Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I've blogged already about three of our cats: Cleo and her daughters Sophia and Jemima (now quite recovered). But it's the fourth who's been giving us the most concern recently. Tessie is not related to the others. She arrived on our doorstep in December 1999, shortly after Richard had declared that we were NOT having more than three cats! The others accepted her somewhat, but don't really like her, even now. She was small, fluffy, very friendly, and clearly a family cat. She even liked small children so we thought someone must have lost her. But we never did manage to find her home. Perhaps she was abandoned.

Her name, incidentally, is really Tessa. And that's an abbreviation: not of Teresa, but of Tessera. Anyone who speaks Greek can probably guess why we gave her that name after it had become clear that she was staying, in the absence of any better ideas.

We worry about her because in the summer she turns into a fighting cat. When she was less than a year old, she managed to get all the local feral cats out of our garden - they were clearly terrified of her. She's like a Jekyll and Hyde character, depending on whether she's with humans or cats. Oddly enough she didn't object to the kittens we fostered for a while, perhaps because they were small and dependent.

In the past couple of years she seems to have decided to expand her territory. Perhaps she started reading the Prayer of Jabez book (about which I have many reservations, but that's another issue). We've actually seen her locked in combat with far bigger cats, and usually winning. But inevitably she arrives home with injuries, some of them looking quite painful. This year she's lost a lot of fur around her throat. It looks very sore but is not bleeding, and she keeps it clean, so we're assuming it's healing naturally. I dread to think what the other cat looked like after the fight...

Still, a big battle with scars seems to be the trigger that stops her fighting for a while. For the last few days she's mostly been inside, arriving on whoever's lap is the last to arrive in any room and wanting a lot of attention. She likes sitting in strange places - yesterday I found her on a plate in the kitchen, and like all cats she considers it her duty to sit on any book that might be absorbing our interest. She's quite interested in computers too: here she is advising Dan on a particularly complex programming issue:

I suppose her stamina was greater than his, but eventually she fell asleep at the computer...

1 comment:

Anvilcloud said...

When computers were young and I wasn't as good a typist as I am now (although I'm not good -- four fingers basically), I typed up a lesson. It took me a long time. Then the cat, Dixie, walked by, brushed against the power cord, and I lost all of my work. But I still think cats are great.