I said I was looking forward to missing the cats here whilst away .. and I did! Oddly enough it put me in mind of people who give up smoking and say part of the problem is just not knowing what to do with their hands if they don’t have a cigarette. What DO you do if there aren’t any ears to scratch or toys to wave? and when you don’t have to protect your food / drink / keyboard / pen from being messed around with?
Jess our cat sitter was really good at keeping in touch. I think she pitched it just about right. If there’s too little communication its easy to worry what’s happening, too much communication and it doesn’t feel like a break. I loved that each message started with “all is well” or some variation on that theme, so I could enjoy reading the message without worrying. There were a few messages just checking out the best way to do something which gave the reassurance that things were getting done and she was thinking about and caring about what she was doing. Most messages were just day to day sort of updates about what the cats were up to. I loved them! They were so obviously from someone who was taking her time with the cats and making a point of getting to know them. About Honey grooming Flipper, and Flipper barging in on a snuggle session with Honey. About Henderson and methods for giving him his thyroid tablets. About Amber and her wariness of strangers, and of course the crazy kittens and their antics.
We heard about who had been sick … its strange what you miss when you’re away from home. And who had stolen a packet of treats and ripped the plastic packet all over the floor (no mystery who that was … Flipper!). Jango had staged a battle with his usual opening tactic … sitting on the stairs and not allowing anyone past. Well done for managing that one Jess! it takes a brave and gentle soul to diffuse that situation.
What made me giggle was the little Fs. Much as I’d tried to plan things around the holiday it was only after I’d booked Felix & Fritz in for their first vaccination that I realised their second would be due while I was away. Aunty Jenny volunteered to come over and take them for that. They were very timid at that point so I wondered how she’d manage with catching them. I logged into kitty cam at some point and their bed was on the floor and the cat carrier gone. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture the scuffle in the scenario.
Well done aunty Jenny! Not the easiest task to have delegated to you x Delighted to arrive home to find little Fs had grown in confidence and although still a bit hand shy now love it when they’re stroked and purr like little helicopters (ok ok helicopters don’t purr .. you know what I mean!)
Sadly (and perhaps just a little happily) the day came to return home. Another long long flight in the direction of multiple breakfasts, a stressy drive home over the snake in quite thick fog and we were back! Jet lagged and exhausted we prepared ourselves for the mess that would await us. …… and ……….. well …. it wasn’t there! No dirty dishes in the sink, no grubby litter trays … not even the ever present carpet of cat litter on the floor. Just a collection of happy cats waiting for cuddles and to help unpack.
I’ve always been fortunate to have cats who are pleased to see me come home rather than ones who sulk that I’ve been away. Not sure who I thought would be first on my lap for a cuddle (
I kind of hoped it would be Jango no no no I didn’t say that …. I don’t have favourites) but wasn’t quite expecting it to be Flipper. She makes out she’s big and tough most of the time. Rufus thought about fighting her for first place but then opted to exchanging scents with his penfriend Mr T on the suitcase. Honey and Henderson piled on for hugs. Amber waved shyly from a distance. Jango firmly planted himself on top of the case and announced that the human would not be going anyway again for a long time.
Very grateful to Jess for caring for them and keeping them in order and for not running away with Raffles or Henderson who both fell in love with her. Once we were safely home and she’d had chance to get over the shock of them all she posted on her 3 Strings page about having cared for the 10 cats in our household. A lovely post about getting to know their different purrsonalities and the joy of caring for kittens. But also something that made me think:
So that’s been 208 litter trays de-lumped; 130 bowls of water changed, and 130 packets of cat food opened, 26 tablets administered and 1 litter tray washed out due to a ‘pebble-dashing’ incident…. Phew!