Wednesday, 11 January 2012

How to live with a cat when you are the house guest

It's not that I have anything against cats, in fact, they can be quite endearing. But when you have lived in a cat free environment for the best part of 50 years, it can be a steep learning curve to have one thrust into your living space.  Not the cat's fault; in this case we are the guests and the cat is our hostess, albeit a very naughty one at times.

Bella, like a lot of Burmese cats, certainly has a will of her own, which sometimes clashes with ours.  We very quickly learned a couple of lessons.

How Not to Leave the House

Bella is a house cat, not allowed to roam wantonly through the neighbourhood, picking off the bird life at will. The responsible owners have organised the house so that she has ready access to outside areas which do not allow her to escape  Of course, Bella's object in life is to escape at every opportunity.

The first time we prepared to go on an outing, Mr Fudge stood by the open front door while I turned on the burglar alarm with the remote attached to a key ring  As the alarm commenced its countdown, I scuttled towards the front door at the same time as Bella, who had been lying in wait under the lounge  She was out in the street like a flash of lightning - straight under a parked car obviously placed there for her convenience.  As I attempted to retrieve her, we suddenly remembered the burglar alarm rapidly ticking down the seconds, as the front door was still open.  Silent screams.  A quick and undignified rush back into the house ensued and the alarm was turned off in the nick of time.  Back out to the parked car where Mr Fudge was standing guard (I think I mentioned that he is not a cat lover and in fact can't bear touching them).  The offending cat was swooped up, much to her annoyance, and the three of us returned to the house to try again.

How to Exit a House with Dignity

This time around, I had Bella firmly held under one arm,  handbag clutched under the other, the alarm remote one hand, and we were ready.  Mr Fudge again stood at the open front door, I turned on the alarm, then before kitty knew what on earth was happening, I moved with considerable grace and speed towards the front door, depositing her onto a lounge chair, making sure she was facing away from the escape route, and moved on without a break in rhythm.  Kitty could be briefly seen looking around in confusion.  The door closed and we were out and about.  If it had been a ballet, it could not have been choreographed more perfectly.

To placate her that evening, we allowed Bella to watch Gone With the Wind, although she feigned boredom. Where's the gratitude?   Methinks she will weep with joy when her owners return from their holiday next week.

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