One thing that can be said about me is that, if nothing else, I am consistent. I consistently wake up late, I consistently love chocolate way more than I should and I consistently take long, unannounced breaks from writing, even after my last post promised to regularly blog. Oh well, I guess that’s what you get for reading a bad blogger’s blog and putting your faith in shady, unreliable characters. This is actually probably all your own fault and you have no one to blame but yourself, so shame on you.
You know what? I feel like to make up for my prolonged absence I probably owe you guys some embarrassing Bec stories! Yay… (why do I do this to myself for you people?)
In saying that though, this may not be the funniest post I’ve ever written or even the most interesting but it’s very important to me and pretty personal. So, with that rather dreary introduction out of the way I’d like to talk about my grandma and how she shaped who I am today.
For you see, like her, I am a crazy cat lady
My whole life I’ve LOVED cats, even though they’ve never really loved me back. It’s possibly because that’s the nature of cats; always aloof and, while still affectionate, always putting their independence first. However, it’s probably much more likely that they just don’t enjoy it when squealing maniacs come running full speed at them. I’m yet to find someone who responds well to this reaction but they’re out there somewhere!
As a kid, I was the kind of girl who would spend just that little too much time luring and petting the neighbourhood cats on the way home from school, much to the chagrin of the poor girl I walked with. And when I was really young, I would often misunderstand expressions, like when Mum told me that when we got home my dad would “be having kittens.” You can imagine my disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong though, my crazy is in no way a unique occurrence. The women in my family have been carrying on the crazy cat lady tradition and terrorising cats for years.
My aunty is definitely a cat enemy number 1. My grandma used to love telling the story of when my aunt was very little (we’re talking about 3 or 4 here) and she had been playing in the front yard while Grandma kept an eye on her from the kitchen while cleaning (ahhh, the laid back nature of the 50s). After a while Grandma had noticed a rather odd pattern in my aunt’s behaviour. She kept disappearing up the street and then skulking around the bin (it was kind of more like a hutch) very suspiciously. Grandma’s keen no-nonsense instincts kicked in and she just had to go see what she was up to. When Grandma walked down to the bin my aunt was nowhere in sight. So, she casually flipped the lid, only to then jump back in shock as about three tabby cats leapt out to their desperate freedom! Luckily the cats were all fine as they had only been in there for a few minutes. My aunty had been catching them and putting them in there to keep because, according to her, finders keepers and she wanted a pet kitty. My aunty was pretty mad when she saw that all her hard work collecting her new friends had been undone and grew up to be this lady!
But no, really, she got in heaps of trouble and learned her lesson. Kids, don’t try that at home.
My mum used to experience the same problem I do, where no matter how much she loved her pet cat the feeling was in no way mutual. So she developed an elegant solution. The cat would only be nice to Mum when she thought she was going to the vets and would try to suck up to Mum in a drastic attempt to avoid the evil metal table and thermometer torture device all vets use. So, if Mum ever wanted a cuddle with her cat, she’d simply go and sit in the car with it and reap its frantic friendliness.
While writing this I’m beginning to think that myself and my family are a few screws loose of a fully working giant robotic cat and maybe I shouldn’t be letting people in our a secret shame…
Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound!
By the time I came on the scene my grandma had this beautiful, long-haired grey cat called Misty. She was the most gorgeous cat I have ever seen, and I’m pretty sure she knew it. There was nothing more I wanted than to go and play with Misty, but she just wasn’t having any of it.
Now, Grandma was probably the most generous person I knew. Every time we’d see Grandma we’d always have to be really careful not to compliment anything she owned (as awful as it sounds) because she’s then immediately offer it to us. It didn’t matter what is was, just knowing that she could make someone happy by giving it to them was enough for her; she was always looking to make her family happy.
Grandma and I loved each other very much. I’d spend school holidays with her in her flat, visit her after preschool with Mum, go on shopping trips with her (her favourite because she could spoil me rotten) and holidays up the coast to see her family; the whole shebang. Mum said there was nothing quite like watching Grandma and I greet each other. It looked something like this.
So, when Grandma knew how much I wanted to play with Misty but couldn’t, she just had to set things right. But there was just no way Grandma was going to be able to convince Misty to come out and play with me short of locking her in a room with me, and I doubt she would have been comfortable with that for, well, obvious reasons.
However, my grandma was a very smart woman, and so she came up with a plan.
The housing complex Grandma lived in was also the home for many stray cats, which the elderly residents fawned over. So, Grandma made up a game that just she and I would play together: cat hunting.
It wasn’t long before cat hunting was my favourite part of our visits and it became really special to me. At the end of each of our visits, Mum and Dad would head up to the car while Grandma and I went a super-secret separate way. We’d trail around the different apartment blocks of the complex, our keen cat sensing abilities scouring the wilderness of the different gardens until we’d finally spot our prey, slinking through unkempt ivy and weeds. Grandma would help me call cats over with her well-practiced feline charming technique while I would marvel at her skill. This way I could play with and pet the cats all my little heart desired, although I’m sure Mum and Dad must have gotten sick of waiting for us both to come back to the car. We didn’t always spot cats and when we did they didn’t always come to us, but I always enjoyed cat hunting and it will always be my favourite game I played with Grandma. I will always love Grandma and will never forget the all the fun we had together.
Here is a bonus cat picture because, well, that’s the sort of thing that appeals to me.