There are few things in life that bring me more delight than cats: Cats with ears that move independently, cats that wiggle their butt before they pounce, and cats that sit and watch you walk past. I have one cat; a pure black, mystery breed named Alice. There could not have been a more suitable name for her. She doesn’t chase white rabbits, but she will disappear in the morning and return in the evening, covered in cobwebs and determined to ignore your questions until she has eaten. If she is in the house you can always hear her little jellybean feet stomp around. Alice doesn’t do pitter-patter. I love Alice, despite all her flaws and shredded blankets. I have always thought that this was an unconditional love that I extended to all cats. I was wrong, very wrong.
A few weeks ago two cats started exploring our back yard. The first, Jax is about a year old and loves to give Alice unappreciated kisses. Milly is a kitten, caught in the awkward discovery of her own movements.
I have always cherished the thought of having my own little cat family. After many nights reading Cat versus Human, I should have realised that having three felines hanging around the house wasn’t going to be like watching three fearless and curious hunters frolic around in the grass that almost needed mowing: it was like having my own child, and then two annoying cousins I was stuck babysitting.
The harsh truth of my dystopian realisation was other people’s cats, like other people’s children, will never be as great as your own. I don’t actually have kids, but I happily carry five kilos of cat food home from the shops for Alice, but when Jax and Milly help themselves, I’m annoyed. Jax and Milly are adorable, but the time has come for them to leave, just as it did for Marvin K. Mooney.
These cats are cute, but they need to leave. Their owner is lovely, so I don’t understand the appeal of invading a home where I will happily use dirty tactics to get them out. I tempt Jax with food, and I lure Milly with cuddles; but this only seems to encourage them. With each successful ejection both will curl up and wait for their next opportunity to sneak in.
Cats are sneaky, they are usually quick, they are curious, they keep secrets, and they do what they want. So I guess—as I question exactly how much I truly love cats—I’ll have to get used to three sets of ears turning towards the sound of food being poured into Alice’s ceramic bowl.