When was the last time you did something completely new and out of your element? How was it? Will you do it again?
27 October 2013. I took delivery of two cats – after over 50 years of being a dog person, there were two felines in residence at Baskerville Manor.
It’s not that I hated cats all my life and suddenly had an epiphany. I hope it’s not because I’ve turned into the batty old lady with the funny hat that I have long threatened to become – that’s scheduled for when I retire.
I’ve gone into the story behind why I decided to adopt not one but two cats at this late stage of my life in the blog I reserve for things that happen in my house, and if you want to to see, visit Adventures in Home Improvements . Suffice to say, there was a long-standing mouse problem and I felt that a cat or cats would be the best solution.
Anyway, on 27 October, a pair of brothers, Mr Kit-Kat and Little Jet-Black took up residence. I have always liked cats, but never lived with one. It’s been an interesting and fun experience. I always thought they are masters of stealth and discretion. So imagine my surprise to learn that when a cat jumps from a bed to the floor upstairs, downstairs it will sound like an elephant landing from a great height after its parachute failed to open.
Between then and now I have brokered perestroika between the two cats and two out of my three large dogs. I’m optimistic that I will not die of old age before the oldest dog, Princess Chloe the First, decides that her nose needs to be kept safely away from things that scratch. The labrador in the picture, called Shiloh and Little Jet Black have found a common interest in the contents of the fridge, and Little Jet Black is quite happy to have the big guy open it up for a joint investigation.
The last three months have been filled with diplomatic summits between cats and dogs, trauma when the cats got out and I wasn’t sure they would find their way back, and delight when they did. I’m constantly amazed at how courageous these two little guys are – as I mentioned, my dogs are large and the cats, while miniscule in comparison, are well able to hold their ground. I’ve learned to understand their vocalisations and I’m fast developing a massive collection of whimsical Kodak moments to inflict on my Facebook friends.
I have to point out that before they arrived, I didn’t see Mr Kit-Kat and Little Jet-Black simply as exterminators, I had always liked the idea of having a cat, but because of the high canine population, didn’t believe it would be feasible. Three months on, I can say I like having cats, these two are a pair of sweeties, and I am loving the head butts, purrs and even the smurgling on my lap. Would I do it again? Well, cats can live up to twenty years, and it is apparently more difficult to integrate cats with cats than cats with dogs, so probably not very soon, but yes, I probably will at some point in the hopefully far future.
One more thing… the mice seem to have left the building.