Why the furry delight?
Basking in the sun the other day and enjoying the luxurious warmth of this great ball of fire from the skies, I suddenly noticed a pair of sparkling, mischievous eyes peeping at me from behind a cluster of flowers. All of a sudden, there was a flurry and the “owner” of those beguiling eyes came bounding joyously towards me and rubbed herself against my ankles.
A furry delight?
I bent down and patted her head, and I was rewarded with a deep- throated purr coming from her throat. Before I could say “Jack Robinson!” she had jumped on to my laps and was soon snuggling contentedly.What a delight!
I see you’ve guessed who she is, haven’t you? Well, you’re not far from the truth: She’s “Baby” as we fondly refer to her, our family Tabby cat whom we all adore.
She came to us quite unexpectedly about eight years ago when she was just a few weeks old. I wasn’t around then, but my mum told me she had been “sold” to her by some street boys who spotted her in another suburb,, wondering about and obviously dejected. Since then, she has become an integral part of my parents’ household, and brought us untold joy, our little furry delight.
Beauty of the this lovely delight
In appearance, she has a smooth, satiny coat of black and white fur that is soft and velvety to the touch. Her eyes are of a Topaz greenish color with black pupils that glower like a fiery light in the dark. She has a pink dot of a nose, the inevitable whiskers and the lower part of her face comprises white fur, with two small sputterings of black fur near her nose and the upper part of her mouth, on the right side. These we jokingly refer to as her “beauty spots” or “moles”. The upper part of her face comprises black fur, and when she’s asleep with her eyes closed and you look at her from afar, you’ll think she has no eyes at all!!
The lower part of her paws is sprinkled with white fur which we call her “socks” for indeed she looks as though she’s wearing white socks. Her tail is all black.
A typical “day” in the life of “Baby” begins by rising early, grooming herself briefly and then waylaying the first person who goes into the kitchen so that she will lead then to her favorite gadget: The Refrigerator, where her tastiest “dish” is kept. After a hearty breakfast of fresh meat, she will then proceed outside and explore, pausing here and there to sniff at her favorite flowers and nuzzle her face against them. At times she will climb the nearby Mango tree and sharpen her claws (the “catty” way of having a manicure, would you say?). She will then visit other homesteads in the immediate neighborhood, or probably jump onto the garage and sun herself for a while.
More often than not however, she will return to the house and look for a comfortable place for a snooze. One peculiar habit with “Baby” is that she changes locations for her nap, for a few days to one week at a time preferring to sleep in a certain area of the house to another and so on. This “girl” really slumbers; she seems to have lots of sleep to “sleep off”! She will probably wake up for a breather at lunch hour or continue snoozing for the rest of the afternoon. Come evening time, and she will step out for a few moments, ready to “welcome” and “greet” her owners when they come home from the toils of earning a living. Later, she will have supper, go out for an hour or two and on most nights, will come back to bed for the night.
I see surprise etched on your face: “Baby” has a makeshift bed complete with strips of blankets and sheets so that she can be tucked in warmly as only a pampered pet would. In hotter weather though, she prefers to bed down for the night on the kitchen doorstep, so that the cool night air fans her fur: It’s my bet she feels more comfortable that way!
“Baby” is very clean- grooming herself several times a day thoroughly and with careful precision. She loves her food with meat being her best “delicacy” though she also eats maize, cake, mandazi and cooked green vegetables. She also fancies sour milk and yoghurt. Now, that’s my idea of a well fed “ball” of fur!
She doesn’t take to strangers and is only comfortable with members of her household whom she knows by instinct. She rarely gets into fights with other cats in the neighborhood and for most part is rather peaceful. She has her “moods” too as is more characteristic with tabby cats and when she’s displeased or angry will emit a low, growling sound, a hiss and probably claw someone: though not too hard. When she’s happy, she’ll roll on her back, stretch languidly and yes, of course, purr wholeheartedly. She’ll even frisk around joyfully.
At the sound of danger:
When “Baby” senses danger or some other cat or pets from the neighborhood comes wandering into her territory, the furs on her body stand on end, and especially those on her tail. She cocks her ears and her eyes grow round with alarm. She will then take a crouching position and either chase the “intruder” or rush back to the house for safety when she realizes she has formidable opposition.
I must point out that “Baby” is very fussy about where she is touched. She doesn’t like anyone stroking her stomach but would prefer that she is stroked beneath her chin or at the back of her head. She’s also quite protective of her paws and tail.
We are thankful that “Baby” rarely falls ill and is in generally good health for a cat her age. She’s a real blessing to have around and gives us a sense of peace, well-being and of connectivity with the animal world which can be very fulfilling.
That, in a nutshell, concludes the fond story of our “little girl in fur”. It is our greatest hope and prayer that she will continue to be part of our household for a long time to come: for she is now “family”, our “little best friend”: A REAL FURRY DELIGHT.
Over to you pet lovers!!
To contact Mary Valai,the author of “A furry delight“, please send me a mail.