Monday, November 19, 2012

A post about our cats

Other than a brief mention of our youngest cat Tessie, just over a week ago, I've said very little about our cats for some time. This isn't because because they are any less important to us, but they're all getting older now and tend to spend a lot of time sleeping.

November has really been very mild so far this year, despite a bit of rain now and again. Today, after a somewhat grey day yesterday, the sun has been out - at least until it started to get dark. We haven't had to think about any heating yet, but the cats have switched from sleeping on the floor (which keeps them cool in the summer) to sleeping in random comfortable places around the house.

Or, maybe, not so random. When I want to look for Cleo, the usual place to find her is somewhere upstairs, very often right in the middle of our bed:

I like it very much when she's there just before I get into it at night during the winter, as she leaves a nice warm patch.

Cleo was 14 at some point during the summer, so according to the cat year calculator on Wikipedia, she's around the equivalent of 73 in human years. The Catcalculator site puts her at 80 - there's no true correlation with human years so it's impossible to say with any exactness. Whether in her 70s or past 80, Cleo remains lively at times, despite sleeping a great deal. Athough a few years ago she started losing fur, in a somewhat worrying manner, it's now thick and glossy as ever.

Sophia is Cleo's daughter, and will be 14 at the end of February next year. She has become my cat I have become her human since Daniel left home, and she usually follows me around the house, talking to me at length, hassling me if she thinks I should be elsewhere, or even rounding up visitors when she thinks it's time for them to leave. Sophia is a very organised and highly intelligent cat, but she is slowing down too as befits her advancing years.

One of the places she likes to sleep is on the sofa in my study, if she can catch a bit of sunshine through the french windows:

She's also very keen on my beanbag:

If I sit on the beanbag to read, as I do first thing in the morning, she sits on me to purr. But for some reason she's not very keen on my lap when I'm at the computer.

And yes, observant readers might notice a tiny lump at the corner of Sophia's right eye. I hope it's just a tiny cyst; it doesn't seem to bother her, and isn't growing as far as we can tell.

As for Tessie, when she's not in my shoebox her new bed she likes sleeping on the printer. Not very good for it when it's uncovered, so I usually remember to put a plastic cover on it, to keep out dust and of course cat hair:

Tessie must now be around 12. We don't know when her birthday is, but she was perhaps a couple of months old when she arrived on our doorstep, Christmas 2000.  That makes her the equivalent of 64-70, depending on which calculator we trust. She is still the most kittenish of our cats, and the most violent too, where other cats are concerned. The other neighbourhood cats don't dare to come on our property now; they're all terrified of her. Despite her cute and fluffy appearance. 

We occasionally talk about acquiring a couple of kittens, since we're becoming all too aware that we won't have these three cats forever.  Cats can live till around 20 or even older, but 16-18 is more usual. However, with Tessie's territorial instincts, we're not sure that new kittens would survive, and I can't say that I'm anxious to go through the small kitten stage again... 

So we'll see. 

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