Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Tale of Two Kitties

My apologies to Charles Dickens.

I seem to have a new issue here.

"Our" Ginger (in front), is as happy as a cat can be, and though we have stolen him away from his former owners, only over the back fence, that is what it is and cannot be helped. He seems to love us. He seems to love me. Whatever magic I performed on him, he loves me. I love him.

His brother, whom he runs around with, naturally, has recently taken a real shine to me as well.

This is more problematic for me. To steal away one kitty seems unfortunate. To steal away two, well, that's just downright mean.

Now, apart from the fact that our garden, which to be honest is still half wilderness (oh, I have let it languish), is chock full of cats, these two seem to have made a friend of me. But only in recent nights, has Big Brother spent some serious time here. Last year he wouldn't give me the time of day. Now, he is all over the scratchings I give him behind the ear. He can't get enough of it. And even tonight, for the first time, he did that weird thing that cats do, that kneading/chewing thing that, frankly, freaked me out the first time little Ginger did it. I find it strangely endearing and cute now, but it's still - weird. Cats are really quite extraordinary creatures.

So the other night, Big Bro and Ginger were inside, but the kitchen door was always open - still, I found as I was readying myself for bedtime, that suddenly I had not one, but two ginger cats lying on the bed. Hello?

In the end Big Bro went out. I was left with the usual little guy (who still wanted out at 5 am, thank you very much).

Tonight. Well, you see the time, past midnight. There are still two gingers inside. I don't see the possibility of either of them leaving. They have been in all evening. I was on the phone from 10 pm chatting to my family for a while, then on the phone again chatting to my husband. In the meantime, I watched as they firstly, were lying down placidly on the rug, then one was on top of the other, and I don't think it was just play (I think Ginger was a bit peeved, to be honest), then they played cat and mouse behind the sofa, then they lay down again.

Having finished my phone call and seeing only Ginger, I assumed (never assume with cats) that indeed Big Bro had gone out the open kitchen door. Except when I checked, it was only a tiny bit ajar, not enough to let a cat out.

Sure enough, I pushed open the door to the small guest room, which had been ajar, and heard: "purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr". He has a very, very loud purr.

Here we sit in the living room, me, Ginger, and Big Brother. As I will need to shut the kitchen door soon, I think I may be hosting two small, perfectly formed ginger cats tonight.

Big Bro is still purring, on the sofa. He's just lying there, curled up, and purring, for goodness sake.

Sweet dreams, all.

Addendum: Ginger came in at 5:00 am and batted me on the nose, and they both went out.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Winter Wonderland

As promised, Siberia has sent us a snow storm.

They say this is the worst snowfall in 18 years, but to be honest, I've lived here 20 years and I've never seen anything like it!

Very pretty, of course, and I even enjoyed venturing out in it (complete with three layers plus parka, earmuffs, heavy gloves, and the boots I purchased for the Chicago weather, which I never expected to use here). I joined the other few intrepid souls and took a little walk down to the shops. Half of which were closed!

The "Catford Cat", normally black, turned white.

The reason I had such leisure time to go walking in the snow is because London has ground to a halt. Hence, no trains, no buses, short of walking to work I was never going to make it (nor could anyone else, so my boss wisely decided not to open the office today). As I contemplated the white garden from my kitchen window, I noticed one hardy little kitty (the lively Blackie) wasn't put off by the whole thing.

Last I measured, it was 5 inches. I would hazard a guess that at least a further inch has fallen, and it hasn't stopped yet.

So that's, ooo, a whole half a foot? And I remember drifts of 6 feet, growing up in the Midwest ...

Still, this is unusual for the South East of England, to say the least. I would imagine they don't have quite as many gritters and snow-plow trucks here.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?