Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

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Welcome to CatMinders

Friday, 2 November 2007

Today .. and last night ....

Alice is definitely a people person .
We left her downstairs last night .
I think my preference would have been to have relocated her cushion to the bedroom with us but we had decided that the cats need some semblance of privacy and safety until they feel more at home with a large stick insect who smells of dog and lumbers about the place on her stilts of legs .

We settled her on the cushion in the sitting room , with access to all the downstairs rooms , and settled ourselves in bed . Both of us reading somewhat anxiously for a few minutes . I do my usual switch off of my lamp , then watch from under the covers as D continues to "read" as his eyes close and the magazine or book starts to swing in the breeze as his hands lose their grip . He sleeps in the upright position until the book falls at which point he is adept at opening the eyes and glancing round to see if he has been noticed dozing , and immediately continuing with that " me ? asleep ? nah ..... just your imagination " look . So just as he starts to doze , a truly blood curdling howl from downstairs .

I wait . he sits upright , clearly unsure whether he is dead or alive , and I start to giggle . Alice , I say and oh , there she goes again . Surely a wolf , and not Alice .

I go down and she is on the sofa , very pleased to see me and slides onto her cushion " what me , on the sofa ? nah .... "
Back upstairs , this continues until I remember what Wendy her foster mother said about not talking to her but rather banging on the outside of the door which is a Barbara Wodehouse technique apparently .
But in order to do this I have to shut her in the sitting room . By now its 1 am and my head is banging . I take a migraine pill and shut the door on her . Next time she howls , I go down , bang on the door and depart .

I lie in bed waiting for the migraine tablet to take effect . The fireballs in my head start to turn to ice .( The side effects of the Triptans , feels like ice coursing through the veins .) All will be well . Soon the pain will be gone and sleep will come . I pick up my book , one of the most depressing Anita Brookner's I have ever read . And yet I always read them all . But they are truly bleak .....)

I hear scrabbling and scratching and my mind turns to what Alice might be doing ..... another high pitched howl and now a single , but loud bark .

I wonder what Seamus and Claire next door will make of all this . Not much possibly , although they were very good when Pearl ran into their house and chased Ivan , their cat . And ate Ivan's dinner .

I go down .
Open the door .
Scene of devestation . Alice , this is not ok , I say sternly . She looks hurt .

Devestation is not so bad , mainly a snow storm of tissues . She has also torn up two hat boxes used to store " things " ie junk which we dont need but somehow are unable to throw away . . so the junk is scattered to the four corners .
I'm decided . I won't lock her in again . The cats hate that too and always pull up the carpet if we accidentally shut them in anywhere .

Alice slides onto the sofa and when I ask her to return to her cushion ( I'm clearing debris at this point ) she tries again , slips up onto a corner armchair and tucks her feet in tidily . My heart goes out to her . Poor little soul , she needs to be in my bedroom ....
But the cats . ?

I return upstairs , D is half asleep and says , perhaps sensing my weakening , we need to stick to it or the cats have nowhere ....

At the next howl , which wakes me from a deep sleep when I am dreaming I am staring at a row of teapots on a wide pine shelf , he is out of bed like a shot , into his robe and downstairs . I hear a few quiet words and he is back .
Silence .
next thing I know its 6 45 and the alarm is reminding me that I forgot to reset for 6 30 which was when Nat and I planned to take her out .

She is thrilled to see us , dancing and wagging her tail and grinning . Wendy has taught her well though and she doesn't jump up ( we 've been advised to turn our backs on her if she does ) and stands still till we attach her lead . N is in charge and we step out into the mild November air , grateful it isnt frosty yet .....wonderful in fact to see the sun rising near the castle by the sea and N is well pleased with how easy she is to manage . Tomorrow night will be better , as she begins to realise we are still there in the morning . I hope . ( But even if she howls all night she's still wonderful and exactly the dog we dreamed of . )

The cats are mainly staying upstairs . Pearl , being deaf , seems least bothered and has been down once or twice today . Though after a trip to a Cat Call and the pet shop this morning and a foray into Wilkinsons to buy a very cheap single duvet and cover for her to sleep on in the car , my migraine moved past the medications and took hold again so I retired to bed having dosed myself again ( stepping up to the suppositories provided for extreme times )and both Pearl and Toby snuggled in with me . I am out for most of the afternoon .
Kitty is most put out though and spends most of the night and today under the bed , appearing only this afternoon when hunger drives her to the bathroom where supplies are temporarily located .
N is reminding me that I've just been sick , and shouldn't be on the laptop . She's right I know , but the volterol has given me a temporary respite .

One more thing , I received a wonderful letter this morning from Marisa , who has Birmans and from whom we got Pearl .. she has changed jobs and sounds much happier . Lovely to hear from her and lovely to receive a proper letter . Emails are great but nothing beats a letter coming through the door . Ok Nat Im getting off here .....


BetteJo said...

What did D do when he jumped up and went down to quiet Alice - that she didn't howl or bark the rest of the night? Is he the dog whisperer?
Poor puppy, must be tough to be brought into a new home with various felines and strange humans!
She'll get used to it I'm sure. Just needs to acclimate to the new surroundings. Can't wait to see if she manages to make friends with a cat or 2!

MsCatCalls said...

I asked him just now and he said he rattled the door then just told her to stay on her bed ... the same as i had done really ...maybe he is the dog whisperer. he certainly has a feeling for the underdog though so maybe she sensed that .....anyway we know who to send down tonight if she s upset again !!!!
The cats are currently ranged down the stairs peering in . Jess has been in for a closer look and Kitty poked her head round the door for a minute . It won't take a longtime I hope .

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