For many years one cat ruled in this house. He is a proud big Burmese. He is called Sully.
He is a truly magnificent beast, and he knows it. He is, like all his ilk, a “brick wrapped in velvet”. He weighs a muscled tonne, with thick, soft fur, which, coincidentally, I am allergic to. One pat on the head and I wheeze for a week.
Why, you say, do we not get rid of the cat? Well, concerned reader, were it to come to a vote between which family member to lose, mama or the cat, this is one election that would be clearly and resoundingly won, and I would be looking for a bijou residence within easy walking distance of the wine and spirit aisle at Tesco.
He is chronically affectionate. You do not just cuddle Sully. You wear him for hours. He lurks behind the front door just before my son gets home and awaits the return-from-school hug and chin tickle. Oh yes, Sully can read the time, I’m convinced of it.
He used to spend his day just wondering which lap to sit in, which window to look out of and which squirrel in the garden to chase.
Along came Gertie. She is coal black with huge green eyes and we rather thought she’d be company for Sul, who, it turns out, was probably fine on his own. Fortunately, Gertie is not the world’s brightest, so they get on just fine.
Gert and Sul had an accommodation. She sat on one side of the window sill and stared at the birds, making that weird craiking noise cat owners know so well, occasionally launching herself wildly at a particularly tempting robin, only to thud into the glass and slide down in like one of those Garfield toys you used to see stuck to car windows .
Sul sat on the other side, magnificently brooding, like a feline Brando. Life was good.
The daughter announced her intention to return to university and do more of this learning stuff. She has returned to the nest. All good and well, but she has brought with her Ned. Ned is a cat. He doesn’t realise that positions at the window have been booked.
It’s a bit like living in a cat world coalition negotiation. All three are in the living room right now, eyeing each other up, willing one of them to break. Outside, the birds and squirrels are frolicking like frolicking might be made illegal any minute now.
It’s a bit like a Disney movie out there.
Just the job for our TV general election debate
Aren’t we the lucky ones? Yet another Leaders’ Head-To-Head on the telly, with everyone in their best bib and tucker and desperate to impress.
It’s like watching a really boring job interview.
Why not treat them like proper job applicants?
Forget the usual questions about Europe, tax, austerity and cuts, let’s ask them the real sort of the job-interview questions, like “Tell us your strengths?” “Do you work well in a team?” “You might have to work at weekends, now, would that be a problem childcare wise for you?” and especially “What drew you to this job?”
Yanks but no thanks for all that expertise
AN AMERICAN academic claims he’s cracked cat language, which is totally pointless, since us cat owners don’t need a translation.
We know what they’re saying. Our dear Americans friends are always poking their nose into things folk don’t need to know.
It goes back to those Founding Fathers. Those unsmiling godbothering hardliners were the most unrelentingly nosy parkers in history.
They had a devine seach warrant straight from the Pearly Gates to root out behaviour that might shock God, even between consenting adults.
To this day, the ghosts of the Puritanical black hats sit in American Senate Houses getting their spotless knickers in a twist about which adult you choose to fall in love with, as if it had something to do with them.
Anyway, I bet our American friend can only translate Stateside cats. I guarantee Leith cats will be completely different.
A fistful of cat treats causes chaos
INSIDE, it’s a spaghetti western. Now and then, just because I am a bit of little devil, I throw a cat treat into the feline triangle. The tension soars. The eyes flick. The sound of a keening trumpet solo in an Ennio Morricone anthem rises through the room, mainly because I’ve put The Good, The Bad and The Ugly soundtrack on.
Sully breaks first. He can handle the new upstart. He bops the little terror away, but it means he takes his eyes of the prize. Gerts, much to my surprise, shows a remarkable turn of girl power and sweeps in to seize the treat from the squabbling lads. Somewhere in here there’s a lesson about the election.
Please don’t worry, everyone gets cat treats next, because I’m an old softy.