Have you ever noticed how cats are absolutely convinced that you can’t go to the toilet without you? They seem to find the bathroom one of these fascinating places with lots of activities – some of them rather strange.
The other day I commented to my husband that it was rather annoying the way my make-up mirror kept flickering. He immediately went all concerned. It is one of his rather lovely missions in life to make sure that everything in the house functions really well, and I could already see him lining up an internal list of ‘things that make make-up mirrors flicker’. He was all geared up to go and get his toolkit – and then I continued, ‘guess it doesn’t help to have a kitten dangling from the chord all the time either…’, causing him to stick his head around the door and look at the make-up mirror. True enough, two kittens taking turn energetically playing with the chord with the predictable result of the mirror blinking on – off – on – off….
The bathtub is another fascinating item according to all my cats. Now, I have a Persian – Ulysses – and as with all Persians he regularly needs a bath depending on what he has gotten himself into. While he is a good guy who patiently puts up with being washed thoroughly, I don’t think he really enjoys it as such, so when I take a bath, he gets really concerned. Is Wet! He exclaims. You OK? He worriedly enquires while hanging on the edge of the bathtub by his front paws. Don’t Worry Am Here To Look After You, he reassures me while peering nearsightedly at my face and pacing worriedly back and forth next to the bathtub. I usually end up taking my bath with my hand dangling next to the tub so he can kiss it a lot… Better That Way, he gravely announces.
D’Artagnan, my old Somali, is also interested in the bathtub – or rather in the water. Water Much Better When It Tastes Of Mum, he claims, Must Test Every End of Tub And Both Sides – Might Be Different! Once he has reassured himself that yes, the water tastes the same no matter what end of the tub he drinks it from, he will then turn his back and sit companionably on the end of the bathtub – which inevitably means that his tail ends up gently swishing through the water without him noticing. (It is quite a lovely sensation to have a kitty tail swishing through the water around your back..). I always struggle to not laugh out loud (that would offend him) when he then jumps down, notices the wet tail and turns around and looks at me with a look of indignant reproach – because of course it is all my fault!
Ianthe, one of my young Somali girls has an even deeper fascination with water. When we first got Ianthe and Izabelle, they were quarantined in the guest bath room. Maria, one of our good friends, came to stay for some days and decided that she wanted a bath. Imagine her mortification when Ianthe promptly fell into the bath as she was filling it up! She immediately fished her out while profusely apologising and gently and carefully dried her with a towel. Phew! She said, and got into the bath. Whereupon Ianthe promptly fell in again…. and it wasn’t until Ianthe did it a THIRD time that Maria finally realised that the cat wasn’t FALLING – she was JUMPING….
The fascination with the bathroom also means that no matter how deeply they all sleep, there is a veritable procession of cats following you when you go there. I often end up sitting on the toilet watching in fascination as 2 young Somalis and a very big Maine Coon argue about who gets to sit closest to me on the countertop (Penny wins…she just waves her big Maine Coon paw around their faces and they back off or get slapped…), while D’Ar regally stays at the end of the bathtub and Ulysses weaves around my feet. Good Place To Hang Out, they all agree, Mum Can’t Possibly Pee Without Us! And that is that.