Unlike most people who get woken in the morning by an alarm clock I usually get woken by my furry ginger wake up call, otherwise known as Flapjack! He’s a funny cat, very possessive, often sleeping on the bed with us all night long (and if he’s not sleeping on us he’s at the foot of the bed leaning against legs, back, bum and licking loudly or nibbling toes!). His favourite trick is to stand on your chest purring loudly until you open your eyes and stroke him, actually a pretty effective way to wake your owners up (suffocate and deafen them at the same time!) and cannily similar to my favourite Simon’s Cat anecdote (below).
It got me thinking about a cat’s purr, it’s a very satisfying sound. Thought to be an involuntary way of a cat expressing its comfort, pleasure or friendship to a cat lover like myself there is no greater reassurance that your cat is happy and feels safe. I don’t believe in the saying that you are either a cat or a dog person as I love all animals but I feel like I just “get” cats a little more. Yes they bring me dead (or sometime half alive) animals, they climb on surfaces, get in my way on the stairs and throw up all over my (now well stained) carpet but they are never lacking in the affection they give me back. If I leave a room they will follow me, if I’m lonely or sad they seek me out and stay by my side for hours at a time. They are just as much part of my family as anyone else and I genuinely look forward to seeing them each day, rushing home from work to find Mischief waiting on the windowsill for me, waiting to give me a welcome cuddle whilst Flapjack emerges bleary eyed from my bedroom and rushes down the stairs to nuzzle around my feet and demand “tummy time”.
I’ve know cat’s who for whatever reason don’t purr. We have a frequent visiting stray neighbourhood male tabby cat (rather unimaginatively nicknamed Tabby in our house) that will come in, eat whatever food is down in the kitchen, sleep in our lounge overnight and then run off as soon as we try to stroke him or make contact. We’ve managed to build some trust and achieve a quick rub of his ears or have him stick around if we’re in the room now but not once have I heard him purr and this makes me feel quite sad. I feel it is every cat’s right to be safe, healthy and loved and poor Tabby’s trust in humans seems to have long since departed. I long to hear him purr because at least then I would know that he is in some way happy but unfortunately I’m not sure he even remembers how to.
It’s amazing how such a small sound can represent so much about the relationship between a cat and a human, there are no games with cats, they will always let you know where you stand with them. I want all cats to feel loved and that’s why I always stop and stroke a cat on the street, make a beeline for cats at pubs or friend’s houses and will fight for a world of safe and happy cats where every cat wants to purr to its heart’s content 🙂
I wouldn’t describe myself as a brilliant gardener, I rarely follow the guidance on plants when I buy them, care about sun positions or soil types and my garden is definitely an experiment in survival of the fittest; I plant and whatever can handle the cats, snow, frost or shade thrives. That’s not to say I haven’t put in many hours outside de-weeding (I really HATE de-weeding), pruning and generally trying to create a garden worth spending time in. When my husband and I bought our house 4 years ago the garden was, well it was a wreck, don’t believe me here’s the proof!
Despite the wreckage, a fence panel shortage crisis and many shrubs and flowers which died the garden is finally starting to thrive.
Having originally tried to limit the garden to white, purple and blue flowers only we scrapped this last year as certain types like Nemesias or Salvias were just not happy year on year and were only lasting for one season so instead we have now opted for a more country garden feel where any colour is welcome. It’s not quite there yet, the grass needs some work and some of the newer plants still need to become established but thanks to the recent good weather I wanted to share how pretty and relaxing it has been these last few weeks, a real haven to come home to at the end of the day. The cats have also been making the most of their own slice of jungle adventure, Flapjack is especially likely to be found curled up beneath my Ceanothus on sunny days! Now all I need is a friendly hedgehog to come and make his home here 🙂
So, it seems only fair to introduce you to two furry faces who will almost certainly grace these pages as I share more of my adventures with you. First we have the gorgeous Mischief, my little East London stowaway who appeared on my bed one night 10 years ago after sneaking into my flat, a frightened little skinny cat who has grown into a wise and loving (if not impatient) companion.
Next we have the newer addition to the household, Flapjack my 4 year old ginger terror who thinks the world is there entirely for him and who has no sense of boundaries…luckily for us both he makes up for all his demands tenfold in love and affection
Unfortunately they both hate each other and I wouldn’t be surprised if neighbours streets away could hear their yowling whenever the fur flies (usually initiated by Flapjack but Mischief tends to hold her own despite the lack of teeth!)
I shan’t doubt it will be long before they provide me with furry tales (excuse the pun) to tell…watch this space 🙂