Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 20 July 2008

On the trail of squirrels and pigeons

Balu outside

Stop the presses: Balu actually woke up and got up, during daylight hours! This is progress, after weeks of cowering and hiding in bed, only appearing after dark and for meals since flying into Britain in June.

I'm sure it won't happen again any time soon, but he did get the chance to go for a stroll in the front garden, meet one of the neighbours (yes, it is a cat on a lead), then after a good sniff round, he flopped down in front of the gate, right where there's a gap that the cheeky squirrels use to come and go from one garden to another. Balu has never actually met a squirrel mind you, but he's probably worked it out, because they're forever skipping past, just inches from the house. They must be half tame to get that close. Or they live here! And Balu has probably seen them when he's been watching from the windowsill during nocturnal hours.

What's the chance he flopped down in that spot for no reason whatsoever? Or just to sunbathe? It was a rare day when he could have. He was a dab hand at catching canaries & bunnies in Tenerife, but we won't be encouraging squirrel hunting (too high in cholesterol?), nor pigeon perturbing, which is what I think really caught his eye! So he got some new balls instead (I mean the plastic type, for playing football) and a fake mouse that he tossed around until we all got tired.

Balu also got the run of the house while mother was out and, strangely enough, though he explored everywhere, he didn't try to destroy anything. He was so quiet that, in the end, I had to go see where he'd gone and, of course, found him lounging happily on the roof of mother's dolls house: THE place that is absolutely verboten to cats! (Well, along with 1001 other places that are forbidden, which - constantly meeting closed doors - can't be helping them feel at home.)

Of course, cats immediately go for THE place they're not supposed to!

The real irony is that, only the day before, I'd said I doubted the cats would ever settle enough to stop this hiding in bed all day lark (I still have my doubts that they'll come out of hiding regularly and, I'm certain they'll never be settled and confident enough to go outside alone). Balu did go straight back to bed after breakfast - like every day for the last few weeks - and, just as he was slinking under the covers, I commented that I "used to have cats", i.e. not just lumps in a bed. Mid-day he got up and stayed up all day. Contrary puss!

Sunday morning: He was back to bed the moment he'd eaten some food and had hissed at me once and tried to run off to the bedroom to hide, no less than three times during breakfast. But, amazingly, both cats were out of bed, lounging at opposite ends of the sunny windowsill when I woke up. Both dashed to the kitchen, shouting loudly for food as soon as I moved. Yes that's normal behaviour for cats in general and was for them before, but they haven't done that here before as timidity had gotten their tongues. We shall see if he graces us with another appearance later, though it probably won't be for a while, because the snoring sounds are getting pretty loud again!

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