4 March 2005
We are creatures of habit, my cat Misha and I; and in the way of middle-aged couples growing together, we hold many of our habits in common. We sit together, much of the time, and we sleep together every night (she in the middle of the pillows, I at the fringes, wherever she allows). We wake together - well, one of us always wakes the other, with varying degrees of grumbling from the disturbed party. We listen to the radio for a while - she on my chest, I as it were beneath her claws - and then when I eventually get out of bed, she follows me to the bathroom and sits outside, yelling at me to hurry up. We go downstairs, and I prepare her breakfast as a matter of urgency, while she paces to and fro across my feet and mutters at the delay.
Except that today, I became aware of something missing, just in that last segment of the programme. Specifically, no small-but-loud cat trying to hustle my ankles. This disturbed me to the point where I put down the pouch & spoon, and glanced back into the dining-room.
Where I caught Misha chasing her tail, which she has not done since she was a kitten-cat (at least, not when anyone was looking). Admittedly she was doing it in a middle-aged and mildly arthritic fashion, with no threat of actually catching the thing; but none the less she was - well, I was going to say 'dogged', but that would be lèse-majesté, so letís just say determined - about it. This was no casual fling, she kept at it till she was giddy and had to lean against the wall. And then when she did stagger through to her breakfast, she stood in a curve, and kept breaking off to walk round in a circle one more time. Lord only knows what was happening in her little head, but I guess we both enjoyed it. One of us at least was giggling like a loon, if loons giggle.
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.