“Ten.” (5 May 2016)

poppylightThis Ten episode happened accidentally, when I went out to use the hall toilet, after I had already turned in for the night. The kitties pounced on me when I opened the door. Poppy led the charge.

I think I know what’s going on. They are completely obsessed with this cheap, supermarket brand of kibble I’ve bought while awaiting the delivery of their usual, much higher quality brand. This kibble must be the Pringles of the cat food world, all salt and fats. I feed them, and peace on earth is restored – momentarily. Now Poppy clamours for attention by rubbing his gorgeous head repeatedly against my legs. I relent and bring him over to the couch for more cuddles.

I make the mistake of patting my thigh (a come-sit-here gesture to Poppy). That triggers a frenzy of activity from two separate dark corners of my flat. The black-cat-duo rouse themselves and rush over to claim their bit of limb.

Blackie is the first, and scrabbles to get on my lap. Curly tries to elbow him off – that is, if his entire head was an elbow. I end up octo-patting three heads that wave about like tulips in the wind. In the melee, Poppy eventually gives up and goes to sit on the floor. Blackie kneads my love handles. Curly curls up in my lap possessively. Two sets of big almond eyes in pointed furry black faces regard me solemnly. The world in a grain of sand. My two boys – my two beautiful, gloriously black cats – are adorable beyond measure.

But these words – beautiful, cute, adorable, lovely, and so on – they describe my cats so perfectly to me, but not at all to the next person. Three meters away is the front door, beyond which these creatures who live in the centre of my heart would be undesirable pests to society. It is so strange to think that while I look into my loves’ eyes and see multitudes, the pest control looks into theirs and see statistics.

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