I’ve been here for hours – it’s one of the natural lies that any cat can present shamelessly, and effortlessly, even if the trail of yuck from the cat flap to current location is so fresh that hasn’t even dried enough that a spider could walk across without getting its feet wet. There’s a second expression of routine feline innocence which follows on so perfectly, particularly when that trail of yuk is still flowing and spreading – Who? Me? No.
Courtesy of Piper, we have a new spreading trail – wood shavings. In the last week or two he has established a whole new list of perfect sleeping places, one of which is in the top of the currently open bag of wood shavings in one of the sheds. It’s just the right size, the shavings can be adjusted for comfort, and no-one bothers him there, except the chickens when I open the door to get their feed out. However, that bag of shavings is still three quarters full, so Piper is out of immediate chicken reach. If only those shaving wouldn’t get caught up in his fur…
Piper has gained weight lately. On his last visit to the vet he had hit the seven kilo mark, which makes the cat-flap a very snug fit. You would think every last trace of wood shavings would be scraped off, but it just doesn’t work like that. Whatever has clung on during the walk down from the shed now treats the cat-flap as the jump master on a parachuting team, so the shavings fling themselves off in sequence throughout the kitchen.
Of course, there’s always one who gets nervous, or needs a little push. Or perhaps mistakenly thinks that the lounge ought to be the drop zone.
Piper doesn’t care. He thinks his new bed is perfect and when I mention to him the regularly maintained sprinkle of wood shavings through the kitchen, dropping in his wake, he just gives me that look of feline innocence – Who? Me?
And then, of course, he turns the question around – where’s my treats?
In the evening, Piper has taken to sleeping on my desk, and enforcing a clear-desk policy by the simple expedient of pushing everything off. Naturally, when I turn up and ask pointed questions like where have you put my mouse? Piper delivers the casual response – Mouse? What mouse? It can’t have been me. I’ve been here for hours and there was no mouse when I arrived.
A large part of sleeping on the desk is clearly to get attention. Squeak, the small black cat, stands in front of the computer screens, slaps me round the face with her tail, and squeaks. I think it means I’ve been here for hours and no-one has stroked me. It might be my food bowl is empty, or even my water bowl is empty. It’s best to check all possibilities.
Piper takes a more direct approach. He sleeps on the desk, waits for me to step in range, and reaches for my throat.
Claws out? Me? No.
Mostly he doesn’t reach quite as far as my throat, just settles his claws into my sweatshirt at chest level, heaves himself up and waits for the requisite shoulder rub. There may be an extra heave or two, if I’m missing the spot.
Claws? What claws? Left a bit.
And finally, when he’s had enough, the claws ease off, the cat sinks down, and now all I have to do is stay very still because whilst he is sleeping on the desk, I am cast in the role of head-rest.
There may now be purring. Or snoring. It can be hard to tell.
The meaning is clear.
Who? Me? Make trouble? No.
I’ve been here for hours. Sleeping.
This was written because Piper was in the way, and because of the December #BlogBattle writing prompt of Innocent.