Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finally, the cat gets the attention she deserves

I feel that I've not really made enough of the cat's role in Eve's life. She has, every so often, popped up in passing but she is almost as responsible for Eve's upbringing in many respects as myself or H.

Marlow, the cat, has had a rather difficult life. She was one of two rescue moggies we got in London when I first moved in with the Boy, saving her from a fate of being called Ziggy Stardust by the foster owner. She is a real street cat who loved where we lived in London because she could catch mice and fight with the foxes. In her short life she has had a few nasty health issues and been run over, as well as moving half-way round the world, living with her hated sister in a confined space, and her sister dying two years ago (an event which she greeted with glee).

She is part of our family, and we were really worried how she would react to Eve. She's never been around children, takes up residence behind the sofa when any children visit, and is not known for being cuddly. I had also read all the stories about cats going to sleep in the children's cot and smothering them. All in all, I was worried.

I needn't have. Marlow ignored Eve's very existence for the first few months until Eve was mobile. Not even a sniff, and she would run from the room at the first hint of crying. The last thing she would have done is go near the cot and got even closer to this strange new creature in our home. Once Eve started to crawl Marlow set up residence on high surfaces and only came down when absolutely necessary. When Eve started to walk, she moved a little faster and sat a little farther away from the edges of the high surfaces.

Now Eve can climb (onto most of the soft high surfaces that the cat likes such as the bed and the sofa). She can also prod, grab, pull and poke. All of which she does to the cat despite my best attempts to tell her not to. For Eve the cat is one big living toy for her to play with, Eve adores her. I feel quite sorry for the cat.

Marlow has never, once, reacted to Eve. Not a hiss or a claw have ever been raised. She will occasionally glare at me, but nothing directed at Eve. For this I am grateful, but it doesn't help her case. My brother-in-law's cat reacted to Eve's tail pulling by scratching Eve, after which Eve gave her a very wide berth. If only Marlow wasn't so nice then perhaps she would get a little less "Eve love".

Postscript: Where we live there are a lot of large birds of prey. A friend told me they are kites. On Saturday one swooped a little too close to our balcony where the cat was sleeping in the sun. Marlow would make a rather nice lunch I suspect. Since then, the Boy have taken to referring to the cat as "bird food".

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