Monday, 25 January 2010

Austin's new best friend!

I couldn't quite believe it, but not having noticed this little fella for weeks nestled amongst the ornaments, yesterday Austin suddenly perked up and started poking and nudging, with his eyes all big and excited.  Is it a love affair or does he see a rival here?  There's no knowing really, except he's very gentle with it!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Ritual and astrological flim-flam !

There is no doubt that Austin is a fine cat, especially with his winter coat. His fur is fluffy, his undercarriage is rotund and soft and he continues to love being brushed. We have got into a rather samey routine. At a specific time every night, just as I am coming to grips with the world situation courtesy of the BBC, he slinks into the room and disappears behind the curtain to survey his entire catdom for a moment or two out the window. When all is to his satisfaction, I hear a thud followed by a "chirrup" as he emerges through the curtain - sometimes he misses the gap and you can see the bumps as he "noses" along like some act at the Royal Variety that's missed it's cue!

Eventually his head appears and he strides purposefully across the floor, head low, his eyes giving the "look" that welds me to the chair as I (too late) try to avoid the subsequent assault on my person.  With another warning chirrup he hurls himself into my lap and starts his unique massage technique which nearly always results in some blood letting. When that is done to his satisfaction he snuggles himself down in his own personal overstuffed armchair (me!), his head thrust in the palm of one hand and his posterior wedged in the other.  He's quickly asleep making contented little cat sighs, moans and grunts until his dreams take over and the twitching, jerking and eye rolling begins.  By then he's forgotten where he is, so when his dream reaches the point of dénouement he rolls over on his back and - because I've become bored (or too horrified) with the world situation and my own head's nodding surreptitiously - the buttocks hand becomes somewhat relaxed. This causes his rear end to sag dangerously over the side of my leg and he topples to the floor and in doing so he adds several more puncture wounds to my already well-perforated thigh!  We both act surprised and there's a fair amount of clearing of throats and looking the other way in embarrassment!  I then have to console him with a brush and a tickle under the chin!

Throughout winter he's been very loathe to go outside, even in the day, but especially at night. This, I'm sure, was caused by a mixture of fireworks and high winds.  So now we have to go through the ritual of checking every window and door for potential danger.  There is no way I can bundle him outside without going through this tortuous process first.

(By the way have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter how disinclined a cat is to go outside, even when you unceremoniously dump them out the window, they still manage to end up look utterly bored, aloof and condescending with that "this-is-exactly-where-I-intended-to-be" air about them as they mince off into the undergrowth for a pee?)

Anyway these days it's got to the point that Austin practically has to consult his astrological chart before he ventures out.  So there is much discussion about aspect patterns and the ascendancy of Jupiter in the third house when Mars is rising on the cusp.  It's very exacting. I now know more about the Metonic Cycle than I ever wanted - or needed! Much as I want to just give him a kick up his Imum Coeli, I have to wait until his nodal chart is synthetic or some such thing!  Life is getting sooooo complicated ;>)

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Rubbing along!

Here we are in a new year (new decade?) and Austin and I have had our little disagreements, but we are working through them with some help.  We fought the battle over where he should spend the night and eventually I won, but not without a few sleepless nights and arguments in the hallway. 

I would be more than happy to allow him to sleep on my bed (it's plenty big enough), but his nighttime habits are rather exhausting.  It would be ok if he slept the night away on his side of the bed, but (so like a man) he wants my bit as well!  And then there is this staring thing he does when he thinks I might be dead when I haven't moved for a nanosecond.  It's rather disconcerting to awake to a pair of green laser eyes pinning one to the bed, not to mention the odd poke in a facial orifice with a sharpened claw. 

So we tried letting him have the run of the house with the bedroom doors shut, but this led to rather furtive and fraught trips to the loo at 3 a.m. when leg crossing was no longer an option. It didn't matter how quiet I was, or how muted my oaths were when I stubbed my toe on the door because I couldn't turn the light on; there he was tucked up nice and warm under the duvet when I stumbled back into bed.  Purring very loudly with an oh so innocent aren't-I-gorgeous-how-can-you-resist expression as he rolls over onto his back and stretches out for a tickle and a scrunge.  What can I do but allow him his moment of glory before I drop kick him with my throbbing foot out into the hall. 

Anyway, eventually he and I had a little chat which involved full and frank exchanges (overseen by the arbitration service) and he eventually saw sense and conceded on the issue of sleeping arrangements.  However, there have been repercussions!  I have said before that Austin is not the brightest star in the firmament, but he has twigged that I'm not a morning person.  Now he's playing on that slight weakness in my character for all it's worth.  Ok I admit I'm not the one who generally lets him out in the morning, but he manages to either streak downstairs and hurl himself at my door, or, if he's unceremoniously tipped outside, he rushes around the side and jumps on my window sill and yowls at about 90 decibels.  He's louder and more efficient than any alarm.   I think he has an "oedipuss" complex! It must be his age. 

It's got to the point now where it's a bit unnerving as he follows me about everywhere.  But as (being a mere human) I don't follow an established route in the house or garden - especially if I'm doing chores or cooking - he's worn out and confused very quickly by my seemingly aimless wandering from kitchen drawer to living room cupboard, to drawer, to fridge, to sink, to cupboard, that now places himself in the middle of the landing at the top of the stairs, so he can watch, from his vantage point, my every move.  He then pretends to doze unconcernedly as I go about my business, but every now and then I catch a glimpse of one beady eye, watching ...... just watching!