Mme. Pounce arrived in style on Christmas Eve in her new Cat Box [far nicer than being stuffed in that old brown wooden box with makeshift lid. YD carries her gently into the garden. She has become such an old paw at living here that we have no hesitation now about letting her out in the garden; before this there was a major worry that she might race back to her usual home. She sniffs the wind, cautiously looks about her, identifies the strong smell of fox and you can almost here Yippee in the soft growl she emits as she races off up the garden at 100mph [she’s an old fashioned cat] letting vent to a boost of energy that is never in play back in Regular Home.
Up here, she is friendly, kittenish [she is heading for her 7th birthday in June] and full of play. She grandly ignores the foxes as they trot past her, sitting comfortably on a windowsill her nose and whiskers clearly indicating that should they choose to start something, Mme Pounce is more than able to deal with such nonsense. At the same time you can hear the feline prayers running through her fur…”somebody open this window QUICK!” Because there is so much space, the birds are in no danger, their flight paths to escape are manifold and they have the local tabbulary, [their word for the many tabby cats living here] sorted!
On the subject of tabbulary, what a grand word and how clever are birds. Mme P is in the process of establishing Foreign Relations with Missy Mew from over the hill. Missy is almost pure white except for a very fetching blanket of grey tabby, a tail cover extending to 2/3rds of her tail, and four tabby paws. She is affectionate, articulate and she and I spend many a happy hour chatting when I am in the garden. She is well versed in the subject of bird flight, and how, when she decides it is time to pursue her aerobics by jumping on one of the bird tables, I am likely to let a roar at her. “Shoo” has no effect, however “NO!” works a treat.
Mme P is now the proud owner of an entire garden shed with luxury bed - complete with, no less, a wine coloured paisley pillow - and lawn mower should she ever wish to trim her claws. It even has a special opening in the door just for her, and whomsoever of the pals that will be made, to use. She has her own private Mock Tudor fronted style home in Regular House. Built especially for her by OH years ago. This is even bigger and she thoroughly approves of the counter on which her bed lies, the windows through which she can watch life pass bye as she cuddles up contented and snug, safe from wind, rain and that blooming white stuff that arrived from nowhere this year.
Christmas morning dawned bright and early and she announced her arrival on ED’s bedroom window by thumping the pane of glass. Once in she greeted everyone with a loud yowl and enquired when the presents were to be opened. Disgustingly, she had to wait until the Elder Lemons had returned home from morning Mass, breakfast for humans was consumed [tedious] and they all passed the parcels to each other. It was infuriating to have to wait so long. The tabbs were waiting up at the Fir Tree for her and here she was…delayed…UGH! The wait was worth it though, there was an idiotic football - feline sized from Head Cat [ED & YD’s parent - female] - a box of kibble from Other Cat [OH], darling YD produced a super snug new bed for curling up beside the radiator on extra cold winter nights, and ED gave her a pat on the head and a packet of Felix market produce…lovely…vegetables…just what the dog ordered!
Things have changed with Mme P, since she started to stay for holidays here. Once upon a time in Regular House she would have turned her nose up, in high disdain, to a saucer of turkey, stuffing and gravy. This year we ate heartily, cleaned the saucer, and looked for a morsel more. Fresh air certainly gives a cat an appetite. She had a romp around the dining room with the football, a tabby has to keep the Chief Cat happy, it is her territory after all, and then off on a hot date with Ginger from down the lane. After swatting him in the face and the use of unparliamentarily language to him for the last eighteen months, she has finally succumbed to the fact that he just wants to play Race Round the Rocks and has no ulterior or ungentlmanly motives.
One fiendish night just after Turkey Saucer time that white stuff started to fall from the sky; it was so cold that the pads of a paw were frozen. The wind whistled through the finest fur coat and even the foxes were not straying far from their den. Pounce shivered on a windowsill; where was everybody. She had been up at her personal shed, but she knew there was a warm fire in The House. YD was in there too, and this was definitely a time when a girl wanted to cuddle up to her best human friend. The front door opened and there, thank all Cats, was YD calling her in.
Two days after the snow fell, ED and YD returned to Regular Home. Pounce was invited to stay, and despite her great love for YD, no feline in their right mind would turn down a fireside chair to sit in, the comfort of constant companionship, fed just inside the kitchen door, and let out only at a time of ones own choosing. It was fun to sit in the dining room window sneering at the foxes passing by. There they were, hoping that something had been left out for them, while she, Queen of the Hearth, sat comfortably in the window over the radiator.
Pounce stayed with us until the 9th of January and then returned home to YD. I get the warmest greetings now when I call in, methinks they are actually cries for an invitation back up here. She will be coming for a visit in February, and eventually will move up here full time with YD. The snow gave her wonderful manners, and for the first time in six years, a friendly attitude. We will never be close pals, but we have discovered how to live in harmony.