Sunday, 10 November 2013


(Or: Breakfast With Cats)

Despite being a single person living alone, actually having my breakfast is a very complicated affair which could probably stand comparison, in terms of preparation, with Downton Abbey except for the fact that it patently couldn't and Downton Abbey isn't real.

The first stage is actually getting up which isn't always easy. On weekdays I try to do it around six o'clock but usually wake up half an hour earlier and then go back to sleep. At this point, cats play no part in the routine. I only allow two in my bedroom overnight -Aoife of the short black fur, who sleeps at the foot of the bed and sometimes on top of me, and Tiger of the long dense tabby coat (who, given his size, should really be named Goliath) who likes to cuddle up next to me to be stroked and when I stop because I'm falling asleep he moves over and goes to sleep himself. If I let the kittens in I'd never sleep at all.

So, I rise, put on my glasses and tentatively open the door to allow the three kittens to rush in and hurtle all over the place. I pause in the doorway and look on the floor. Against the wall on my right is a 30kg sack of cat litter, a waste bin which is a receptacle for used litter, then a covered in triangular litter tray in the corner. But I'm not looking at them. I'm looking for faecal deposits. If I find any they go in the bin and I then check the bathroom. The floor (lino) is always clear. Whichever one of them it is who doesn't use the 11 litter trays in the house won't use (or rarely uses) a hard surface like lino or laminate but does use the carpet (though never on the stairs).

And downstairs I go where I empty and clean the litter trays there.

That done, it's time to feed the little felines which are clustering around my feet like animated woolly slippers. At the time of writing, I have five adults ranging in age from two to five and four kittens age seven weeks to six and a half months. They all get the same food except Tiger who won't eat moist food so gets dried stuff and fresh (cheap) chicken (four legs boiled in a saucepan) de-boned and with jellied stock, mmm. 

It works out like this: three sachets at my feet in the kitchen, two in the living room, one in the isolation wing (the conservatory), one plus the chicken in my bedroom, dried food in all, plus water if needed.

Great! I'm done! Now I can get on with the complicated procedure of preparing my own breakfast. Fill and switch on kettle, put heaped spoonful of Nescafe Azera Intenso coffee in a mug which is emblazoned with the words IDLE OLD GIT, and then put a bowl containing Quaker Oats two minute porridge in the microwave. While the porridge is heating up I switch on my computer. Porridge ready, coffee ready (black no sugar if I'm ever at your house), I sit down-

-and get jumped on by two kittens trying to get at the evaporated milk. It's my fault. In milder weather I have cold cereal with I top up with semi-skimmed milk and evaporated and always leave some in the bowl for the cats. Except they can't wait so I eat while simultaneously fending them off.

But it doesn't matter as I have to get up anyway. At least once, usually twice, someone (not me) decides to have a smelly poo in one of the litter trays in the living room which needs cleaning up immediately. Well, I suppose it doesn't  matter if I don't mind eating my breakfast in a smelly room, but I do. The porridge goes somewhere out of reach of kittens, and, and and... And I finally get to finish eating. As long as I ignore the kittens which are hurtling around the room like, well, kittens.

So to the computer with coffee to check emails and news websites. And a kitten claws its way up my legs with its sharp little claws and Aoife jumps on my shoulders.

Is there anything else you'd like to know? Not that I think you wanted to know any of this in the first place but it's all part of the rich life of being a cat re-homer and fosterer.

I love my life.

Anyone want a kitten? Please.

Post Script.

In the 45 minutes I've spent writing this I've had to get up three times to empty smelly cat litter. This is par for the course.

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