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Life Chez Dee Episode #28: Claude and Pablo

I couldn’t let another week pass without talking about the new members of the Dee household. We have two beautiful black kittens. They’re about 4 months old. It’s an approximation because it’s what the cat sanctuary think their age is. The kittens are brothers and from a litter of 4, their sisters we unfortunately said goodbye to when we brought these two lovely brothers home with us last week.

It was a hard decision choosing which kittens to go for, but we decided to opt for the two brothers as these were the kittens which wouldn’t leave us alone when we visited the cat sanctuary, and I’m a firm believer in thinking that it really is the cat who chooses you, rather than the reverse.

Our first job was to name them. Our last cat came with a name, we didn’t get to pick. Of course Oliver came out with so many nonsense names like fluffy (yes, one of them is fluffy)! William suggested we use names such as Dave, Bob, Keith, Frank for example. They’re brothers so we thought about pairings of comedy duos, we thought about actors, writers and musicians. William was adamant he wanted the name Claude … he liked it and thought it was a cool name for a cat, so I tried to find a name that might pair nicely with it. We finally plumped for Pablo., so we have cats with the names of French and Spanish painters. Pablo has short black hair, a beautiful boy, all black in fact, all except for a tiny splash of white on his chest, just a speck which looks like he’s just caught himself on a corner of white paint. Claude is semi long haired, and I can’t quite decide if he’s brown, or if he’s black … so we’ll go with browny black; he has tufty hairs on his ears, and quite remarkable eyes which are an unusual hazel brown colour.

There are those of you who are regular readers of my blogs, who will have read about my beautiful black cat, Nico. But what many of you won’t know is that Nico was killed in June. He was run over, in our road, outside our house (almost) by a post van. He took an enormous blow to the head, and was killed outright. The trauma of this was very difficult, especially for Justin who was in the house at the time, and had to go and retrieve him.

We’d not had Nico very long, just 12 months … he was only just 2 when he was killed. The fact that he was killed by a car was bad enough for the boys, and indeed all of us to deal with, but I was conscious that the boys had coped with enough death and trauma in the family, we’d been through it more than we could bear any more …. not that this is in any way the same, or in any way even on the same scale as losing Edward … our son, their brother. I just wanted some nice things to happen in the family … for the family. When we chose Nico … not only did we love his character and knew straight away he’d fit in perfectly. We knew he was a young cat, and really believed that we wouldn’t be dealing with another traumatic death in the family quite so soon.

We have wanted to get another cat for the boys, but we knew we wanted to choose carefully. We wanted a cat who would fit in, wasn’t a nervous cat, a cat that was fairly bomb proof, who wouldn’t mind the chaos and noise of our family. Not that we’re more chaotic than any other household with children … but there is a lot of noise, particularly as we’re a rather musical household. We needed a cat who would get used to the piano playing, the trumpet, the drums and the saxophone. Nico tolerated all that noise … all except the saxophone … that made him run a mile!

As I said we chose these two beautiful brothers. Their sisters were equally lovely, albeit smaller than the boys. It was a hard decision, but I wasn’t taking four kittens. We’d already had our arms bent to get two kittens rather than one!

The kittens are lovely, friendly, affectionate, lively, inquisitive … everything you’d expect from kittens. They’ve discovered places I never dreamed they’d go. Within minutes of them coming into our house we’d stuffed a pillow up the chimney as Pablo stood in the grate looking up the chimney on several occasions. It has been like going back in time when you need to child proof the house, cover things up, hide things away.

We’re using the word “no” rather frequently. They’re trying to get on the table when we eat; the kitchen worktops as I’m preparing food; the cupboard full of glasses which had been left ajar. I have repeatedly put them down on the floor and told them no … I’m not sure how many times you have to say this before they learn though. Anyway, we found a very tiny water pistol the other day (must have come out of a party bag at some point). Pablo was sitting on the cooker hood … Claude had jumped on the top of the fridge and on top of the cupboard above it … and they wouldn’t come down. Out came the water pistol. A quick squirt and a “no” is all it took and down they came. I really hope they’re fast learners though … it’s rather exhausting all this training.

So yesterday was quite a palaver to be honest. I’m the first downstairs that morning, and the first thing I see as I walk in the dining room is a paper bag on the floor … the paper bag which had had some Roly’s Fudge in it. William and Oliver had been eating this, and had left the bag out on the kitchen worktop … and one of these cheeky cats decided that they’d help themselves. I’m baffled as to why they’d want to eat fudge … but that’s what they did.

I didn’t think much more of it until then it started … the litter tray was being used by Claude. Well that was evidence of who the fudge eating culprit was! Dear God … it was so obvious … and this was just the start.

All cleared and cleaned up … but then Pablo uses the litter tray. Clearly he’d had his share of the fudge too!

After more shit shifting I confront the boys, and ask how much fudge was in the packet which had been eaten. Five large pieces were in there. Well no wonder they were in this state! One of those pieces of fudge is by far enough for me to eat, so these little tummies were overloaded with this rich, sticky, deliciousness.

All day this went on. Squits and shits … clearing it up … trips to the outdoor bin! Squits and shits … clearing it up … trips to the outdoor bin. All day!

Enough was enough and I decided that their teatime meal would be a boiled egg with some rice. I needed to resort to something to bung them up a bit. They nibbled that … obviously not very keen … but it did the trick and put a stop to the constant trips to the bathroom for them!

We’ve had lots of fun and games, laughter and enjoyment from these brothers already, and we’ve only had them a week.

We’ve loved their company, their antics, and it already feels like we’ve had them for ages. I just know there will be an endless list of stories involving these boys, and I’ll no doubt have endless anecdotes to share. I’m writing this blog; I have cats trying to walk over the keyboard as I type; it’s late, the mad half hour will begin very soon (yes they have a mad hour every evening about 10pm), usually incorporating a daily scrap ... even feline brothers seem to scrap … and so the noise, chaos and fun continues.


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