Well, typically when cats are involved, yesterday was nothing like my prior imaginings.
Morning shopping trip was over. The upstairs was being cleaned, so I decamped from my study and plunged into reading downstairs. I was quite excited when I opened up the french window (only one side, it was chilly) for the first time in a month. This was 2.00 p.m. and the cats were sleeping off their lunch.
Nobody moved for 2 hours. Mystic slept in his doughnut, Fluff on his favourite chair, and Felix sometimes on my lap, sometimes in his room.
At 4.00 p.m. it began to rain. Mystic leapt from my lap and dashed outside to get nice and wet. It was only drizzle so I let him stay for a bit. I even picked up Fluff, who was now awake, and carried him out to see Mystic. ‘Lemme go!’ Fluff wriggled, and dashed back in.
By 4.10 p.m. everyone was back indoors and I closed the door again as it was wetter and chillier by now.
At 5.00 p.m., just as I had made myself a nice cup of tea, Mystic started staring through the glass, so I re-opened the door, only not quite as wide. Mystic trotted out, and this time Fluff followed him. After two minutes Fluff dashed back in, demonstrating what Gothic horror writers used to mean by ‘wild-eyed,’ stared up at the china display cabinet which he’d never taken any notice of before, and yowled at it for about 3 minutes.
I asked him what was wrong but he ignored me, so I drank some tea. Eventually he went back out, and watched admiringly while Mystic sprayed the boundary fences. Felix joined them and looked distinctly annoyed to find they were in HIS garden and behaving as if they had every right to be there.
Fluff and Mystic were out snuffing around for about 20 mins, and when they came in I shut the door as I was very chilly by now. A comic show ensued, with Felix, who had apparently forgotten that he’s the one who knows how to get in through the cat-flap, popping up and down outside looking as if I’d exiled him to Siberia and was never going to let him in again. I tried not to let him hear, but I had to laugh a little, his expression was wonderful.
Once he came in through the flap, it was their teatime and no-one went out after that. I locked the flap for the night.
This morning I was out again, but the cat-flap was unlocked. What I predicted has happened, Felix can’t perceive that the flap is now freely open from the inside and that he can choose to go out as well as in. What the others will do about that remains to be seen.
Sunshine this afternoon, so while I ate my lunch we had the french doors wide open, Mystic’s pink bits of ear and nose were creamed, and they all went out and enjoyed themselves, wandering back in and out again at different times. They were surprised but not bothered when I also opened the door from the kitchen and came out to do some weeding. Evidently the sudden manifestation of holes in the house doesn’t faze them at all.
I don’t need to tell you cat people that change is a gradual thing with cats, so who knows how long it will take before they all use the catflap, or indeed whether all of them will?
The lovely thing is that they are enjoying the garden at last, and coming home!
(The typing of that last sentence was interrupted by a caterwaul, so I hobbled down to check and found Felix bravely defending hearth and home from an interloping cat. Life promises to be much more exciting from now on….)