Let me introduce you to the lockdown cats, from Rye to Antigua in the Caribbean via central London. We are a family of cat lovers. Yes, I know very many of you prefer dogs. But we don’t. We like the independence and quirkiness of the cats who inhabit our lives and enjoy their idiosyncrasies and occasionally mad behaviour.
The main protagonist in this lockdown article is Barack, a black tipped silver Burmilla, an oriental breed part chinchilla Persian, part Burmese and wholly in charge of the house and owner. I am sure you can guess his age by his name. I thought Mr Obama might change the world. How foolish of me, but that’s another story.
We also have a British shorthair called Lily living in central London, whose furry nose has been put out of joint by the arrival of a new baby, but being of a calm disposition, she simply takes every advantage afforded by two parents working from home and caring for the baby to make her presence known. She loves lockdown, everyone is at home, and even if she prefers the bathroom floor to every other perch, still, there are lots more comings and goings, so to speak.
Then of course, Antigua and Barbuda had a complete two week lockdown and still have a curfew. This cat is called Tuesday because that was the day she was found. Rescued as a starving kitten, she is the most independent of the three, necessity having dictated it in her earliest months, but she has been around the house and garden since lockdown started and is sharing every Facetime call, with a tendency to step on the screen midway. She likes the warmth of the deck, and her owner’s lignum vitae trees in pots, a favourite perch, if not very good for the tree.
And as for Barack, a chatty cat and good company to an isolated owner, he has declared war on the local mouse population, and decided I am not capable of feeding myself by presenting me with what feels like endless stream.
He brought a live one into my bathroom the other night and it took two hours of our combined efforts to rescue it from behind the basin, during which time I descended to the garage at 2am to chuck everything out of the storage boxes to find the humane mouse trap. We succeeded. I released a very cross and very alive mouse into the garden.
Barack loves me to be at home all the time, whatever I may think of it, and spends a lot of time flat out on my knee, arriving from I know not where every time I have a tea break. I seem to spend a lot of time gardening, walking and tidying, and need a lot of tea breaks. He announces his arrival with a cacophony of miaows (as an oriental cat, he likes a chat) before landing with a thump thus preventing me from my latest mask making project, which I have serious doubts about anyway.
I am sure lots of you have pets reacting in different ways to all of this. We would love to hear from you, just send us an e mail or submit a story.
Image Credits: Gillian Roder , Gillian Rodee .