Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cat On A Warm Soft Bed.

Daphne's latest post (about jobs one thinks one could do if pushed kicking and screaming back into the workplace) got me thinking about what jobs I could do at my advanced age.

I have to admit that not many came to mind but a lot of that was due to me really REALLY not wanting to ever have to work again.  Been there, done that, got the pension.

Over the weekend my friends, Clair & Mary, went off to the East coast of Florida to spend a few days with some of their friends who have a condo on Hillsboro Beach. It may not be ON the beach exactly, but even a girly underarm throw from the balcony would easily get a football onto the sand. Hillsboro Beach (pop just over 2,276) is yet another place like Ft. Lauderdale where the houses are best reached by boat and those boats are yachts and those yachts are just tied up at the end of your back lawn. It even has a Millionaire's Mile.

I tried tying up our golf cart here in sunny Buttonwood Bay but visually it just didn't work.

Anyway while they were away, they again asked me to 'cat sit' their cat, Paint, and I was more than happy to do so.

Now Paint is probably a very loving, affectionate cat but I'm not telling you this from personal experience. Oh no.  Now I regard myself as a bit of a Dr. Dolittle (Ret) and can usually coax the best out of most animals - and cats have been my speciality over the years.  

"Oh Fluffy doesn't like strangers" I'll be told when meeting a new cat.

Within minutes, Fluffy will be on her back and purring louder than Zsa Zsa Gabor trying to avoid a speeding ticket. Yes I'm that good.

But I've met my match with Paint. He spends most of his time on Clair & Mary's bed and when I let myself into their house, he's quite content to stay there. If I go to the bedroom door, he'll glare at me for a while and if I make another move towards him, he's off that bed faster than a lover when hubby is coming up the stairs.

I'll sit in the living room and make all the cat noises that usually peek their interest - nothing.

It's only when I rattle the food container (dry food pellets) that Paint will stroll slowly down the corridor and peer at me around the kitchen cabinet. Well not so much a peer as another glare. It's as if he realises I'm his feeder today but who the hell am I and why haven't we been formally introduced ?  It's also a look that makes me want to examine my feet in case I've brought something nasty in with me. 

But mostly it's a stare.  A stare I'm always the first to break as, frankly, I've better things to do than try to out stare a cat.  Cause I'd never win with Paint.

After doing this for a few days, Paint allowed me to slowly and carefully pet his head.  Just twice. Going for a third 'pet' he made to go back to the bedroom and so I backed off and let him get on with eating.  Once finished, he stretched, gave me a final glare and walked back to the bedroom in that superior way that only cats have mastered.

I've taken the petting as a significant success and can't wait for Clair & Mary to go away again so Paint and I can get on with our bonding.  It may take several more sessions but I feel that a bonding will be achieved. A tazer may be required but bonding WILL take place.

Even so, the whole business has dented my confidence and I'm not sure anymore if a post retirement career beckons in 'cat sitting.' 

Needless to say I've never taken a photo of Paint and so this one came from Clair. I think it proves my point.


Daphne said...

Yes, I can testify to your cat-whispering qualities; our cat Froggie adores you and rushes to the door whenever the bell rings in the hope it's you. We have tried to explain that you're in Florida but she doesn't seem to understand. However, I know where Paint's extroversion has gone: Olli and Gareth's kitten has got ALL of it.

Jennyta said...

2 comments Ian!
1) 'a girly underarm throw'??? Sexist, my lad!
2) I am interested to know how much experience you have with 'hubby coming up the stairs'.
(Answers to my private email address please.;))

rhymeswithplague said...

I think you meant piqued, not peeked....

I'm a dog person myself.

Debby said...

Paint likes me. Most probably because he A. knows I don't like cats, and B. am alergic to them!

Love when you put in a grammatically incorrect word on purpose just to see if you'll be corrected.

Silverback said...

AND to all other anal retentives out there, I'll happily post you my 1970 paper diary for spelling and grammatical corrections.

Milo said...

Oh he's pretty thing!

CLS said...

Thank you Milo - we think so but we are at a loss as to the reason he won't warm to Ian ...... maybe it will improve as we get to spend more time with our over the ponf pal. At least he will come out and eat while Ian is there....

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