What I like to do of an evening is relax, watch a little TV, and of course read. Sip a little wine. Drink some decaff. Eat dinner.

The logistics of managing all these things has become very complex since the arrival of the cats – I suppose it’s the extra one, it was never so difficult with one or two.

I keep to office hours, so shut down the PC and descend the stairs about 5.00 most evenings. This sets up an immediate flurry of cat, including the odd incident or two of one or the other of them hitting someone else. Cats are supposed to be good at sensing the time, but naturally when it comes to food, they start to note the approach of 6.00 around 5.00. So of course, even though it never works out, they line up for their tea an hour early. It’s actually time for my cup of tea. So I make that, and settle on the sofa, book and remote to hand. Three seconds later, at least two cats are sitting on or near me (I must be doing something right! Unless they just don’t want me to escape before feeding time.)

The cup of tea, the remote, the book and most of myself immediately become unavailable to me without a good deal of stretching and wriggling. The cats object to this since it mildly disturbs their comfort, and look at me soulful with despair at my cruelty.

Now, since I became the only human in the house three years ago, I tend to take all my meals on a tray on the sofa – the dining-room feels lonely. So almost whenever I sit down with the tray, the cats try again to establish this ‘trapped mummy’ situation, and glare angrily at the tray (except Felix, who sneaks up and tries to hook my food with his paw.)

Maybe I should shut myself away to eat, just as Felix prefers to be shut away? No, I’d only miss them. I suspect they are gradually assuming complete control – but that’s what cats are for, innit?



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