Sunday, 17 March 2013

Fur balls and sulking cats

If you own a cat, or have ever owned one, you will know that they can be such a source of amusement, annoyance, irritation, pleasure and amazement in equal measures (if you can indeed divide your sources into 5 equal parts).

We currently have two cats. One is an elderly moggy who we got from a friend who was changing his job and couldn't look after her due to the time he would be spending working away from home. She is called Mavis Riley (we added the Riley, I admit) and was 2 when we adopted her in 1998. Her name then was Pumpkin - something we could not bring ourselves to maintain!  She is a very pretty cat and has beautiful markings, but is also very nervous and she cowers at the slightest noise.

Oscar is a pedigree - a birman. He's nearly 10 now, but still plays and charges around the house like a crazy thing at times. He is rather like the lamb in the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb" - he follows me everywhere - in fact Keith sometimes jokes that if he comes in and wonders where I am, he just looks for Oscar and knows I will be somewhere nearby! He's a bit of a rascal at times, likes to terrorise poor Mavis by "playing" with her - this usually entails him stalking her as she walks through from the kitchen to the living room, then pouncing on her and pinning her to the ground by gripping her neck with his mouth. This wouldn't be so bad if Mavis was up for it, but most of the time she just wants to be left alone and ends up hissing at him and trying to escape.

He also sulks when he knows we are going out for the day - like he did last weekend when we were at the Prospect UPMarket event. As soon as he saw all my plastic containers and table etc in the living room, he knew we were planning on deserting him. Therefore, he sneaked into our bedroom before we had chance to shut the door, and this is how I found him on our bed:

He actually looks a bit evil on this photo due to the red eye, but I couldn't be bothered to alter it and I think it adds to the "sulky" mode!

As both our cats are long-haired, they need grooming regularly - and still manage to produce fur balls at times (which I thought would be ball shaped, but they're actually tubes of fur in case you were wondering). Mavis is not so keen at being groomed, and she has a very knotty underbelly and side - she only lets me groom her head and back, unfortunately. However, Oscar adores being groomed and lays out on his back for me to brush his tummy as well as everywhere else. When he was quite young I once collected all the fur from the grooming session and rolled it into a round ball. He saw me doing this, and "pawed" it out of my hand, chasing it across the room like a football. We've played this game ever since! He lets me take it off him, flick it across the room then he charges after it, kicking it as he goes. Today, there wasn't much of his fur on the brush, so I had to use the fur from Mavis instead. I took a photo of the two balls of fur- the one he played with is about an inch high - and we get lots of play-time from this. I wonder if anyone else has ever played this game with their cat or if I am just as silly as Oscar for inventing it!

This morning, I tried a new game with it - throwing it down the hole in the middle of his cat tower - the first time I did it, he leapt straight onto the shelf where it disappeared and stuck his head down the hole, trying desperately to find it. Once I'd shown him that it had actually fallen to the bottom of the tower and he could access it from ground level, he watched me do it over and over, retrieving it each time from the base!

He's now sleeping behind me on the chair in the computer room - I'm precariously perched on the edge of the seat in order to make room for him - cats eh? 

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