Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Seduced by Cats!

In the last few months, I have been learning a great deal about who I am, who I thought I was and who I may yet become. Some of this has been very heavy going – the last few months have been very heavy going, on and off. But here's something fairly light with which to restart blogging (fingers crossed). I am, so it turns out, a cat person.

When I arrived in Wales, I was allergic to the two cats I was moving in with. I knew it was a temporary reaction, just not being used to the things, but I didn't imagine I'd need have much to do with them at all. As I wrote a couple of years ago, I don't like cats. Most of my friends, past and present, are cat people – the friends I am living with are cat people – but I have never been one to confuse cats with people. Cats are animals. Animals are not people.

PuddingBut I hadn't reckoned with the power of Pudding. Pudding's owner - no, that's not right. Nobody owns Pudding exactly, but my friend L does at least own the house we all occupy and buys his food. Anyway, L had warned me that Pudding's single goal is world domination, to be acquired one person at a time. I was dismissive. Now I have my doubts.

Pudding is a rather special cat. Given my relationships with cat people, I had encountered more than my fair share of cats, but none have been as friendly, none as downright flirtatious as Pudding. Pudding pounces on you, purring before you've even touched him, rubbing himself against you like your clothes and skin are the most delicious texture he has ever encountered. Resistance is futile; place him on the floor and he will return to your lap, refuse to fuss or stroke him and he will force his head under your resting hands.

Pudding sits around most of the day and eats more than he should. He is a big fat cat - I'm currently away with my young man and his two poodles and I'm sure Pudding would flatten both poodles in a fair fight. I'm quite sure he weighs more than the two little dogs put together.

Pudding's PawPudding doesn't scratch; having been born in the US, he had his claws removed (!) as a kitten. So it is not such a bad thing to be kneaded when he wishes to make my lap more comfortable. And being somewhat tubby, he doesn't move too far and doesn't bring me many presents. Thusfar, I have received a single swallow and I have my doubts that it wasn't found dead rather than caught. I have seen a red kite evaded by a flock of swallows, so quite how Pudding could have slain it, I'm not sure.

After I had lived here all of three or four days, Pudding started crying at my door at night. Sometimes at my window. For such a great hulking bulk of a cat, Pudding's meow is rather high-pitched, almost effete. Certainly unignorable. And so he started being allowed in my room at night, and then he'd climb on the bed. Then growing ever bolder, he'd climb under the bed covers. And thus, I found I had been taken in.

Booboo and IMy other feline housemate, Booboo, is a very different character. At first acquaintance, she seemed rather stand-offish. Now I realise she merely pretends to be independent and unsociable in the cast of most domestic cats I have met. She rarely climbs onto one's lap and she does consider both fingers and writing impliments to be legitimate prey. Especially when a person is trying to do something with said fingers or writing impliments.

But she does not wish to be left alone. She keeps her distance but follows me around and if ignored for long enough, she begs for my attention. She also cries at my door at night, although her greatest desire for intimacy is to sleep on the end of the bed beside my feet.

Despite a long acquaintance-by-proxy with cats, I have only begun to really get cats this year. I now recognise their considerable appeal. And their downright spookiness. The cats know things that they ought not to know. The cats turn up whenever I am distressed. The only time they won't sit on the bed is when I am in particularly great pain and they'd be in danger of hurting me - I don't need to shoo them away, they just won't get that close. And they get a little weirder than that. One day Pudding startled at my hallucination. It didn't startle me; these things happen. It was just a vague small thing that I knew wasn't there, moving between two points and then vanishing. But Pudding turned suddenly and watched the point where it disappeared for a moment afterwards.

So cats are spooky in ways I can't fully explain with my rationalist materialist outlook. All I do know is that my clothes are now covered in cat hair.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post in June and who has e-mailed. I am very behind with all correspondences but your support is most appreciated.


Jess said...

Hey, there you are. Hello. :)

My cats approve of this post. I have learned to watch them. They're more observant than you'd think. They usually know when something's up with the house-- like a leak-- and will tell me about it, if I'm paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh.... I adore cats. They are sneaky and endearing creatures and they pick the best people to love- like you Goldy! You sound like you're adjusting?

Stitching With Kittens said...

Congratulations on your conversion! (From a cat person from birth!)

Clare said...

Wow, what a fascinating post :)

I have always mildly disliked cats but my other half is crazy about them and has been attempting to win me over for the past year by enticing neighbourhood kitties into our house. In the end I've started to come round to the idea, but the problem is that as soon as one so much as enters the room, I collapse in a sneezing fit. Someone told us that Siberians can be hypoallergenic, so we're going to visit a breeder in a couple of weeks to see whether I'm any better with those...

It's good to hear that someone else has managed to overcome a distrust of cats anyway :)

Ole Ferme l'Oeil said...

Excuse me, I know this has nothing to do with this post but, can I translate the post: into french?

The Goldfish said...

Thank you everybody - sorry I've been so slow responding to comments but life remains rather chaotic. Or it has done, with any luck things are calmning down now.

@Ole Ferme l'Oeil

Yes you may, so long as you accredit it and link back. Thanks for reading.

Ole Ferme l'Oeil said...

Thank You
Yes I will accredit it and link back I love your blog and enjoyed (well I don't know if it's the good word since it's about very serious things!) my first participation to blogging against disablism day.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!

I've only just realised that you're back writing again, how remiss of me.

Cats are weird and spooky. An ex-partner had two and, up until meeting them, I always swore I was a dog-person.

They had a habit of knowing your moods and infiltrating every aspect of your daily life.

Nice post, thanks!