Friends with ferals

31st Jul, 2019


Illustration by Jenny Lamont

In which DD realises that no amount of love or adoring attention will swing a little kitty love in her general direction!

This expands on from a previous story on how the pitfalls of sharing my life with two wanna-be-feral cats certainly is unchartered territory! Read more about Brother Lewie here: http://www.happytailsmagazine.co.za/dds-blog/life-with-lewie/

I proudly show (to anyone who seems remotely animal crazy like me) photos of our handsome blue-eyed Siamese lookalike boys, Arty and brother Lewie, and their hearts melt. Amidst all the “oohs” and “aahs”, they enthuse about how very lucky I am to have crossed their paths, and I often even sense a bit of envy, BUT, truthfully, it really isn’t all the bed of roses it appears to be.

Found on an abandoned building site, living wild with their siblings and mother, Arty and Lewie aren’t like any other felines I’ve ever had. And I’ve had a few in my day. In fact, in all my nearly 54 years, I’ve never been without a cat. I love them. And, usually, they love me back.

But not in The Twins’ case… Oh no. In fact, the dynamic duo spend their life ignoring all form of human contact. Even my sweetest “kitty voice” sends them sprinting in the opposite direction, and the only time we’re ever in close proximity is when I’m brandishing a bowl of food, pre-bed kitty treats, or a bag of much-loved catnip. Even then, if I happen to get close enough to stroke either of them, they recoil and glare at me with those sapphire eyes as if I’d wiped doggy-doo on them.

Arty Cat might occasionally feel the need to sidle up to one of us when we’re lying in bed; he’ll even purr and “make biscuits” (aka kitty knead) on you. But all of this is on his terms only, and he sticks hard and fast to the rule: “Touch me and I will run!”.

Brother Lewie only has beautiful blue eyes for Sheba Shanks. He’s utterly besotted with Shebie. He starts purring the moment he sees his darling dog and flops down at her paws, proceeding to groom Sheba lovingly. It’s a sight to behold, and poor Sheba usually seems quite uncomfortable with all the attention, but, being the gentle girl she is, she nobly allows it. Lewie will then finally curl up beside her and snooze happily.

On the odd occasion, I’m lucky enough to actually “catch” one of them (I know I probably shouldn’t, but I can’t help my kitty-loving self!), and then I quickly get my fill of neck snuggles, strokes, give a gentle hug and reminder how much they’re loved (regardless!) before they manage to fight their way out of my arms with the very real threat of doing me bodily harm.

I hear you guys talking of not being able to work for having a kitty on your lap, not being able to get in the front door for the welcome of your cat/s… and I wonder if I’m too old to adopt another kitty or two. Maybe a hand-reared one who simply adores close contact and who’ll love me unconditionally. Even though I know that, deep down, The Twins really do care. Right?