To say that our remaining cat, Tilly, has come in to her own since the loss of our other cat in the summer would be an understatement, to say the least. After years of finding herself the underdog — pardon the pun — and kowtowing to two older and more dominant felines, she’s evolved into somewhat of a prima donna with exacting requirements as to the standard of care she expects, now she’s the sole proprietor.
At 15 plus, she’s still sprightly enough to charge down the stairs like an arachnophobe being chased by a three-foot spider to advise us that her litter tray has been sullied and needs immediate attention.
She demands where and when she should be fed; complains endlessly if the bathroom window is left open and causing a draught near her bed — which she refuses to have repositioned, by the way — and is better than any alarm clock at waking us up at the same time each morning, activating the snooze button every five minutes with a claw to the elbow, if you resist the notification.
It would also seem Tilly has grown a spine in her dotage. The threatening shrieks she emits at the sight of another cat trespassing in her territory could chill the blood in a donor transfusion centre better than any fridge would ever manage.
Unfortunately, most of her yowls are non-specific and necessitate trawling through a catalogue of needs in a bid to uncover the demand, which we have discovered include:
- Hungry — meat, biscuits, other?
- Want to go out — which doesn’t follow a direct route from A to B across the conservatory to the garden. No, a much more circuitous exercise around the furniture and plants, from A to G to C to F to D — you get the idea.
- Too warm
- Too cold
- Blanket to bed needs smoothing/changing.
- Draught from open window.
- Change of litter tray demanded.
- Morning alarm call
- Heard a noise — ‘What was that?’
- Thirsty — unable to go near the fresh water available, as something new has been placed in the vicinity.
There are probably others of which we are totally ignorant, but we can’t mistake the cry that tells us: ‘Get out of my space — I want to sleep.’ You don’t have to be a cat whisperer to interpret that one.