Thank you for agreeing to look after my two cats while I am away on holiday.
Jet, my large black moggy, needs feeding twice a day (although she often gets a third meal) and letting out to use the garden to toilet in the morning and at night. Otherwise she is very happy to sit on a chair in the kitchen or the bench in the garden all day.
Amber, the Abyssinian, is a different matter.
1. Toilet. She doesn’t like going outside and will avoid getting her paws cold at any cost. She will rattle the keys in the door when she wants to go out and you must leave the porch door open and wait for her so that you can let her back into the house straight away. If left outside unaccompanied outside or for longer than 3 minutes, she will scratch at the window and whine like an air raid siren until the neighbours complain.
2. Feeding. She eats very little throughout the day and will often leave her food untouched. There are several reasons why she does is.
a. Food cannot be too hot or too cold. If it is fresh from the oven then you should blow on it for a few minutes before giving it to her. A burnt mouth results in days of sulking. If the food comes directly from the fridge then it will need leaving out for a few minutes to warm to room temperature.
b. All food MUST be cut into tiny pieces. Anything larger than bitesize or food that needs chewing will be ignored.
c. Her food dish cannot be put on the cat food mat because that is where Jet, the other cat, eats. She will NEVER walk to her dish and the food must be presented under her nose wherever she stands.
d. She tends not to like cat food or any kind of meat, except chicken. If all else fails, she likes vanilla and strawberry ice-cream, strawberry yoghurt, salmon and southern fried chicken.
3. Watering. Even though there is a water bowl next to her food dish, she will only drink out of her special mug. When she stands on the corner of the table (where I usually put my glass of water) that is the signal that she would like a drink. She will expect you to fetch one for her straight from the tap in her special mug. Watch your own glass though, if you’re not looking then she will try and drink out of it.
4. Furniture. She has a large scratching post that dominates the front room and she has claimed one of the leather chairs in the front room – the one with the cushion and cat blanket on it. If you accidentally sit in this chair then she will remind you by sitting on the scratching post opposite and whining aggressively.
5. Sleeping. There are three cat beds in the bedroom but these are for Jet. Amber doesn’t ‘do’ sleeping on the floor. She usually sleeps right in the middle of my bed at night (which is why I am so tired most mornings). She lolls against my stomach/back and pushes me further across the bed during the night. If she wants the pillow, she will scratch at my head until I move out of her way and clear some room. Due to her senior age, she often needs to pee in the middle of the night. She will rattle the front door keys and expect you to get out of bed by the second rattle, whatever hour of the morning it might be. Again, you will be expected to wait for her in the front porch, as outlined in point 1. Oh and she snores terribly.
6. Other notes.
If you are sitting on the sofa then she will expect to sit on your lap, no questions asked. Trying to move her will result in lots of whining and she will attach herself to you by digging her claws into your thighs. Attempting to remove her can be very painful.
She makes a lot of noise. I mean a lot of noise. I am convinced that she has adopted the British art of SHOUTING VERY LOUDLY when there is a communication problem. If you ignore her then she will begin a crescendo of repetitive meows that will gradually drive you insane…
She has a number of cat toys stuffed into the scratching post tunnel that she will randomly scatter throughout the house during the day. Please watch out for toy balls in the hallway, old shoelaces on the stairs and sopping wet catnip mice in the front room. She likes to keep me on my toes (and once in a while, off them…)
Never, ever laugh at her. If she walks into a wall or falls off something then just ignore it and laugh in another room. She knows that you’re mocking her and instantly flies into a foul mood (which inevitably results in taking her frustration out on the other cat)…
Never introduce her to other cats. Or people, for that matter. She does not mix socially and even the friendliest of encounters inevitably ends in a fight.
Thank you once again (and Good Luck!),
The Muse xoxo