August 28, 2006
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Before we got Felix, my parents took great care to teach me that this kitten we were about to get was not a cuddly toy. I was seven years old, and still recall the indignation I felt. Hey! We’d already had one cat (Pobble; named after the poem because according to my mum, cats don’t have toes. My mum can be weird) and I hadn’t pulled her tail or carried her around by her legs! So it was with great joy in later years that I would remind my dad, as he yet again put Felix up his jumper and popped his little head out the neckhole, that he was not a cuddly toy. Because he was, indeed, a cuddly toy.
I never wanted another soppy cat. Too much to compare to Felix, who cannot ever be compared to. I wanted an independent, feisty cat, a cat that wouldn’t mind being left to amuse itself during the day, that wouldn’t want to sleep up on my bed (ugh, cat hair on the pillow!), a cat I could have conversations with but not necessarily be trapped on the sofa for three hours because I don’t have the heart to disturb a sleeping cat, even one that’s sleeping on my legs and it’s now past midnight and I haven’t done the washing up.
But I got Elgar.
And Elgar is a rag doll. Even on Friday night, after he’d freaked out at the sight of all the poker players and caught my inner elbow with his back claws in his attempt to escape (I now look like an amateur blood donor), he immediately walked straight up to me and let me pick him up again. Elgar will want to be left alone but still submit to being petted because I’m not sure he’s bright enough to object. Elgar wants to sleep on the bed. Elgar looks at you with his big green eyes and wants you to explain why you brought all these people to his house cos he doesn’t like it mummy. Elgar is very purry.
It’s obviously me. I attract these cats. I don’t choose them, you understand, they choose me. They must sense that I’ll submit to their every whim and worship at their paws. So: my own silly fault then.
Edited to add: he may look fierce, but don’t let the yawn fool you.