So, because my life just wasn't interesting enough, I came back home this afternoon to the sounds of many cats calling.
When I moved into this flat five years ago, I moved in with my cat Henry. Henry liked it here. He liked the flat, he liked the neighbourhood, he liked the neighbours. He liked some of the neighbours so much that he ended up moving in with them. Two years after we moved in, he moved on. Initially it was part-time; he'd disappear for 24 hours and come back ravenous, but as time went on he called in less and less.
Two years ago he came back for a visit after a gap of several months. He'd broken a tooth, so I took him to the vet, who promptly pulled all but one of his teeth out. Henry didn't much care for this, and ran off again. And that was the last I saw of him. It's been 18 months even since I've seen him outside.
I know it's been two years, because Little Fish has never met Henry. Or rather, Little Fish had never met Henry. She can't say that anymore. We came home tonight after a day out with the Guides. And were greeted by an interesting mix of hiss, growl, and meep. Henry is back. Goway and Comeback are not impressed. Henry is not impressed either, how dare I open his house to two more cats?
So now Henry is ensconced under the armchair in the corner of the sitting room. Goway is scratching and pulling at his skin, and occasionally peering under the chair to hiss loudly then run away, shaking. Comeback is sleeping with his head on my feet, worn out from not only shouting at Henry but also from the rather splendid fight he just got into with his own reflection in Mog's mirror.
There must be something about that mirror tonight - Goway is now boxing his reflection in it.
Henry, unpeturbed, continues to wash himself under the chair. He's both fatter and flatter than he was two years ago; scruffy with a tail that drags and a back paw which is either muddy or bloody, he won't let me close enough to work out which.
Little Fish thinks this is either deeply terrifying or possibly terribly funny - I'm working on the humour side for her and busy providing dialogue to accompany the cats' cries. Who knew that "YeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEaaaaaaaaoooorrrrowghroughrowwwwwWWWWWWWWWWwkkkkssssssssssssssssssss" could actually mean "hello you two beautiful cats who live in this house now will you let me live here too and be your friend?"
Mog is above worrying about such things - Norah Jones is skipping all over the place (there was an unfortunate incident with Lactulose and a CD case) and this is far more distressing.
And me? I want to know what is so utterly dreadful about Supermarket Premium Kitty Chunks in individual foil sachets that all three cats are now refusing to eat them, preferring to extract them from the various bowls and chase them across the kitchen floor.
It's been an odd kind of a day all round really. A man knocked on the door earlier, and when I opened it, he shook me by the hand for raising my autistic son. I'm still trying to work that one out.