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Life Chez Dee Episode #42: Pesky Kittens

I went to see the film “Cats” this evening. It was my Christmas present from William. He knew I wanted to see it and so without prompt, treated me to this … he did however, ask Justin to go with me as he couldn’t bear to come with me to watch it! Well I absolutely loved it … I knew I would. The critics slated it … what do they know? All I say is that those who love musicals, who love theatre, who have seen the theatre production of Cats will love it … I am that person. I love musicals, I love theatre, I have seen the production of Cats on stage twice, and regret not having seen it more. The film is true to the stage production; it is true to the original poems. Bravo. I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD so that I can own a copy and sing along as I did have to consciously restrain myself from singing along.

I get back and it prompts me into thinking that I haven’t written about my two lovely, yet very pesky kittens for a bit.

They’re keeping me busy and on my toes that’s for sure. I’ve become twitchy; looking over my shoulder; hiding things away; thinking ahead, planning for what could go wrong, how they might escape, how they might get hold of food. I feel like I’ve gone back in time and am toddler proofing my house all over again. And I’ve come to the conclusion that having kittens is rather like having toddlers, except of course that toddlers can’t get on ridiculously high kitchen units.

There are toys everywhere … all over the lounge, the kitchen, the hallway – this place is booby-trapped quite honestly, and you take your life in your hands in case you tread on a ball and trip head over feet. There’s a pillow stuffed up my chimney in the back room, which seems to have become a feature; and we now have bifold doors on the dining room so that we can shut the cats either in or out of that room.

I say we now have bifold doors … that’s a story in itself. We have the litter tray in that room so the cats need access there … they seem to pee constantly, and I seem to be clearing the tray constantly too. But I needed somewhere to shut the cats or out if we were using the front door, or the back door rather than worrying about them escaping. We took a view that the longer we kept the cats inside, they might want to stay close by … I have no idea if that logic will translate to the cat psyche when we let them out, but that is my thinking. Anyway, the door to the dining room has never shut properly since Edward had a strop and slammed the door, the wrong way, ripping it out of its frame! [This is in fact a story in itself, so I may leave for another day.] We always just had the door there as a feature, and a place for all the kids drawings and makings to be stuck up for all to admire. Well, the door to the dining room opened to the right as you entered the room, and I thought it reduced the size of the room somewhat so wanted it rehanging to open on the other wall … but there’s a light switch in the way and if I rehung the door we’d have to reach all the way behind it to get to the switch … so I have a great idea that we’ll replace it for bifold doors. But as with any form of DIY, things are never that simple, and because we live in an old house, and none of the walls, or in this case doorframes, are straight, there was much faffing going on with Justin removing the door, planing it down time and again until eventually it fitted the polygon shaped doorway.

The cats are everywhere, nowhere it seems is out of bounds for them. Tops of doors, on top of the TV, they’re in the cupboard with the plates and glasses if we don’t remember to shut the doors, and they’ve even managed to get on top of the highest kitchen units, right up at the ceiling in my pitched roof space. How on earth do they get there? Well they find a way up on the opposite side of the kitchen, via the top of the fridge, then cooker hood, then units … and to get on the opposite side, they take a leap of faith and jump from one side of the kitchen to the other, skimming the ceiling lights in the process. And it was on one of their expeditions up at the top of the kitchen units that they find a box of unopened cat biscuits, knock them off, and between them eat the whole box. I’ve a good idea which pesky cat did this … the one who’s completely and utterly obsessed with food and who is a thief … my beautiful, loving, adorable, butter wouldn’t melt, Pablo. Of course, Claude isn’t one for turning down the opportunity of a meal which has been laid out for him on the kitchen floor and he joined in this feast too. Between them this box would have fed them for well over a fortnight, and yet they managed to demolish it in the hour I was out of the house. And still they wanted food that evening!! And how do they get down? Well if you’re Pablo, you come down the same route as you take on the way up … but not if you’re Claude … he takes a leap of faith and just jumps down to the floor … it is utterly unbelieveable, it can’t be good for him as it must bloody hurt, but it’s certainly no good for me as my heart leaps into my mouth!

The cat food nicking incident was funny, although I did tell them off. Again, this is like telling off your kids, or a teenager … they’re not remotely bothered about the fact that you’re angry with them. You get a disdainful look and they carry on with whatever they’re up to. So they were carried in one by one, told a severe “No”, and they even had me wagging my finger as I said this pointing to the empty box of biscuits. Did they understand? I have no idea, but they did know I was cross, for what it was worth.

They knock things off, they knock things over. They’re incredibly clumsy as they’re walking around … and they eat my flowers … leaves, flowers, they don’t mind which … Claude has been known to try and climb into the vase of flowers too. I find flower heads scattered around the lounge floor, on chairs, even in the washing up bowl … yes, these cats don’t mind water either. But because they’re eating flowers that now means that I can’t buy lillies anymore … can’t risk it.

They’re fascinated by water, and don’t seem at all bothered by it, so that bodes well for when they’re out in the rain. They seem to constantly migrate to the sink and watch the bubbles, attack my hands when I’m washing up; they watch the water, I’ve even seen them drinking the water from the washing up bowl! They climb in the dishwasher, they climb in the washing machine, and the tumble dryer. I have to check all the time that they’re not in there before I set the machine off on its cycle.

All the antics are just like thinking for a toddler again, and just as lovely are the moments they come for a cuddle. Pablo all the time. As soon as you sit in a chair he’s on your lap, Claude tends to come for a cuddle when it’s late in the evening, as he’s getting tired, then he’ll come along and he wants a fuss.

I didn’t have a Christmas tree this year as my stress levels couldn’t handle it to be honest. We have a tree outside the French doors … in fact this is the tree that was sponsored by Hadfields for the Trees for Edward in the Winter Gardens Tree Festival. Rather than throw it away afterwards, I donated money to the charity after the Festival had finished and it now resides in the garden, adorned with a few cheap baubles (so that we can throw them if they’re not fit for anything after Christmas is over) and a couple of sets of timed battery lights.

Since the lounge looked like it was really lacking in looking festive I decided to buy one of those stick trees with lights on the branches. I’d seen a lovely one in Leafy Lytham Garden Hub and decided to support local, and go and see Greg for one. It looks beautiful in the lounge, but the cats think it looks great too, and I spend my time policing them from jumping into the branches, chewing the branches or chewing the wire! Hence, they’re now shut out of the lounge when we go out and they’re without a minder! Not just because of the tree though, they’ve also pulled chairs, and blankets with their claws … not deliberately … they just get them stuck in the threads, but nonetheless, I don’t want all our lovely things wrecked.

So they’re shut out of the lounge when we’re out, they’re shut out of the bedrooms at night, because they are a pain and wake us up … and Claude jumps and attacks feet and legs when he sees the slightest movement. It really isn’t conducive to a relaxing environment when you’re on edge thinking you’re going to be attacked at any moment.

Claude and Pablo are their family names, but I wonder what their cat name is? What is the name they think of whilst in deep contemplation? They really are part of the family, and I’m sure they were sent by Edward to cause chaos in our house.

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