I have been cogitating recently over the exact number of cats I actually do have? It has definitely exercised my one working brain cell. You see Austin is kosher; no, I don't mean he complies with Jewish dietry laws, but he is legit. I traipsed to the RSPCA rescue centre in Colwyn Bay and filled in the forms, did and said all the right things, then voila! he was mine - even though he wasn't the dog I originally went there for!
I have to say though that on the whole he has tried very hard to assuage my disappointment by behaving as much like a dog as is possible for a cat to do without losing any of his innate catness and an ounce of his cat dignity. Tigger, on the other hand, arrived by the back door - literally!
One day I was in the little kitchen downstairs (well, it's just a utility room really, but it has aspirations!), and I heard a scratching and Austin's distinctive I-am-pretending-to-be-pathetic-so-you'll-take-pity-and-let-me-in mew. (I have mentioned before that Austin's vocal repertoire is quite extensive, but he knows that particular sound always means he will melt my heart and get his own way!). I opened the door, Austin paused and looked to his left, and round the corner came this gorgeous tabby (just-a-bit-larger-than-a) kitten. He came through the door like he'd been doing it forever! Austin, looking a bit embarrassed, followed.
We called him Humbug to start with, as he resembled one of those mint concoctions, but he seemed a little hurt by it. I realised why he might be a little discomforted by this moniker as when I looked it up, I found it also meant baloney, bilgewater, bosh, drool, taradiddle, tommyrot, tosh, twaddle! Resisting the temptation to call him Taradiddle (which I feel is an excellent name for a cat) we eventually settled on Tigger; although I don't know why we bother as he doesn't answer to it - or anything else really.
Anyway he settled in very quickly after the initial wall to wall and floor to ceiling nose inspection. But my original question was how many cats do I have? I mean how much time does he have to spend here eating Austin's food and sleeping in Austin's bed before he can legitimately go round and tell everyone that he's moved and now lives at no. 42?*
Ok so we didn't choose him, but he chose us and Austin thinks he's the best thing since sliced cooked chicken breast: though I do wish they wouldn't keep trying to take great furry chunks out of each other!
*We don't actually live at number 42; we don't have a number. Happily we are amongst the few who still have a name :>)