Sunday, 15 September 2013

Release The Tiger...er, Kitten

There comes a time when new animal members of a family have to be allowed to run free with the older present incumbents. Without the supervision of a responsible human being. 

And when this day comes there is a certain amount of tension and fraughtness in the air because one never knows what will happen. 'What will happen' is the loose phrase that encompasses every eventuality from total ambivalence to murderous carnage.

Yesterday, Flora's day came to run with the wolves. Or Phoebe and Tybalt, as they are commonly known up our end.

Flora is now 8 weeks old. She has spent 5 weeks in the company of Phoebe and Tybalt and I have left her alone with them for a couple of hours already with no ill effect. And, of course, when we are home, she has the free run of the house. However, for any longer amounts of time, like us all being out at work, or at night time, Flora has been confined to barracks which is a large animal cage also known as the chicken hospital as it has, in the past, been used as an isolation unit for injured or unwell hens, because when a hen is unwell the other hens in the flock have no mercy and murderous carnage is a real possibility.

Anyway, Andy and I went out to visit friends last night. And we thought, right, we'll be gone about 4, maybe 5 hours, so let's leave all the cats to it and see what happens. I have to say I was feeling a bit on edge, images dancing to the front of my mind of returning home to find a kitten pinned by her ears to the wall by a couple of cat claws, or finding Phoebe sitting on her cushion saying, 'Kitten? What kitten?' whilst trying to conceal the end of a teeny tiny tabby tail dangling from the corner of her mouth.

As it was, all was well on our return. No traces of blood. No clumps of fur. No quivering wrecks mewling pathetically from behind the TV cabinet. 

'Let's let them have the run of the house together overnight,' said Andy. 'That way, they can get away from each other if need be, plus we shall hear any undue fracas that may occur.'

Usually cats at MMM are confined to the kitchen of a night. This is because Phoebe is wont to chew telephone and computer cables very, VERY loudly in the wee small hours - NOM, NOM, NOM - and Tybalt is wont to come into our bedroom, climb atop the wardrobes and jump, with a massive and considerably scary 'THUNK!' onto our bed. And they are both very good at trying to open the cupboard under the stairs - BANG, BANG, BANG - and remove the carpet from the stairs - SCRAAAATCH - and run up and down the stairs like small noisy horses, thus keeping everyone else in the house i.e us awake.

And so to bed. All doors akimbo. Lights off.

Tybalt immediately makes an appearance. Bounces on the bed a bit. Flings himself around on the duvet. Purrs very loudly. I know what he is thinking. He is thinking, 'Jumping off that wardrobe as soon as they hit deep sleep dream mode. KAPPOW! BOING!!!'

Downstairs, Phoebe can be heard eating cat biscuit with great vigour, and then scrabbling around in the litter tray. A few seconds later, the smell of cat poo wafts up the stairs. 

Flora arrives. There is a bit of hissing as Tybalt departs in disgust. Flora decides chewing feet is an excellent midnight activity. Ours, not hers. 

The night moves on. Flora has settled between us and is making cute whistling noises in her sleep. Andy and I are afraid to move because we don't want to squish Flora. I think I doze off for a while, then wake up because a tiny patch of eczema on the instep of my foot starts itching like crazy. Andy then wakes because he currently has a bad back (pulling up shorts whilst using jogging machine injury). I scratch and apply tea tree oil; Andy refills his hot water bottle and applies a medicated heat patch. We nod off again...

...at 3.00 am I wake to a vicious hot flush. Chuck off duvet. Get too cold. Pull duvet back after checking location of Flora, who, unbeknownst to me has been removed to Andy's study because she wouldn't lay off the feet chewing. Wake Andy to ask where Flora is. Drift off briefly to wake half an hour later to the noisy arrival of Tybalt who wants to play and roll and jump around. 

Tybalt exits. Flora reappears, having been attracted from Andy's study by Tybalt antics. In the distance, the banging sound of Phoebe trying to get into the cupboard under the stairs. Flora vanishes. I doze off. Wake just as it is growing light to Flora licking my nose and smelling ever so very slightly of wee wee. Andy has decamped to the man chair in his study, Tybalt is stretched across the back of his chair. Flora burrows under duvet. I lay awake worrying she is going to suffocate under the 12 tog. 

Doze off. Suddenly awake because it is VERY light and the hens need letting out before they start making an unholy racket.

Needless to say, all the cats have today caught up on their sleep because of the natural day time napping habits of cats. And Andy and I have been drifting about like zombies because Andy can't nap because of his back, and I can't sleep during the day because, contrary to popular belief, I am not a vampire.

Tonight, ALL the cats will be in the kitchen. 


4 comments:

rusty duck said...

Whose idea was it again??

Countryside Tales said...

When I was young my pa used to put all the cats out at night regardless of weather and season. We lived on a farm miles from anywhere and there were plenty of barns etc for them to sleep in and that was just what cats did. In comparison Cleo has her own room (utility. among bins and wellies), a wooden house M made for her and a heated pad on top of her blanket...
Glad to hear all is settling down among the feline inhabitants of MMM. CT :-)

Vera said...

Crikey! Bedlam! Hope Andy's back gets back to normal soon. Are his shorts slipping down because he is losing weight because he is striving to get fitter?

Denise said...

Do you know, Jessica, neither of us can quite remember...(but I suspect it was The Needy Cat Woman aka moi!)

I think if my Dad was still alive there would be no cats, inside or out, CT! All ours are house cats because I can't be doing with having another being squished like a bug on the road. X

Vera, it was neither. 'Twas a broken drawstring. Pulled muscle occurred in order to save dodgy pant-reveal moment. I think there was some chafing involved, too. Oo-er!