A house a couple of doors down from us recently got a kitten. It’s all black, and fluffy and gorgeous and called Trixie.
You can read that sentence in two ways. The way I have typed it. And the way it should be read. Which is to say, we have recently got all the best bits of having a kitten without the problems of feeding it, paying vets bills and cleaning out the litter tray.
That’s not strictly true. It’s not like we have welcomed Trixie into our home. I mean, that would be irresponsible and wrong, because Peppa would go mental – just like the time a random ginger and white cat strolled, bold as brass, through the front room one evening and meandered upstairs. That did not end well. We still, in fact, do not know where the cat came from – both residentially or within our house, as the cat flap did not make the noise associated with an entering feline.
But no, Trixie has not been in the house. She’s had a good look through the door, but I didn’t let her in. We had words. And it was fine. She then spent quite a while sitting on the external side of the cat flap having a good old nosey at it, sniffing around and, probably, working out how it works. It’s only a matter of time until she’s in the house, randomly, one day. And her real owners come round to ask if we’ve seen her, and I say no.
But that day is not today.
What today was, though, was enjoying the autumnal garden through the eyes and leaping paws of a small black kitten. Which was just amazing. I’ve been sitting out on the cold patio steps for a good while today, just watching this adorable fluff ball jump at every bush and chase leaves around the place. Our garden, in the row of gardens, is the one with the most “stuff” in it. There are plant pots, bushes, leaves and raised beds – all of which are just intriguing to a cat’s young mind. The lavender, for example, was sniffed at, pawed at, batted and, in one amazing act of cute cat-based aggression, swiftly attacked by a streak of black which started at the other side of the garden.
What first alerted me to Trixie’s presence was that she was sitting on top of the bird table roof. Just chilling. But not chilling in a “I am going to eat birds” way. Just in a “what is this?” way. She kept reaching over to the bird feeders to sniff at what was in them. She was cute and lovely and I might have mentioned that before, so I apologise.
But the best moment was later in the day when I ventured down the path to the compost heap. It was a while since I had last seen Trixie and I assumed she’d buggered off home, or was checking out someone else’s garden. I wasn’t expecting her to leap out at me – in a playful way, not like some sort of savage animal – from behind a flower pot as I reached the compost heap.
If it wasn’t or the fact that the house she comes from has a small child, and the fact that she’s very recognisable. And the fact that Peppa probably wouldn’t get on that well with her, we’d pretty much have a new kitten by now. I mean, like I say, there’s a chance that she’ll suss out the cat flap and we’ll wake up one morning with her sleeping at the bottom of them bed, but until that day I’ll just be the forty year old guy waiting for the little kitten to come round so that we can play out…