Saturday, 16 June 2012

Saturday 16th June - The cats with no brains

We have two cats; supposedly sisters, probably nine years old. The short haired one is "the upstairs cat", also known as "fraidy-cat", and properly called "Leo"; the long haired, fluffy one is "the downstairs cat", also known as "the blob" and properly called "McCavity". We didn't realise they were female when we named them.

The first pair of kittens we acquired, back in 1978,  were called Laurel and Hardy, brother and sister. The mother cat was about a quarter Siamese, so although Laurel and Hardy were black and white,like penguins, they had a lot of Siamese characteristics, especially The Voice. Laurel was the bright one, Hardy the dim one, and he only lived for a couple of years, having failed to look both ways before crossing the road.

The second pair of kittens, born in 1985, were Silver and Tigger, beautiful Burmillas, cheap, because they were breeder's rejects. They were the wrong colour; they were supposed to be palest, palest grey, but Silver was too grey and Tigger was tawny. They were also very clever and would come for walks with us across the fields outside. This was a little problematical as they hated dogs and would attack them on sight, whatever size or breed. They entertained us for sixteen years, and even now, ten years afterwards, are still sorely missed.

The current cats are very different. For a start there is no love lost between them (Laurel and Hardy, and then Silver and Tigger, would curl up together in a furry heap, but Leo and McCavity can only just cope with being in the same room). And then they are very, very, dim. At the ripe old age of 9 they have finally learnt to have conversations with people. Leo will come and tell you if she has had an adventure somewhere, and McCavity can squeak as well as purr if you stroke her ears just right.

The children maintain that Leo and McCavity share three brain cells between them. Sometimes one cat has all the brain cells at the same time, which provides a comprehensive explanation of what the other cat is doing, or not doing, and why.

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