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Why does this male treat me this way?

PUBLISHED: 11:01 26 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:05 22 October 2010

LORNA MARSH

At the time of writing I'm being nagged loudly by a young male for dinner knowing that the moment he's fed he'll be off again, only to return some time next week in the middle of the night without warning or explanation.

At the time of writing I'm being nagged loudly by a young male for dinner knowing that the moment he's fed he'll be off again, only to return some time next week in the middle of the night without warning or explanation.

I wouldn't mind but it's the way he treats the place like a hotel without the pleases and thank-yous normally reserved for the receptionist, chef and cleaner.

Pets, who'd have 'em?

Whether you're a "dog person" or a "cat person" it is sometimes difficult to imagine why anyone would gladly take in a waif and stray for either a lot of smell and hassle in the first instance to not much reward in the second.

But cats really do take the biscuit, literally, sometimes. After munching their way through a packet of Whiskas Complete they go off in search of better food providers.

The two I have were heartbreakingly cute kittens when I took them in a year ago after they were abandoned on Mousehold Heath in a basket.

They are complete opposites in every way - colour, coat, character and... length of tails. But both are sleek, long-eared, wiry and always wanting to prove they can break out of the metaphorical cage.

They are hardly lap cats, except when it comes to deciding that a sleeping person's forehead is the most comfortable place to lie or alternatively taking up what can only be referred to as cat space on beds.

This phenomenon means that the area a small animal should normally take up is grossly exaggerated through a combination of selfish placing (ie right in the middle so that anyone wanting to get a moment's kip has to make do with a foot-wide strip one side or the other) and their uncanny ability to stretch to about three times their size.

When they are not keeping me awake with their loud purring slumbers I am sleeplesss with concern that they have been run over, drowned or kidnapped for their fur, although why anyone would want a tabby and black coat is beyond me.

The first time one of them disappeared for more than a couple of days a search and rescue operation was launched that would have shamed the Army.

Leaflets were printed and distributed and "wanted" posters put up. A midnight expedition found said kitten stuck on a garage roof yowling painfully, looking thin and unable to muster the courage to climb down the ladder he used to get up.

Now they are braver and I am more blase after several such wanders which, do allow me a decent night's sleep.

His brother recently went missing for five days. A simple bowl rattling exercise round the back of our row of houses brought him casually strolling out from what looked suspiciously like the beer garden of the local pub.

He hardly looked starving. In fact he looked plumper than when I'd last seen him. No doubt he's found someone to feed him deep fried salmon and double cream.

Which is why I'm secretly chuffed he still comes back to me for the biscuits.


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