Friday, March 04, 2005

Cat Flap

Julian's masterpiece - The Adobe Meets Stone Henge Catflap (copyright) - was created while I was off doing Glyndebourne. It arose out of an ongoing argument we were having at the time - he against a plastic brown flappy thing stuck crookedly in a beautiful blue provencal door and I for our cats being hunters as opposed to couch potatoes.
"I'm not spoiling the outside of the house with one of those" he said.
So I let my case rest, hoping that the normal oblique resolution would come in the form of him doing what I wanted but very artistically, saying it was his idea, which is what happened. It took him a day to make as he had to knock through a 3 foot thick stone wall and mix up the chaux (traditional lime) with the ochre sand from the back of the house. On the second day he had to rest.

Yesterday, during a severe pre-hailstorm drop in temperature, The Masterpiece came in for a battering and we thought it was ruined. Oscar came thundering in after a fright - either from the half-tailed abandoned moggy with luny yellow eyes or a wild boar - and the door came flying off into the kitchen creating a very cold hole. Luckily, the man at 'Animalis' gave me a new one when he saw the amount of Science Plan I was buying and The Masterpiece lives on.

Then, at night, at about 2am we heard That Noise - the one where you know your darling girl- kitten is being rammed (from the German word 'rammeln') by the spiky pink pipette of a male cat. Over supper (with no laptops) we had just been having the ongoing discussion about whether or not to spay her. (Not so secretly we both want her to have beautiful Manonesque babies: We do not feel able to bear denying her parenthood when we have been denied it ourselves; Julian has never seen the miracle a cat litter being born and since he will never see me giving birth to our baby, this would be a good second; What if we lost one?; You have no idea how much he loves them). When we heard The Noise, however, some protective instinct to look after our vulnerable teenager took over and we both went running - presque nus - into the starry night, barefoot on a carpet of hailstones, to rescue her. She was nowhere to be found and we knew sleep would not be forthcoming. However, peeping into the spare room I saw her all curled up like a prize cumberland sausage on the bed. Was she, like all teenagers, feigning sleep after being out on the razz, having slipped in the back door as soon as her horrid parents went looking for her?

Some of you appear to be wondering whether we are mistaking our cats for dogs when we take them for their walks. Maybe it is due to their being half Siamese, but they do indeed leap and shimmy their way with us of a morning to sniff thyme, listen to woodpeckers and crunch their feet on iced ochre; to give thanks for another beautiful day. Meanwhile, we give thanks for them.

And yes we did go this morning. After the first coffee and before the second.


Anonymous jonathan s said...

I love that catflap, thanks for the comments on my site, what is wierd is I live near glyndebourne, it is sometimes amazing in how small the internet makes the world.

12:59 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

ah jonathan who loves joni. we should get joni singin' at glynders. that'd shake 'em up! so did you ever hear the catflapmaker's wife play down in the pit?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I love that photo, cats trotting along with tails held high. Our two big male cats, so fierce and proud inside the house, become belly-to-floor bundles of nerves when confronted with the rare door standing open. As there is a fair amount of traffic within a block or two of our house, that's fine with me.

4:56 PM  
Blogger Katia said...

oooh, the tails in the air, the tails! It captures beautifully the cats accompanying their adopted owner. Beautiful photo, and a lovely story :)

7:31 PM  

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