Housemates

The slick and dashing young man obviously had his own personal tailor because even to the untrained eye the cut of his suit was immaculate. He strode purposely up the squat garden path, just a simple lawn on either side, no flowerbeds and knocked confidently on the front door. There was no bell or doorknocker, the paint was in need of a fresh coat which made the property look like it was shedding its skin as all the paint work needed touching up.

 I was watching this from one of my favourite positions of our house, the front room window sill, where I often perched myself to view the outside world. I like to dream my little dreams and watch the birds twittering and flying around the garden. As my fellow house dweller answered the resolute rapping at the front door, I could tell from the look of resignation on this extremely well dressed young man’s face as the door opened, that he would make no sales at this particular address today. He seemed to know it as one who walks into a room filled with tension from an argument knows that an argument has occurred without being told. My companion has an uncanny knack for instantly letting people know how much they were encroaching on our humble lives. One of her extremely serious looks speaks volumes.

            This well-groomed young man began his sales pitch, if a little half heartedly to his normal patter, whereby my fellow house dweller cut him completely short, telling him in no uncertain terms that she was a pensioner living on very little money. Her late husband could not even be bothered to make the necessary provisions to look after her in the event of his death as he was often in the betting shop or the boozer. If left up to her, the whole world would be completely put to rights as it would invariably always be the fault of interfering outsiders. There just seemed to be a complete lack of caring left between people. The well dressed young man bid her as cheerful a farewell as he could muster and drifted like a ghost away from our house without even trying to ascertain any leads for future sales, a dejected air about him as he floated down the road.

            She had lived in the village all her life, with me keeping her company for the last ten years. Thora, fifty eight, is a very critical and severe lady who has a rather sneering scrutiny to life’s eventualities. This explains her apparently despondent demeanour to any person that encounters her. That is anyone human, as my presence in the household proves, and she will often assist any little fledgings or refugees found in the garden that need looking after. There was a certain hedgehog once that strayed into our kitchen with a very crooked limp who took quite a liking to my favourite chair during his convalescence period. I may be Thora’s favourite but even I have to take a back seat occasionally, but I will never be lacking in warmth, love and food.

            The only individual in Thora’s opinion that really matters is me, her beloved Persian Blue, although she had deemed to label me Arkwright. To any outsiders I may be just an exquisite looking cat (you would need to set eyes on me to make your mind up, I actually know this), but to my fellow roomy, my loving and caring owner, I am her only kin and a very valuable member of our household. Thora certainly goes the extra mile (or three) to keep me to the decadent and decent manner that I have become accustomed and I will always be eternally grateful for her devotion and dedication, which I reciprocate in the best way that I can.

            She has always blamed her husband for dying at an early age, leaving a few debts and no money, as to why she made do with cast offs and jumble sale attire. These deeds were what made it possible for me to lead this rather more pampered, proud and decadent lifestyle than your average cat may receive. The local butcher knew just exactly which prime cuts of beef, pork, lamb or chicken were suitable for an extremely pampered pussy such as myself. No tins of Katkins for me, whilst Thora herself would be quite content to eat liver, heart, kidney or any other cheaper cuts of entrails. After all, the iron in these meats was very good for her and we both ate our five a day, making for a well balanced diet, although sometimes I had more fun using Brussels sprouts as a ball to play with.. I would often be seen tailing Thora on her frequent trips to the butchers, where I will sit patiently outside his store, watching the transactions take place, making sure that Thora is as well taken care of as she is of attending to my upkeep and care. If anything untoward was ever to happen then this would mean me being on hand to back her up. I will hiss, spit or claw at anybody that shows disrespect to Thora and you will soon see that my size does not deter me from protecting those dear to me.

            If any unexpected visitors ever knock on our door, for example the salesman that I mentioned earlier, they will quickly ascertain that they are nothing but an encumbering nuisance at this particular household. They certainly will not have much luck in selling anything and Thora will not even let people sit down (if they are lucky enough to get over the threshold!) just in case I want the ‘comfy’ chair; after all it is mine! They will not even receive a sociable drink like a cup of tea, being told instead how short of money that she is, on account of being a widow on a pension. Thora’s social skills are a little rusty since her husband died; she never was not that good with people though because the most important things to her are looking after me and making sure that nobody encroaches on our humble home for too long. Of course too long to my wonderful house mate and myself would be somewhere in the region of about ten minutes! Anything longer than that and even I will be getting antsy, but then I am a cat and my breed are renowned for being choosy about the company that we keep.

            She is of a generous build, definitely not obese though, and this is a marker for keeping me in the best feline shape as possible. I am sleek, nimble and lithe and can go from purring around my mistress’ legs to that well known state of cat flip out around the garden in seconds. Sorry, I will correct myself, a split second! A few rollers are a permanent fixture in Thora’s hair, only half a dozen though; she never seems to quite get around to doing all of her head. I can often be found playing with these dangling playthings, pawing at them just like a kitten (I remember those days fondly!). Surprisingly, or not if you are lucky enough to know Thora personally, this will be one of the few things in life that causes a smile to rise on Thora’s face, although there will rarely be any other humans present in our household to witness this phenomenon, as we enjoy having our evenings to ourselves.

You will find a typical evening for Thora will be spent in our favourite armchair with me, the aforementioned pampered pussy on her lap, occasionally pawing idly at her hair rollers, in front of our snug and homely log fire, filled with fuel very kindly donated by the farmer down the road who absolutely loves cats (a rarity; most farmers regard us as vermin) and always insists that Thora accept these as a gift, thereby ingratiating himself to us as one of the really caring people in the world. A dated wireless in the corner will often be on with some kind of play coming through the one speaker. Thora also loves to hate that man on the news, all doom and gloom, the views of the world never seeming to be happy in any way, which is fairly ironic in a way as she often views the world with much contempt herself. This is the reason why she will not own a television, plus the fact that she cannot see the point of paying the licence fee when all they show are repeats.

 We will remain in this very comfortable manner until approximately ten o’clock at night when Thora will make us a warm, milky drink; Cocoa for Thora, just the warm milk for me, with a half a teaspoonful of honey in it which is another gift from the farmer. After these relaxing bedtime beverages, we will both retire to our comfortable, cosy bedroom, so that Thora will be sufficiently rested in order to make me, her princely, pampered pussy, comfortable all over again the next day!

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