There is an old English saying which goes “There’s nowt so queer as folk” meaning that there is nothing weirder than humans and I can happily confirm the same applies to cats. Currently in my house I have:
(a) A kitten who munches mobile phone chargers and leaves them in pieces, the pieces arranged in a neat row.
(b) The same kitten is partial to jumping in a running bath although I believe the temperature of the last one (hot) has put her off this pursuit. *update – the answer is … no.
(c) Guinevere is addicted to rubber bands and will gleefully unzip my bag to get one (they are a huge choking hazard so not up there on my list of top 10 cat toys)
(d) Arthur – a cat who not only likes but goes absolutely nutty whenever the following things appear:
– tinned mushrooms (just a glimpse of the tin is enough to set him off into paroxysm of pester)
– grapes (he will break into shopping to get at them)
His brother is also partial to melon and cherries.
Most of the above are not good for cats so this causes me some concern. It also means I have to sneak these into my house and eat them when no other cat is around. This means I often have a choice of eating my dinner in the bathroom (urgh!) or the conservatory (not so bad in summer, but winter is another matter).
(e) Arthur and Merlin both like riding around on my back and/or shoulders and, as they have learned this from kitten, they hold on with their paws and balance with their tails. Poppet (who spent ages watching the others play and interact with each other and me as he appeared never to have had a toy or decent human in his life before he got “liberated”) now does it too. As he started this as an adult he not only does it from a running jump, but uses his claws to both grab and hold, turning me into a bit of a pincushion and making me go “AAARGH” at inconvenient moments.
(f) Even worse, when Merlin was younger, he used to ride around and then start to attack my back in play. I wore an old, thick jumper and he always knew when I wore that, he was okay to play tigers. I thought it was great fun and played my part by making suitable tiger victim screams; but as my great friend Sal said, upon witnessing it, that it looked quite disturbing and apparently the neighbours thought so too! He did grow out of the habit which I found quite sad (but maybe no-one else did!).
(g) Poppet (again) is a very low maintenance cat – he doesn’t want a lot (I suspect he is too pleased and relieved to be living in a loving household with regular food, having not forgotten his roots) but when he wants a cuddle, goodness, he has to get a cuddle. I am climbed on, interrupted, headbutted and he will stand on whatever I am doing at the time to get that cuddle.
(h) Felix is very low key, unless there is a man about. A man appears and she immediately transfers all her attention in that direction. She is easy to cuddle, as she just flops down when you put an arm over her but very territorial and once she has staked out her target, aimed and settled, woe betide anyone who gets near her.
(i) Oscar again is a low maintenance cat and only demands a cuddle once a day, at bedtime. But he has to enhance his cuddle with pretending my hand is prey!
(j) As mentioned previously, Jaggie, my wild child, will fall in love with unsuitable women.
(k) Kitten has decided that Arthur is the object of her affections, despite (because of) Jaggie’s creepy behaviour … now if I was a young lady, I guess Jaggie would appeal to me rather than soft, loving Arthur …
(l) Which brings me to the last bad habit … the mad cat lady clearly has a habit of falling for men who fall for her and then, just as quickly, fall out of love with her. The speed at which this happens is quite remarkable … and generally there is another woman involved. The heartbreak that follows in no way makes up for the happiness she might have once felt … or the effort it took to trust someone again after so many bad experiences …
So in this household, we have a new rule. No new fucking men.