Our cats quietly stroll in and out of the back yard, pausing briefly at the yard gate - casting around the view and then slipping out and vanishing into our back lane and garden. One, Pepper, returning often between forays, standing at my side and 'meeiaoweeek'-ing (a small miaow that seems to tail off into a squeak). Sometimes I know what she is saying ... I am wet ... or I am cold.... or hungry. Often I wonder if she is just reporting back what she has seen - as she has just done now.
To explain ... the house is quiet apart from the radio broadcasting an interview where the unfortunate guests are having to sing on the spot while using the gripes and moans of some random caller - bizarre entertainment.
Any hoo, in pods a cat on quiet feet. I can see her as she walks in a vague wave pattern along the yard, gently crossing over then back as she transverses the space.
Then the quick clack clack of the cat flap as she enters the kitchen. A momentary silence. Although I can't see her, I know she is casting around, checking on her surrounds and her territory. Then suddenly she is at my side, looking up. A chirrup - similar, I assume to a human clearing their throat to attract attention.
I look down and say hello - she responds with a rather long sentence - a mixture of meeiaoweeeks and chirrups, brips and prrrrs. Out of part courtesy and part curiosity I always respond as if I know what she has said - this usually elicits a second singsong sentence and it is this one I usually understand as this often has body language as well as chitchat. Her favourite conversation is usually related around food and if she has come in wet or cold, she will tell me by standing up and patting my arm or leg or if I appear to be ignoring her, a quick leap on to the desk and a swift but gentle patting of my face with a wet or cold paw.
I then respond - as I should as a good owner/cat-mother - by following her to the kitchen to rub her dry or rub her warm and then as a reward - offer her a small but rather tasty cat treat. This is what it is all about.... the cat treat. A very small but obviously addictive and morish nibble not much bigger that my tip of my little finger. Nibble urge sated, fur dried, the small but determined cat will slip back out of the cat flap and I will return to what ever I am working on knowing that in about twenty minutes the ritual will be repeated. Only this time I will put the kettle on while we are in the kitchen. Such are are the small but sweet interruptions during my working day at home :)
And the photos? Taken last night after dropping Youngest off at Uni, using my camera I experimented with light and movement while Himself drove us home.
Ahh. The cat has returned - excuse me - I am off to the kitchen to ruffle fur, hand over a small treat and to put the kettle on.....