“When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?” — Michel E. de Montaigne
This page was last modified on 7 October 2009.
The remainder of this page has not been modified as yet since its previous updating of 2006.
Our household has as its main residents, two adorably sweet furry felines, Widget and Tawny; they are now over twelve (108) years of age apiece, and they’re ‘sisters’ — from the same litter, but judging by their very different coats they do not share a father. We were taken into their ownership in early 1996 when they were about 1 year and 10 months old. They’ve existed quite happily for a long time, although from time to time Widget can get a bit bossy; but it’s not unusual for me to come in and find them all tangled up in a ball on my bed, as seen above! Their names seem slightly unconventional at first, but very soon after meeting them it becomes obvious that the names are ideally suited to each.
This is the mischievous one! She’s called Tawny. Isn’t she just the cutest, cuddliest thing you ever saw? Those big green eyes are so very expressive and she is obviously using them to communicate something to me — probably to leave her alone with her sunny solitude, her kid sister and all the chase-able froggies in the garden. She is less timid than Widget, and doesn’t seem to need as much sleep either. She’s brave and adventurous — I’ve watched her defend her territory against much larger cats, and have been obliged to go out late at night many times with a torch trying to find her, as we haven’t got a cat-flap.
In her paw-trait she’s looking for all the world as if she’s strokable, soft and fluffy: a companionable long-haired tortoiseshell. This happens to be true, but she also likes vindictively tearing up carpets and wrecking furniture, and not using her litter tray... But if she does these things, it is clearly us, her pets, who are at fault. She’s seen on the left here, putting her best paws forward and enjoying a bit of sunny solitude; Tawny also likes:
She really hates the hoover (Big Noisy Thing coming to get me). We have to make sure the hoover isn’t between her and the door to the room before switching it on, because otherwise she’s forced to run to the dead-end and cower in the corner in a most undignified way; there again, she knows now what the hoover sounds like when it’s just being wheeled into the room, and usually scarpers at that point anyway.
And now, come and meet the other one... here she is: she’s called Widget. A ginger domesticated short-haired cat may not seem uncommon, but this particular one is a she, and Ginger Queens are most certainly uncommon: when she’s having one of her not-uncommon sulks we cheer her up by reminding her that she’s “very rare”. Her temperament is quite different to Tawny’s, she’s more shy but more immediately affectionate (you have to let Tawny get to know you a bit first). As soon as you meet her, she allows you to pick her up, and if you do it correctly she rewards you by starting up a loud purring right next to your ear (she sometimes sniffles around in it to tell you she thinks it needs cleaning), before mountaineering around on your shoulders. This gives her the opportunity to show her affection by digging her claws into your shoulder — and Widget’s claws really are the sharpest I’ve ever felt.
Widget is seen here, on the same occasion as her “kid” sister, relaxing in some sunny solitude in front of a train-seat. She usually sharpens her claws on the scratch-pad (“good girl!”) but when we start telling Tawny to follow Widget’s example, the latter sometimes spoils things by setting to work on the bookcase or chest of drawers. One of these days I’m going to come in from going to the shops and, where the drawers used to be, there’ll be a giant pile of matchwood with Widget purring contentedly on top of it, elegantly washing herself and looking at you as if to suggest it’s about time she were fed…
When I said above that she sulks quite a lot, this might be because she isn’t always in full health, often not eating very much and feeling precariously thin. Partly because of this, and also because of her thinner coat, she is especially fond of warm places and will often be “missing” for many hours before being spotted fast asleep in an unusual (but warm) place. Widget also likes:
She is at her cutest when being groomed (the brush & comb treatment), as she obviously loves it and does her level best to make sure you know this.