CaseyPart of a cat’s remit, when living with a human family, is to keep watch at all times for things that aren’t part of the human’s normal living conditions.  Quite what these things might be is anyone’s guess but we have to be alert, nevertheless.  To that end, when Mum goes upstairs to get dressed after breakfast, I accompany her to check out her cupboards and wardrobes.  This can take some time as I have to be thorough in my searches. Mum will open a cupboard door and I will put my head round the door and sniff.  Then I will look at Mum to see if I should take that any further before going on to the next cupboard where the whole rigmarole is repeated.  We do this with each cupboard until we’re both satisfied that no masked intruders have wiggled their way into the house, and more specifically, into Mum’s cupboards. Then we go downstairs, ready to start the day in earnest and without a hint of intruder in sight.

Some humans have something called ‘skeletons’ in their cupboards and I’ve always been on high alert for such things although I’m not sure whether I would know what a skeleton is and what I should do with one should I ever come across one. But Mum told me a story that scared me half to death and makes me shiver whenever I think of it.

Mum has a brother who lives in America now but he used to live in England.  He was doing something called ‘genealogy’ which is where you trace your ancestors back so many generations until you can’t go any further.  Apparently, it can be quite exciting because many ordinary people have found out that they are related to extraordinary people and that gives them something called ‘kudos’ when chatting about such things with their friends.

On Mum’s Dad’s side of the family, many generations ago, there was something called a ‘murder’ committed and the body of a young woman was found bricked up in the cavity of a wall when the house was being renovated.  As hundreds of years had passed by the time she was found, she really was a skeleton and no one knew what had happened to her and why she was treated in such an awful way.  No one knows who committed the murder and we don’t actually talk about it, apart from the one time, Mum told me about it.  She said she wanted to come clean about a skeleton in her cupboard and that lots of people have these skeletons in their cupboards too, although they’re not always murders or people bricked up behind a wall in a house.

This is why I’m always on the lookout every morning when she gets dressed in case a skeleton materialises overnight and she didn’t know about it.

Biggles in my bottom drawerBiggles, who with his brother Garfield, were the first cats Mum had living with her, used to take guarding Mum’s cupboards very seriously indeed.  While Mum was at work, he would open a drawer in her bedroom so that he’d be on guard should any skeletons or masked intruders make their way into the room, and ultimately, into one of her cupboards, ready to jump out on her the next time she went into it.  

Guarding is usually very tiring work and Biggles nearly always fell asleep on the job as you can see in this photo of him.

It is also why we cats are guardians of your secrets because you can tell us anything and we wouldn’t dream of shouting it from the rooftops.  However, if there is a good bit of catnip in the offing, though, well, that’s another matter!      

  

Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)