My feline friend . . . or foe?
Don’t get me wrong, I love cats. What’s not to like?
Imagine this: You’ve had a stressful day and do not want contact with anyone. You switch the television on and flop onto the sofa. The cat places itself on your lap and rubs its face into your hand. It kneads and purrs, kneads and purrs. It looks up at you. Its expression is filled with love. It’s waited all day for this, for you. You are its world.
They are undoubtedly wonderful creatures, but . . .
Why do I find myself being awoken in the middle of the night by Mr Demanding! The first thing I feel is a gentle claw at my nostrils, my lips, or my eyelids, prising them open. I grumble and shake him away, and bury my head under the covers. But he is so persistent! He seems to know the exact spot of my eyes, despite the sheet, and tries again to get my attention, this time with more gusto. What he doesn’t realise, is that he has it. I just don’t want to play with him, nor do I want to get up and feed him!
Mr Demanding is not to be deterred. He extends his claws, and believe me when I say they are long, strong and sharp, and drags them through my hair and across my scalp.
I stifle a scream so as not to awaken hubby, who, I hasten to add never gets this treatment, and fling back the covers, bolt upright and glare at the cat sat on the bedside cabinet.
He looks at me as though butter wouldn’t melt. His expression is so adoring, and he purrs. I tell you, he purrs! ‘I love you mamma,’ he says, ‘I love you!’
Like the fool I am, I leap out of bed, but I am not going to give him what he wants, I am craftier than that, I am going to put him outside, into the cold, the British winter type of cold, with the wind and rain and the freezing temperatures.
The sight of me heading downstairs turns Mr Demanding’s expression to one of ecstasy. Despite being four years old, he looks like a kitten again, full of joyous expectation and innocence. I snigger at the sight. I know what’s coming.
I head into the kitchen, pretending to go for his food. He doesn’t follow me! He looks at me, gleeful and superior and scampers into another room. I chase after him, my frustrations rising, my patience wearing thin. I want my bed. It’s all right for him, he sleeps all day, undisturbed!
He trots away and looks over his shoulder. ‘Can’t catch me!’
I move faster. So does he, around the furniture and through the rooms, and all the time maintaining his kittenish expressions. I dive onto him. He gets away. I stumble, catching myself as I fall. Unrepeatable words leave my mouth.
I’ve had enough. Muttering under my breath, I go back to bed and bury myself under the covers, properly this time so he can’t get to me. All is quiet. I smile. Mr Demanding has had his bit of fun. I fall asleep, and remain in deep welcome sleep until . . .
He’s back! That butter-wouldn’t-melt cat is back! This time I move swifter, grab him by his neck, and stomp downstairs and throw him outside.
Peace at last. I gaze at hubby, sleeping like a baby. Why does he never get the treatment! Why is it always me!
Tonight Mr Demanding is not staying inside. But there again, maybe he’ll purr and knead, maybe he’ll look at me through those big round eyes, maybe he’ll tell me how much he loves me.
I’m such a sucker!