An ode to cats

Cats are evil. Small, furry and vicious they use their cute faces to worm a way into your heart, and before you know it career-driven power players are cooing nonsense to the beast pinning them down to the worn sofa in a comfortable living room. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen

And then there are people like me. Indoctrinated from a young age, our family always had at least 3 cats: it’s just how it always was. Amongst a cast of furry family members we had a farm-striding ginger tom that would go hunting with my Dad only to be picked up forlornly sore-pawed and carried home; a crabby-tortoiseshell who wouldn’t be touched except when she knew you were incredibly upset with a sixth-sense for soothing childhood heartbreak and we a kitten whose first bath was in a (ahem used) toilet, thus christened forever as Flush. (As an aside, my young sister was also kinda evil, but has grown out of those ways, so I’m told.)

How to project manage, cat-style…

Fast forward many years, 10,000 miles and a marriage proposal later and we’re stuck with our own furry bastion of chaos. Raised as a kitten on the tough streets of a rough London estate, we were offered her through a friend of workmate in order to introduce a touch of genteel life experience to her professional portfolio. She’d been through it all in her short life; tail crooked over her back (thought to be from abuse as a kitten), a fraught teenage pregnancy and a rather yowling car journey through the streets of London. She arrived at our home consisting solely of enormous green eyes, a woebegone look on her face and downy dappled white chest.

Hiding a la Harry Potter in our under stairs cupboard cuddling with
long-forgotten childhood soft toys, Mr Kiwi (who had missed the entire
dramatic arrival) didn’t actually believe we had a new member of the
family until we were woken in 5am pre-dawn light to pitiful mewling.

Even my cat drinks out of a pint glass, and other expat musings

Dashing out of bed we huddled in the centre of the hall, softly
calling her name, transfixed when this small ball of fur timidly began
to curl around our searching soft hands. Incrementally she began a
systematic tearing down of any form of resistance to her dubious charms;
purring in frost touched laps, curling up in the crook of my elbow last
thing in the evening just for 10 minutes before we fell asleep and she
stalked outside to defend her manor, eyeballing us when we dared to
enter the bathroom as she occupied her litter tray, bringing freshly
hunted presents on evenings that she had been scolded during the day &
on our return from holidays, and playing ‘chase the human around the
coffee table’ on cool autumn evenings. Let’s not mention her Loo-roll
gym equipment sessions where soft luxury sheets are shredded with
the ferocity of a tiger on an antelope hunt.

Scrooge McCat, rolling in her ill-gotten winnings…

She project manages us still, watching each new activity with the careless insouciance of a micro-managing megalomaniac (woe betide anyone who dares sit in her desk chair), fooling 3 professional adults into triple-feeding her every day for months until a house-meeting was chaired (she was excused for obvious reasons) and a dinner time of 7pm declared. She also never, ever does anything she doesn’t think is her own idea.


2012 Cat Olympics

She affects everything. We picked our honeymoon apartment because it had a wonderful garden and was project manged by a black and white cat called Manon, more than once we have specifically visited pubs based on whether they appear on, we booked for tea at a Cat Cafe with a 3-months waiting list and we adore reading the stories of in/famous cats. We’re definitely hooked (and often quite literally).

Just be warned, in a cat vs. cake wrestling round, it’s never the human who is meant to be taking the cake to a friend that wins. Ever.

Cats are definitely evil. The trouble is, they are just so cute – never forget that they know it. To finish with paraphrasing a good friend of mine – cats, cats cats cats, cats, cats, cats, cats, cats cats cats cats, cats, cats, cats, cats, cats.