Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cats

For anyone who doesn't believe in global warming, its probably because they spend there life indoors, never dealing with the weather. I'm dealing with the weather alright, typing from the kitchen table looking out the window, the rain is pouring down, and the noise at it pelts the veranda roof is deafening. If it wasn't for the humidity, I could be fooled into thinking this was winter weather, but here were in the southern hemisphere in what should be summer time.

On christmas eve, it rained so much we canceled all our dinner plans, and spent the evening flooded in, the road out impassable. Now New Years looks like it may go the same way. I had all my camping supplies and my kayaks packed and ready to go for a few days exploring out in the islands. But in the early hours of the moringing as I a woke to that sound of heavy rain on the roof, that sound when you know it's not just a quick down pour, but will be steadily falling for many hours to come. I turned my alarm off and went back to bed, thinking that I would at least have a rare sleep in, since camping plans were obviously out.

But there is a reason sleep ins around here are rare. At first light I felt tiny pins pricking at my feet, ignoring them for a few minutes, I finally pulled my feet back under the blankets for protection. Something ran across the blankets and next there was swatting and clawing at my hands and arm, irritating little scratches than wouldn't relent. I pulled my arms back under the blankets, and fell back to sleep listening to the rain.

A minute or two later though, and I was wide awake as tiny teeth embedded themselves into the side of my chin, the pain jolting me awake. Sleep was out the door, and I tried in vain to swipe at the little ball of fur,
that upon seeing I was awake, was trying to use my face as a trampoline, leaping and pouncing all over the show.

I have a new kitten, today is the one week anniversary of Paul, the biting, scratching, face pouncing pest joining the family.

I'm not really a cat person, I love all animals, but given the choice between cat or dog, and I would choose dog. My friends are always surprised to find out I actually already have a cat, although I justify this by saying she's more dog like in behavior than feline. So to now have two cats, no one is more surprised than me.

Paul, a little white and grey spotted tabby kittem,came into my life in the most unexpected way.

I'd had a night out on the town with the girls, we were all done up, high heels dresses, make up, and I had at least washed my hair that day. It was past midnight when we hopped in a taxi and asked to be taken back to where we were staying. A friend remembering, this taxi driver used to drive her mates home along the back roads trying to hit possums on the the way, asked if we could do the same. So four girls crammed into the back seat hit the gravel roads.

We didn't hit any possums, but coming around a corner, stuck in the beams of the headlight in the middle of the road, we're two tiny kittens. The taxi came to a stop, and my friend shoved me out the door " catch them Chloe" and came scrambling after me, clambering over our other mates in the process.

I didn't need to be told twice, still in my high heels I ran up a bank after the kittens, and just as they headed for the underbrush, managed to grab the one with white on it which was easier to see in the dark.

I held onto the yowling ball of fur in a death grip, as finding itself caught, it fought like a banshee scratching and hissing. My friends all of who were now out of the taxi searched for the other kitten but it was gone.

Paul, named after the taxi driver, came home with us. He was mot an appealing character at the time. Obviously a wild cat, he sunk his teeth deep in to my fingers and didn't let go, every chance he got. He was sticky and dirty and smelled like a mix of cat urine and turkey shit. Skinny and covered in a large selection of parasites, he was not the most appealing chap I'd ever come across.

But I love a challenge. How hard could one little kitten be after dealing with multiple wild horses, surely I could tame it.

A week later typing this, I think we're well in our way to having a domesticated little cat. Paul has been, de-loused,de-ticked, wormed, washed and fattened up. He doesn't smell any more, his coat is glossy and silk to touch. More importantly he likes people, food and picking ticks off were two of the things that convinced him we might be okay.

He's sitting here , now that he's exhausted himself playing wake up games early this morning, purring like a motorboat in my lap, totally blissd out and content with life..

Even for someone who's not a huge feline fan Paul's pretty cool, and temporarily the Wild Horse Project, may become the Wild Cat Project instead...