Cats have many different ways to show you how much they love you. In our kitty family, Ianthe is probably the loudest and most obvious. There is never a time where she doesn’t want to cuddle on your shoulder, purring in your ear, chewing on your nose and chin and generally making it very obvious that This Is Best Place Ever To Be! It has become something of a challenge to cook, actually, because she claims Better View Of The Food From Up Here – and insists on being draped around my neck, with her head hanging down from my shoulder to stare at everything I do on the counter top.
As a matter of fact she is so pushy that Izabelle – our other Somali girl – sometimes struggles to get to us. This means that when she gets the chance – NOTHING is going to stop her! Wildly buzzing purrs, ecstatic full body rubs and 10 claws gently embedded in your skin ensures that she gets our full attention. MUST Have Cuddles NOW! She insists. NEED To Stock Up Before Evil Sister Comes Back, she mutters (bearing in mind that they are extremely affectionate to each other and usually sleep piled in one big heap) and proceeds to wriggle her body even closer to yours, while washing you thoroughly..
Ulysses – our big, fluffy Chinchilla Persian boy – tends to express his affection slightly differently. I Am Here! He announces, while walking energetically back and forth in front of your face, swishing his tail like some demented dog. You Need More Fur In Your Mouth, Mum, he declares and throws his body more firmly into my face. Never Mind The Keyboard, he says, My Writing Better Anyway, as he proceeds to write gobbledygook all over my papers and letters. Need Hand Now, he then piteously cries, until I give him my hand so he can collapse (heavily) on it and proceed to wrap himself around it so I can’t leave. Ahhh, he says, Much Better This Way. NOW We Can Cuddle. And on a really good day – he manages to lie down on whatever book or paper I am reading as well – making it completely impossible to get any work done.
Penny – our big Maine Coon girl – takes the complete opposite approach. Not Talking To You, she grumbles from the other end of our big kitchen table. You Don’t Love Me And Want To Get Rid Of Me, she huffs (yes – she huffs – trust me – if you saw it you would know exactly what I mean). And when we rush to reassure her that we DO love her and of course we don’t want to get rid of her – she throws herself on the table while maintaining complete eye contact and making little chirpy noises; See! THIS Is What We Need To Do. Stay Home, Dad. Don’t Go To Work! (As she inevitably decides that she needs cuddles JUST as my husband is rushing around heading for the door). And when he sidles towards the door – NOOOO! Dad! You Can’t Go Now! Not Had Enough Cuddles!
And finally D’Artagnan – my big, old, 17 year old Somali boy. Well, he rarely has to ask for the affection – we tend to lavish it on him anyway, but when he suddenly decides to prove how much he loves us, it usually consists of intense headbutting – to the point where my glasses go flying and in the past I have wondered if he had broken my nose. Need To Scent Mark You EFFECTIVELY, Mum! He declares and comes around for another go – See! Smell Much Better Now, he sighs with great satisfaction before slowly letting himself keel over so at least half his body pins mine down. Now We Can Sleep… he drowsily says – and so we do.