The two small kittens who moved in to our house in September have become strident and essential. We could not live without them: each has their own place in the world. Millie the witches’ familiar has yet to find herself a suitable witch, and thus she stays with us, unsettling everyone with her strange detached killer’s calm and the face of a small kitty angel.
Monty, the strong eyed siamese ginger tom, is a warm-hearted hothead who will brook no emotional rebuff, stalking fearlessly into the coldest English psyche to take residence there. He appears to love the rain and takes pleasure in charging out in thunderstorms and bringing in the rain with him, as he tramps up the northern face of the duvet to alert us of the excitement outside and deposit half of it on us.
He is ruler, king of this tiny kingdom, Shrewsdania. After he and the dog got shut in a room together by mistake one day they reached an entente cordiale, and now are the best of mates. Monty spends his days hunting and meeting other cats and running in and out of the house to munch the odd biscuit. He lies on things in the sun and lounges.
His favourite perch is unconventional.
For Monty has taken to sleeping on the bird table: that hallowed sanctum of our feathered friends, where they are ostensibly are to dine on seedy fat bowls and bits of bacon rind. It towers above the garden, far above the four-legged masses. It is unassailable.
Or so we thought. A couple of months ago, I came out to the kitchen and looked out in the garden to find a large ginger tom sitting on the bird table. The birds had, wisely, scarpered.
We have never seen him get up there. Does he use crampons? We have no idea. We walk in and there like Yoda he sits, a fulcrum of space and time, at peace with the universe, aligned with his purpose in life, utterly, supremely content.
He is a metaphor on a plinth. A symbol set high. Yes, he has nicked the birds’ café, but we can relocate that. He is proof that one needs little to make oneself very happy indeed.
Monday cometh. Perhaps we all need to access our inner bird-table to face the week ahead.