Well it's happened! After 1 year 9 months and 8 days, Austin has finally spent the whole night alfresco. I know why; it's the lure of the Friday night laddish sub-culture. When they get to a certain age, they discover "attitude" - you know the type of thing; the asserting-their-independence rite of passage: so it's out-with-the-lads, couple of beers, a catnip spliff or two ... . Last week, we had him rolling in at 2.30 a.m. - and he only came in then because I'd got up to ... well .... you know! So bleary-eyed on the step - that's me, not him - I was all for having it out there and then, but was too bunged up with cough and cold to be able to do justice to the
seriousness of the situation:
"Wod tybedoob yood caw did?" would only make him fall about laughing and the moment would be lost. (BTW if it wasn't swine flu I had, it was definitely something that came with a snout!). So I let it go ... and then let it go ........ Consequently, when this Friday night came round, I let him stay out as usual until about 10.30. Big Mistake. No amount of calling, whistling, banging the food bowl or not-so-veiled threats would tempt him inside. Ok, there was a cat at the door at one point, but it was just Tigger. Now much as I love him, he's not actually family - not even legally adopted, just an itinerant and a scrounger; a "schnorrer" in fact.
I don't know what it is about this tabby, but he manages to be very eloquent with his eyes and general demeanour. He completely mesmerises you with a kind of prescient confidence that compels you to do as he wishes. So, not family, but definitely "familiar", a demiurge in the gnostic pantheon who gently demands appeasement and knows without a doubt that he will be satisfied. I dream about those eyes. What do you think?
Though a photo does not do justice to the sheer force of his personality. Never once have I ever seen him with that "rabbit caught in the headlights" look that Austin always adopts when he wants to come in and I'm a nanosecond behind in responding to his ear-piercingly eloquent demand. For him it's as if the world is coming to an end and I'm the sole cause of it! No, Tigger is as self-assured as it is possible for a cat to be. He rules. End of.
Anyway, I need to reverse out of the narrative cul de sac I've inadvertently turned down and return to the burning issue of last Friday night. Austin had obviously found catnip heaven and wasn't about to give it up for a bite of Morrison's trout'nprawn in jelly or pretend fish pellets from PetzRUs! I gave up and went to bed. The neighbour's security light went on and off ALL night long and then at 5 a.m. I heard the aged mother stomping through the kitchen and open the conservatory door. Talk about stage whispers! I doubt if Dame Edith Evans could have done any better. The whole of North Wales is now aware of Austin's nighttime wanderings and he still didn't come in.
It wasn't until about 8 a.m. that he decided to show his face. He looked a bit cocky that's for sure, and he was hungry (which makes a change) and then proceeded to sleep the day away on his blanket. Not wanting a repeat performance the following night, I "encouraged" him into the garden at about 6. Funnily enough, he was banging on the window at about 8.30. Back to normal now, but awaiting next Friday night with some interest!