As the days get longer and it starts to feel like spring may be here, the cats are starting to spend a little more time outside. The Calamity Cat is definitely feeling the benefits of the season. Like most older cats, she seems to get a new lease of life at this time of year. After spending the winter glued to the radiator, she seems to be less stiff in her joints and more interested in the world around her. The downside to this is that the early starts are back – purring in our ears at a ridiculously early hour and licking our faces if we don’t respond. If she gets no answer to that, she resorts to tapping us with a warning claw, which usually works. She even made a brief attempt to play with Jasmine outside one sunny day, hiding behind the hydrangea with bum wiggling and then jumping into Jasmine’s startled face. Poor Jasmine didn’t know what to make of it – Calamity usually either ignores her or gives a warning growl if she gets too close.
The young ones are getting braver too, exploring a little further. Both have now attempted to climb a tree. Jasmine went halfway up the plum tree before deciding that was far enough and jumping down again. Daisy, predictably, was less sensible. She waited until D was pruning the ancient buddleia and, as he reached high up with his saw, she jumped up into the lower branches. Never the most co-ordinated, she tried to turn around and ended up dangling before falling out and landing in the frog patch below in a most undignified manner.
They have also met their first intruder cat, a noisy black and white who was sunning himself next door. All three cats reacted to the invader in exactly the way I would have expected. Calamity, in spite of her age, was prepared to defend her territory and embarked on some hair-raising caterwauling. Daisy took one look and fled into the house with a “Save me!” wail. Jasmine, always the most sociable, was keen to make friends. She approached the other cat, who retreated at speed and with a warning growl when she tried to greet him. She backed off through the hedge into our garden but, fascinated, crept closer and closer to the newcomer until she again got close enough to say hello. He accepted the nose sniff this time and she was happy.
She was less happy a day or two later when she strayed into his garden at the back of ours. It is the first time she had been that far and I am secretly hoping it will be the last. The first I knew of it was when the howling started. As I ran up the garden calling her (I knew the other two were safe in the house) she flew through the hedge and hurtled down towards the house. I finally caught her up on the patio to find that, although she wasn’t really hurt, a scratch on her nose was dripping blood. Poor Jasmine! She was undoubtedly just trying to be friendly – she loves to interact with other cats, much more than she does with us sometimes. However, it was probably a valuable lesson to her that not all cats are as friendly as she is. Only time will tell if it will encourage her to stay closer to home.