The Vampire Cat

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It is interesting to note that even in a house packed with baffling personalities, Little Mil stands out like a sore thumb.

At 6am, every weekday morning, Phil and I lie in the darkness, waiting for the dawn, and his alarm goes off.

A more grating melody I have yet to find; harsh, it makes no compromises in volume, subtlety or artistry. It blares.It is like a bawling sergeant major, all expectation and no sodding compromise. It and I are sworn enemies.

And is it easily switched off, just a short reach from the warm, all-consuming duvet?

It is not.

My husband leaves it at the bottom of the stairs. A whole floor away. This, I tell him, is a mistake. Not just because the walls there are paper thin, and our poor unsuspecting bachelor neighbour must have a blue fit every time it goosesteps into action at a very small hour; but because Phil must tear himself away from the news headlines and the cosy layers of duck-down, and must try anything he can, at the bottom of those drafty stairs, to pacify it.

It serves as a wake up call for us all. And none more than Little Mil.

I fling open our bedroom door and at first it appears there is no-one there, despite a deep conviction that a personality is willing me to permit it entrance.

Is there a ghost? I wonder blearily, and then the smallest, most falsetto mew you have ever heard emits from somewhere at my feet. It is almost inaudible to the human ear. Β And I look down, and there she is.

Good morning, she emanates severely.

Darkly.

A kitten who never quite reached cat size, Millificent waits gravely for me to turn and indicate exhausted acquiescence. “Hello, Little Mil,” I say, looking at her, and she returns my gaze levelly.

Almost eerily.

Because Mil has qualities of the charming and the pretty, like a Gainsborough woman with a graceful hat. All who see her chorus her engaging qualities. Yet those who share the same four walls as hers know she has oddities which will not be reconciled with first impressions.

Her childhood is cloaked in mystery, though she arrived parcelled with her brother. We know there are other siblings but can only surmise that room in the womb was a bit tight and she drew the short straw.

Alas, we think she was taken from her mother too soon. Thus, her personal habits are abominable. She has no concept of personal hygiene, and her brother huffs at her sloppy unfeline ways.

She is not a tortured soul, but she has an element of the eldrich in her stare. And when you are lying asleep, if you leave the door open, she pads soundlessly into the room and does a passable impression of a vampire, pummelling bare skin with clawed feet and licking mercilessly as though she was in need of the darkest of libations.

Yet when she trusts you: when she knows you are a sympathiser, she has the intensity of a mother lion- only a very, very small lion indeed – and you are hers completely. Enveloped. Commanded.

Deeply tactile, passionate yet cold as the grave. Silent and stealthy, with a meow which might just as easily be a bat squeak.

Grave Mil. Eldrich Mil.

Little Mil, the Vampire Cat.

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46 thoughts on “The Vampire Cat

  1. she may outgrow the ‘mother me’ demand of the kneeding and licking. poor little thing, started at the back and has to catch up with that so glamorous red-haired prince

  2. I have had issues with WordPress unfollowing blogs for me. If I had not seen ‘The Vampire Cat’ in my Facebook timeline, I wouldn’t have realized yours was one of the blogs it unfollowed. My apologies. Oy, I wonder who else I don’t realize has been unfollowed. But I have since refollowed you, so hopefully Millificent won’t give me her cold stare…

    1. Hi Carrie!! Lovely to see you. Alas, I am remiss these days in getting to blogs. Hope the second book is well on its way to being out and about in the world. And that your exams went ok.

      1. Yes, the board recertification exam went very well, thank you, and my second novel is finished but is in the querying stage. Which means the ‘waiting’ stage. Sigh.

  3. That cat sounds terrifying.. nice looking moggy though.. on second thoughts probably not a moggy.. probably sleeps like a bat in the hallway above your door.. c

  4. Precious. Eerily precious. Our Pippin, orphaned to our care at a mere 7 weeks, used to sleep atop my head on the pillow, wound in my hair, and would suck on the hem of his blanket. He’s far too mature for such behavior now, but it was adorable.

  5. What a wonderful ode to your kitty. We once had a cat who was the smallest of all but who had the strongest will. She had my husband wrapped around her little paw for almost 18 whole years πŸ™‚

  6. Mil has beautiful eyes, when they’re not closed to mere slits in boredom and superiority, of course. My guy cats still “make biscuits,” one on me in the middle of the night, one on a hairy slipper I received for my birthday. It’s now known as “Wiliam’s shoe” and I am free to wear its mate and hop.

  7. Mil looks very sweet and not at all vampirish. But maybe that’s the spell she casts. My cat has a tongue like sandpaper and the few times she has insisted on licking my arm, I felt like my skin was being abraded. Not altogether pleasant. Plus, when she “makes biscuits” on my back in the middle of the night, her claws don’t feel pleasant either. But I don’t do anything because I don’t want to insult her, of course.

  8. Maybe Mil is cranky because keeping the alarm a floor away sounds like cruel and unusual punishment for all. If I was your neighbor, I’d beg you guys to move it someplace further away from my ear canal.

    1. This morning I woke up and after a long campaign to get it moved, I discovered Phil had left it in his sock drawer.
      Sounded just as loud to me, but the neighbour slept on. Zzzzzzzz.

  9. Have you seen any of the movie trailers for Disney’s “Maleficent?” Gorgeous Angelina Jolie is the lead with all of the intensity she can possibly deliver. So I’m thinking there’s a direct connection in the names you choose for your cat companions. I’m remembering Clive–and his Bond-like persona. I do think cats have unknown powers. Perhaps Mil is applying the mystery of her name. Perhaps that’s a word of warning?

  10. We have had cats for the greater part of our 40 years of marriage, but we have been without one for the last 5 years. Your post has revived in me forgotten memories of cat behaviour. Happily, I now no longer give a toss at what time I get up…but then I’m getting old. You win some, you lose some:)

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