After knocking off work today, and despite another day of sluicing rain and gusting wind (the 7th in a row, which surely must be a record in this town), I drove all the way out to the Pet Warehouse in Kenilworth to look for a snuggly igloo for our kitty-cat.
You may well ask why kitty needs yet ANOTHER place to sleep.
The only answer I can give is the somewhat irrational one: Get a cat yourself (or rather, allow a cat to move into your home and – most importantly – hearth), and you’ll understand why.
Hubbs and I were envisaging something along the lines of a sheepskin or fleece-lined igloo – a kind of container which kitty can snuggle right into, to keep her all toasty warm when the hailstones rattle against the window panes and the howling wind whips the branches of the Rhus tree back and forth across the roof-tiles, while the lighting flashes and the thunder crashes just above.
And yes, I admit that we are kind of hoping that this may keep her off our bed. (Fat chance…)
If you are a hard-hearted person, you might retort: “Just toss her off the bed, she’s got a thick coat of fur and a solid layer of fat on her bones to keep her warm!”
Sigh… I know…
Anyhow, as the only vaguely suitable igloo at the Pet Warehouse was big enough for THREE cats (and as I certainly don’t want to encourage Tuffy to put on more weight), I decided to brave the icy weather once more and head out to the shopping mecca of Cape Town – Canal Walk (which is part of the massive complex of Century City where locals and visitors are encouraged to max out their credit cards). There’s a little pet shop there called the Vet Shop. We’d seen igloos of various sizes there before, so I was hopeful.
Alas, they were sold out.
After explaining my predicament to the friendly sales lady, she showed me a so-called sheepskin stocking. It has a fairly roomy opening, but narrows down a little to the back. I’m not sure whether Tuffy will like it, because she generally doesn’t like blankets lying ONTOP of her. She likes snugness all around, but no feeling of weight or heaviness. (Perhaps I’m anthropomorphising again…)
Nonetheless, I didn’t want to go home empty-handed, so I handed over my credit card.
When I got home, I plucked a couple of leaves from the massive catnip plant near the compost heap, where I’ve seen Tuffy on numerous occasions going all googly-eyed and frisky-hoppity, licking and chewing and rubbing her face, her ears and her belly against the catnip. Given such regular [ab-]use, I’m somewhat surprised the plant appears to be flourishing.
I rubbed the leaves against her new bed, inside and outside. When I was done, I placed it on the chest of drawers in the little nook next to the fireplace, ontop of her other sheepskin bed. (Yes, yes, she’s got us wrapped around her adorable little paws, which she persists in ‘pruning’ with an almighty tug that causes an alarming ‘crack’.)
We’ve learned from bitter experience that, if we were to SHOW Tuffy her new snuggle-stocking, or heaven forbid, to lift her into it, she would NEVER sleep in it.
She’s got a mind of her own, that cat.
So we’ll have to leave it, undisturbed, not calling any attention to it, until she discovers it herself on one of her prowls around the house.
I MAY, however, try to shift the balance slightly in my favour by placing a hot water bottle inside it every evening… Of course, I might also have to turn off the oil heater to remove other tempting heat sources. So we might need to spend the next few evenings wearing multi-layered clothes to keep ourselves warm.
Now tell me honestly: Are we spoiling our kitty?