit anything, it was an accident.
We never meant to have three. But you know how hard it is to say no to kittens. They never listen anyway.
When Ruth found an abandoned kitten at school, wedged between a shed and a fence, I tried to be practical: “We’ll look after it for the day and take it to the Cat’s Home” (the local cat orphanage for lost and wayward felines).
Well, that plan didn’t go far. Ruth was told they would have to put the kitten down. So we couldn’t let that happen. Instead, we kept this two-week old ball of tabby fluff and called her Honey-Beast.
Kept in a cosy cardboard box near my desk by day and bed by night, Honey-Beast was certainly tiny. With eyes still closed, and a vee-shaped stump for a tail, we figured her stray mother had abandoned her, just because she couldn’t mew.
So this tiny furry thing became the reason for getting up every 2 hours during the night. Forever desperately hungry, the alarm would go, and up we’d get, bleary-eyed, to feed HB with a dropper full of warm kitten milk.
Pawing with little claws and tiny teeth, it made me grateful I was never involved in breastfeeding…
Happily it worked. These days, our Honey-Beast is a robust 15lbs! Big eyed and long whiskered, she loves lounging around the house, catching all the pats she can.
Though she is virtually mute, Honey-Beast is happy to produce the occasional weak squeak of affection. But it’s her enthusiasm for cuddles that’s legendary. A solid head-butt from HB is guaranteed to put a smile on your dial.
Whereas, Earwig, our rakish little tabby with a frantic squeak, has the reputation for being our “cot-case” cat.
Sneaking in beneath your feat, she immediately proceeds to start ‘Eeek, eeek, eaking’ and roving around confusedly, searching of food. Skittish and shy, Earwig clearly has problems. A refugee from the Stray Cats Home, Earwig has always been, well, strange. You can pick her up and give her a pat and next thing she’ll start hissing for no reason. Then purr. Then hiss; which leads me to wonder if she is partly steam driven…
Then there’s that little thing about squeezing herself into small containers. Some cats do that, I know. But Earwig definitely takes the Houdini streak to another level.
Which, by contrast, Scallywag definitely doesn’t. As a toy seal point ragdoll cat, Scally, or Scall, prefers draping himself wide over the furniture or the floor. No tiny baskets for him.
Being a ragdoll cat, he likes to be where we are; such as leaning against our feet. That’s the breed of course. Almost doglike at times, Scall is a sociable stickybeak (an Aussie term for being nosey). If he could talk, I expect he’d say, “What are you doing? Can I join in?”
That’s what I like about cats, and most pets in general. Getting to know their personality gives you loads of pleasure. Together they make us laugh a lot and they bond us to home. You only have to mention what they’ve been up to and already you’re picturing yourself there.
Not that you need three cats to do it. Getting past two cats triggered off fears of me becoming the male equivalent of a cat lady. Shuffling around a squalid house with 40, 50, or 60 cats leaping from high shelves and me pouring milk into countless pot and saucers.
But I am happy to say, three cats works fine. Not that they work as such. More, that they bring their share of happiness. Which, I’m glad to say, is a winning – if a little quirky – combination.