I have no idea how it happened, but we have suddenly become the trendy day-hangout for cats.
We don’t have cats ourselves. We’d love one, but Sherylyn has chronic allergic reactions to cat fur. If she visits friends who have cats the eyes run within about ten minutes and she gets a rash, all of which persist for days after the visit. So sadly, the last cat we’ve had in the house was Mum’s cat, Mercedes.
We all adored Mercedes, but when she was here, she used to love sleeping on Sherlyn’s bed. You can imagine how that went. Lots of antihistamines.
Anyway, like I say, no cats. Now we also have an established garden—let’s be honest, a beautiful crop of weeds—with mature trees. (Beautifully mown lawns, though. Thank you, James, 😊 you do good work.) It’s the suburban equivalent of old-growth forest, and like any old-growth forest supports a rich community of creatures. Birds, insects, little creatures.
Over the last ten years our neighbourhood has changed a lot. Houses have been knocked down and new ones built. Often the builder puts two separate dwellings on the one block. The owners have less land for gardens, and it’s all new growth. Most of our neighbours have cats, but there’s less garden for the cats to be in.
Oh, and did I say we’re on a weirdly-shaped block with about six houses abutting ours.
Not only that our back porch faces north-east and this time of the year it’s a beautiful, sunny spot until mid-afternoon. Plus, we have a lovely, cushioned chairs for sitting in.
It’s cat heaven.
At first it was only one cat. A tortoiseshell. She’s a hunter. She comes into the garden to stalk the wildlife. She’ll sit seemingly for hours watching the same patch of weeds.
Then a ginger-and-white cat started coming. He’s not a hunter. He sits on the lawn, king of all he surveys.
A couple of months ago a fluffy Burmese arrived. She’s a princess. She doesn’t hunt. She makes straight for the porch and the comfortable chair. She spends most of the day there.
Lastly, two weeks ago another Burmese arrived (from a different back yard). This is a young cat. He’s noisy, and he likes company. If there’s no other four-legged company when he arrives, he’s quite vocal about it.
All these cats keep school hours. We don’t see a whisker of them before 9am, nor after about 3pm.