Monday, November 30, 2009

Finding a friend in Clapham

Yes, I know . . . I'm sorry. This is Rupert, and you were expecting to hear from my Mum. But, if you don't mind, this is my story. There's no way that she could possibly understand the depth of my feelings.
So, just this once, you're hearing the dramatic details straight from me.
O.K . . . ?

It all happened a few days ago. I'd just finished my breakfast when Mum told me that we were going to Clapham to visit Jill and Abigail. This was good news. I love journeys in the car and
Jill has been a friend since I was a kitten. To be visiting Abigail was not quite such good news. I remembered her as the small human blob who sat on Jill's knee. A blob who had big eyes and squawked a lot.

Between you and me, I also thought my Mum paid her far too much attention. But there you
are, I'm a tolerant cat, and the small human blob never stayed for long.

When we arrived at Clapham I had a nasty shock.
The small human blob wasn't a blob any longer. She'd grown . . . my, how she'd grown! She'd become a small human person, and was running all over the place in a very alarming fashion. Large humans I can cope with, large humans I rather like. They look at me and say, "Beautiful!" - which is true, but always pleasing to hear. Small humans are a very different matter.

It seemed wise to find a comfortable bolt-hole and take stock of this tricky situation. At the far side of the room, I spotted a small, red tent . . . just the place for a cat in need of quiet reflection. As unobtrusively as I could, I hurried across the floor in search of this welcome sanctuary.

But the small human had spotted me (to give her her due, she seemed a highly intelligent small human).

"Meow . . . Meow!" she cried, waving her arms.

What was all that about?
I hadn't the faintest idea. Perhaps small humans speak a different language?

Reaching the small, red tent, I bolted inside.
But the small human had been watching me. Now down on the floor on all fours, she struggled to follow whilst Jill tried to stop her . . .

Crouching deep inside the tent, I gazed out through a chink in the drapery and grew increasingly worried.

Small humans, as I've discovered, can be very determined and, sure enough . . . this one finally made it.

There she was . . . looming up beside me in the tent . . . all waving arms and legs and big smiles!

Boy! Was I scared!

I must admit that she had a nice face. But you never know what small humans will do. They can pull your tail . . .
poke their small fingers in your eyes and ears . . . and, between you and me, I was thoroughly alarmed.

If it hadn't been for the cat's Golden Rule: "Behave Well When You Go Out Or You Won't Go Visiting Again", I don't know what I'd have done.

Then . . . all at once, the small human leaned forward and gave me a stroke.
It was such a soft stroke. A really gentle, loving kind of stroke.

"Meow . . . Meow!" she said.
Perhaps 'meow' means 'beautiful'?
Whatever it means, there was no doubt that this small human (now she's my friend, I'd better call her Abigail) meant no harm.

I began to relax.
Being trapped in a small tent with a total stranger wouldn't have been my idea of fun.
But . . . well, in the light of experience we can all change our views.

So . . . if Jill and Abigail invite us again . . . it might be quite enjoyable to return to Clapham!