Our attitude towards Trixie has changed in the last couple of weeks. I say “our” but I primarily mean Carole’s as, let’s face it, I’ve always been a bit of a soft touch.
There is some evidence to show that Trixie’s owner isn’t the biggest fan of her in the world. Trixie is, basically, an outdoor cat that is barely allowed inside and when she is generally finds herself shouted at for doing things that you’d expect a cat to do. She, apparently, claws at the edges of rugs and shits everywhere. And so she gets shouted at and basically made to live outside all the time.
And then her owner complains when she doesn’t come running to her when she gets home. Because why the hell would you? You wouldn’t actively seek out someone who’s just going to shout at you if you go anywhere near their soft furnishings. And there’s no affection, apparently, between owner and cat. Or cat and owner.
To which you have to respond in a “sorry to hear that” kind of way, while all the time knowing that Trixie will wrap herself round your legs, eat from your hand and lick the tops of your feet without any sort of coercion on my part.
So we’re being nicer to Trixie. If such a thing is possible.
I mean, you could argue we’re stealing her in incredibly small increments, but I challenge you to prove it!
We no longer drive her out of the house as soon as she sets foot in it. Because it’s nice that she feels like she has a safe space. And actually, if she’s been left outside all day with no access to food she’s not just eating because she’s greedy – which is what had been implied – she’s eating because she’s genuinely peckish.
And that’s before we cover off the fact that she’s a black, long-haired cat, in boiling hot weather.
So yeah, she can come in as she pleases now. She meanders in, has a nibble of food, explores the front room and generally pops back outside to lie under a bush. There’s not an ounce of trouble from her. The other day she came in and just flopped onto the carpet for a bit. She didn’t claw anything or shit anywhere. She was brilliant.
The shed is basically left open all the time now, as a sort of shaded area that Trixie – or Peppa for that matter – can go and chill out in. There’s a bowl of water in the entrance. All it’s missing is some beds, but that’s probably a step too far.
And we know at least one cat uses it because I had to remove half a bird the other day. I assume it would be Trixie, in a desperate bid for attention and/or food. But it could be another cat entirely.
Even Peppa’s sort of changed with regards to Trixie. She’ll still appear as soon as Trixie enters the house, but there’s nowhere near the level of fighting or hissing or slappy paw antics that there used to be. It’s like she, too, has realised that Trixie deserves better and that better can be found here on an occasional basis.
And it means that we can have the back door open and so, in theory, have a bit more air flowing round the house.
As well as extra cats.