Monday, 25 October 2010

Luton: the house has been approved. Official

Slowly, the pile of boxes is going down, and the place we’ve moved into is beginning to resemble somewhere that people live. For the moment though, it doesn’t really feel ours. I suppose it takes a little while before one can turn a house into a home.

This doesn’t, however, apply to all of us. One of us adapted immediately to the new place, for reasons that remain obscure to me – but then practically everything about him is obscure to me.

Our cat Misty liked the house in Luton immediately. He had no sooner got out of the car than he started inspecting every room, and purring with pleasure at each place visited. I’ve never seen him so instantly pleased with anywhere.

He particularly liked having a garden bigger than any he’d previously known. He took possession of it with great aplomb: confronted by three other cats who’d clearly got used to regarding it as their own, and who left him intimidated and cowering at one end, he was delighted when Danielle released Janka, our dog, to join him. Once Janka successfully driven away the occupants turned into interlopers, he stuck his tail in the air and stalked to the other end of the garden with tremendous pride, delighted to have a powerful ally who could protect his (self-assumed) rights.

So it was particularly unfortunate when he disappeared that night. At quarter to four in the morning he demanded to be let out, with mewing so loud and irritable that I simply couldn’t ignore it. It was freezing cold and at that time of day I was in no fit state to think carefully about what I was doing, so I closed the door behind him, locking him out, since we have no cat flap.

Back downstairs at 6:00, properly up and awake, I went out calling for him. To no avail. Danielle tried all day, I tried again that evening when I was back from work, but there was no answer. It was desperately sad. This cat who had travelled with us, several times, between France, Germany and England, always with success, was lost within a few hours of having moved into a place which he apparently found particularly congenial.

As the one who’d locked him out, my sorrow was compounded by a strong sense of guilt.

But fortunately it was all premature. At 6:00 the next morning, after he’d been gone for well over 24 hours, we heard a familiar mewing at the back door. We let him in and filled his bowl; he threw himself onto it and emptied in a matter of minutes. He then bestowed a quick purr on us and headed for his bed – actually, our bed – to get a good day’s sleep after, no doubt, a hard night’s work.

We had no apology, no explanation, no gratitude. But on the other hand, we had our cat back.

And with him came the seal of approval of the new house. And that’s worth a lot.

Contentment. And that means the house is approved


Anonymous said...

even if i don't warm up to cats, i thought the pic. of a circular misty in a red sea was very striking.

enjoy your new home


Awoogamuffin said...

Maybe he'd spent the 24 hours in a bin after meeting a local lady, no?

David Beeson said...

We certainly are enjoying his new home. And I'm not sure what he'd have done with a local lady given that he's had the most unkindest cut of all