Monday, December 8, 2008

If only they could speak...

I’m sure this is what Oberon, my second oldest male cat (pictured above) thought on Friday night when he was trying to tell me something.

Chip, a gentle and mostly-asleep cat falls sleep anywhere,
even in a box

Chip again, only just woken up

Chip and Oberon are best of buddies who eat and sleep together

Before I go on with the story I need to explain the sleeping habits of the feline children in our household. Although I built a Cat House at the beginning of 2007, and all eight cats took to it very quickly, by the time winter arrived in the middle of the year, I realised that quite a few of my cats were sleeping out in the cold. This was because Puff, the biggest and cheekiest male, refused them entry through the cathouse window.

I decided that Tigger, my oldest cat, could sleep in my bedroom again. At the same time, I had a very timid kitten named Manduline, which I’d rescued from slavering dogs jaws. She lived in a corner of my spare room.

A few weeks later I allowed Oberon to come back to sleep in the entertainment /pool room area every night. Shortly after that Chip, my very gentle and mostly-asleep female cat joined him.

After finding Pudding asleep on the chair in my office one morning, I decided that she could stay indoors as well.

Pudding, on the tumble drier, while little Manduline perches on the cupboard in the scullery

Tigger asleep on the microwave

Clarice, Felix and Puff, my outdoor cats sitting out on the patio

Back to dear old Oberon who obviously was trying to tell me something.
I had just turned out the light and was settling down into bed, when he started to meow. And Oberon CAN meow. He has a very deep voice and lots of breath. He continued to meow until I fell asleep. A while later I woke up with a start. Something was booting down the bathroom door which is en suite to our bedroom but also leads into the entertainment area by a second door. I got up and walked to the door, wondering what on earth could be making such a racket. Then Oberon started to meow again. I opened the door and shooed him away. He rubbed against my legs and walked away as if I should follow him. I asked him what he wanted. (My husband and I speak to our animals as if they are humans, seriously we do!) When he didn’t answer (?!?), I picked him up and opening a window placed him outside on the sill. I closed the window and went back to bed.
At about 1.30 am, my husband and I both woke up and saw Oberon clawing his way up the gauze netting on the outside of our open window. He was meowing... I opened the gauze and pushed him off the sill onto lawn. (PS this sounds worse than it was, he only fell about 3 feet/1 metre)
I went back to bed.

At 5am my husband woke me with a cup of tea and asked me to guess why Oberon was meowing all night. As I’d had a very broken night, I told him I had no energy to even TRY and guess. He said that at about 4.30 he heard Oberon meowing (what’s new I thought?) and got up to go and see what he was up to. He had to pass through the kitchen/office area where Tigger, Pudding and Manduline (who has become a lot more confident) sleep at night. These three cats were awake and were all meowing.

As he opened the outside door onto the patio, he was greeted by FOUR meowing cats! Puff, Felix, Clarice and Oberon were meowing in unison, rubbing themselves on his legs and dashing across the patio. Then he heard it. ANOTHER meow. Then he remembered, he had not yet seen Chip although she always sleeps in the entertainment area with Oberon.

He followed the muffled sound of meowing across the patio with all the other [meowing] cats on his heels. He arrived at his garage door and opening it, he was confronted by an indignant Chip who had been locked up there all night. Chip loves sleeping in the garage while my husband works there. She sleeps on the motorbike seat, on/in the motorbike luggage in the corner, in an empty box which hubby placed on the workbench for her. She’d been sleeping in this box the day before and we’d forgotten all about her. Oberon, on the other hand, realised that his sleeping and eating buddy, Chip, was locked up and had been trying to tell us this all along.

As I said, I’m sure he thought: “If only I could talk

the thought has just struck me: Obviously he thought, "If only these silly humans could speak, they’d have HEARD me telling them Chip is locked in the garage!"

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