Saturday, October 22, 2011

Two cats

We've been looking after our friend's cat, Lila, for over a year now. She's an endearingly clumsy grey haired cat, who likes cheese, yoghurt, and walking on our chests to wake us up at five in the morning. Lila's fulltime staff (cat's don't have owners, they have attendants) was away in Africa for the last month, so after a brief Lila-shaped absence in our flat, we'd got her back.

Unfortunately for Lila, a second cat was on the way...

Some of our other friends had recently given houseroom to a little black kitten, all of six months old and all sharp claws and squeaks. As they were going to be away for two weeks and they knew we loved cats, we arranged to take Sesame off them. Lila would be out of the flat and returned to her now-out-of-Africa guardian, and we'd have an uninterrupted supply of cat.

What we didn't bank on was holding onto Lila for another week, in which time Sesame had arrived, and a state of low-level warfare had begun in our flat.

Lila, previously of peaceable, if not downright stunned, disposition, began to make angry sounds, a cross between an electrical fire and a puncture. Sesame, with the hyperactivity of any kitten, careered around our flat, skidding across wooden floors, repeatedly scaling the heights of our curtains, and trying to rush Lila while she was eating.

Lila weighs seven or eight pounds; Sesame at most two, so these attacks were quickly rebuffed, but Sesame, with that playful/overfriendly/irritating/obstinate persistency of a young creature, continues to rush towards Lila and then be repelled by the older feline's growl. She'll clamber over bags and leap up in the air, only to be interrupted in these levitations by a paw, batting at her (Lila is too decent to go claws out at this level of provocation). She'll inch across the living room floor, trying a sneak attack on Lila's dinner: no dice. And she'll try to turn us against Lila by being winningly cute, yet she has still to realise that cute and clawmarks on people's feet are mutually incompatible.
Lila tries to take the high ground in this; Sesame has boundless enthusiasm, but not yet the power to get onto countertops in a single bound. However, Lila's initial stronghold of the top of the shoe cupboard has been overcome, when Sesame realised she could climb claw-over-claw up the side of our furniture. I worry that before long, Lila will have no safe corner in the flat to call her own.

Tomorrow though, Lila will go on holiday for a week and a half, and we'll be left with Sesame, who does have some endearing qualities: while I slept this afternoon, she kept bringing mice and depositing them on my lap. I should be thankful that these were mice made from cloth and catnip (with a yard of string still attached) and this may betoken a greater killer instinct than Lila has exhibited - so far Lila's death toll has been a maximum of two cockroaches, and a Hong Kong cat needs to work a bit harder than that.


Anonymous said...

Are there enough cockroaches to let Sesame practice though?

Jeannie@Catlittercritic said...

Oh my gosh! Thank the heavens for cloth mice! They are so good at catching the roaches aren't they?

Don't worry, I think Sesame will soon realize who the boss is! ;-)

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