For most of my life there has been a cat (or more than one) who has been a member of my household. I don’t remember a time, as a child, when we didn’t share our house with a cat – apart from a gap when Puss died and before Blackett arrived.

My wife and I got two cats within a year of getting married and once again, apart from a short gap we have given a home to a cat ever since. For a short spell we had three cats with us, but usually it has been two. Now it is just one – this one.


We had arrived, some years ago, at a time when our last cat had died. We decided, that as we were approaching retirement age we wouldn’t have another cat. That, we decided, would enable trips away to be easier. But then I was prevailed upon to take this youngish kitten as a favour to a friend. His son had had the cat foisted upon him and with a baby imminently due they felt unable to have kitty and baby in the same space. So I helped out and we had the cat. She was already called Willow and it was a name we kept although we fairly rapidly changed its gender for Willow – we had no doubt – was a male. And ‘was’ is the right tense there. Tom cats are not well suited to life in a human house. They spray their scent liberally.

In many ways Willow is the worst cat we have ever had. Oh, he’s affectionate and we are sure he loves us as much as we love him but he is very demanding. At times we think he’s an educationally subnormal cat. Like any cat, he demands food. We may know he has some in his bowl but he won’t go and look. He requires one of his humans to lead the way and put a finger in the bowl before he realises the food is there.

His need for attention can extend to exceedingly bad manners. Maybe he thinks we are being stupid. If he decides we haven’t noticed he wants something he comes and bites an ankle. It isn’t a hard bite, but it is still unwelcome. And it gets him what he wants which is some attention.

In the evening, he often demands that we play with him. Toys are more fun if a human operates them for him to chase and catch. His favourite is an old, frayed bootlace which he chases all over the house.

I’m afraid Willow is also a furniture scratcher. In more than forty years of cats we never had such a thing. We probably made a mistake for Willow arrived with a purchased scratch post and we didn’t want it.

But despite it all he brings joy to us. He’s what we want to see when we have been away. We’d just like to improve a couple of bad habits.


2 Responses to “Cats”

  1. opobs Says:

    Two paragraphs sound like you are describing my cat, he has to be shown his food only moments after walking away from it and he also likes to nip my ankle, gently. Mine is a dear really, but very lazy and sleeps most of the day except when he thinks I’m doing something out of the ordinary or talking to the neighbours as he’s very nosey.

    • locksands Says:

      How can cats be so silly over food and yet the wild life is not in any way safe from our beast. Our cat, too, lived up to that old maxim about cats and curiosity, although I’m pleased to say ours hasn’t been killed by curiosity yet.
      Happy New Year. I look forward to more fascinating posts from you in 2015.

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