Dumb animals? No way! Lucky was an animal at one of our homesits this year. A former stray who had fallen on all four paws when he selected his present owners.
Perhaps I should explain homesitting. George and I work for a company who provide `sitters` for properties and pets when the owners are away.
As usual, we went for a preliminary meeting at the house to make sure that we looked reputable and reliable and we, in turn, took a quick look at the facilities to make sure they were up to standard (believe me, there have been occasions when they were not!).
We were told all about Lucky and his habits – although there were various employees in and around the house most days and most of the day, Lucky got lonely in the evenings so we were there mainly to keep him company. Well other people`s cats are rather difficult – unlike dogs who take to you (mostly) immediately and show you their favourite ball and roll over to have their tummies tickled – cats are far more selective. We spoke to Lucky and gave him a stroke as he went past – eyeing us up the while. Next thing we knew, he had jumped up on the bench seat between us, settling down immediately and fixing his owner with a straight stare that said `I like these people – they will do.` We got the job.
Next thing Lucky had to let us know all about him. Nah – ignore the careful handwritten notes left by his loving owner – Lucky is capable of letting us know his needs. `He`s a fishaholic` we were told. After several turned up noses at his meals I bought him the chicken version of his usual fare – he wolfed it down and looked for more. Yesssssireeee. I am a carnivore – purrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Fresh water each day in his bowl? Of course. For some inexplicable reason, cats these days are never given milk – I must found out why. Does anyone know? All my cats had milk and water (and the occasional bit of cream if it was left over). Anyway Lucky soon showed us how fresh he liked his water – mind you it was a bit of a juggling feat to get the pressure from the tap just right for him to drink from without drowning him.
It was a large house but we soon learned his favourite hidey-holes – most days he would wander the grounds then, when he wanted to come in, he would jump up at the kitchen window and peer in hanging onto the cill with his paws
He would very much have liked to share our bed but we have learned from past experience that sleeping with someone`s else`s pet on the bed is not a good idea for a restful night. Oriental breeds of cat have a very loud yowl that is difficult to ignore – Lucky is not an Oriental – or anything in particular I think – but he did have a persistent knock on the bedroom door. A quick shuffle with the log basket and cushions barricaded the bedroom door from the outside so he couldn`t get to it. Fortunately we had an en suite bathroom so didn`t have to negotiate hurdles in the middle of the night!
We fulfilled our duties as his butlers to his utmost satisfaction – in fact his owners told us he sulked for three weeks when we left!
Yours aye, Anne