Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Good Little Girl

I ought to let Chloe tell you this story, but, if I did, it might encourage her to feel even more smug than she does already.
Instead, let me tell you how proud I am of my good little girl . . . and we won't let her read what I say!

It was the day of the annual Animal Service, and it was definitely going to be a big occasion for Chloe. She knew, from having attended the service last year, that on such occasions both cats and dogs are honour-bound to behave impeccably . . . such was her firm intention.

Settling herself happily in the pew beside our friend Sally, she was a model of good behaviour. True, there was the occasional glance over the top of the pew, just to investigate the new arrivals, but, all in all, she remained quiet, unobtrusive and very good.

The dogs in the adjoining pews were equally well-behaved. In fact, the only intrusive voice, one that arose at regular intervals throughout the service, came from a cat basket at the rear of the church. After registering surprise that such bad manners should be displayed by one of her own species, Chloe decided to ignore this ill-behaviour.

It was only when the service was over, and the pets and their owners converged in the aisles, that it became apparent who had been making her presence felt so forcibly. Standing determinedly astride her pew, freed from the restrictions of the cat-basket and now out on a lead, was a young relative of Chloe . . . another Bengal cat.

Back arched, ears back and eyes blazing, it was quite clear that she had no intention of curbing her feelings now that the service was over. On the contrary, her new freedom enabled her to dominate the proceedings as forcibly as she wished.
She hissed at the startled dogs, looked fiercely at Chloe and told everyone within earshot that she was not a girl to be trifled with.
Cautiously backing away, the docile dogs eyed this small-scale virago with surprise and respect.

According to Chloe's philosophy, little girls achieve all that they want simply by widening their large, blue eyes and weaving themselves sinuously around the ankles of their devoted admirers. It has always worked for her!
She gazed in shock and disbelief at this modern miss, a cat who, in Chloe's eyes, was sacrificing the long-proven strategy of feminine wiles in favour of feminist militancy.

Watching this conflict of views, I felt a little anxious. What if Chloe admired the newcomer's tactics? What if she, too, decided that stridency was preferable to feminine guile?
But I need not have worried.

"What a good cat," said members of the congregation admiringly, as they paused to give Chloe a stroke.
Chloe's guileless blue eyes widened appreciatively at these compliments.
"A very good girl!" I confirmed with relief.

Chloe may not be modern-minded, but she knows the tactics that suit her . . . and she plays them to perfection.

She also has the feline wisdom to recognise that a loving heart (combined with steely determination) gets a good little girl just what she wants!
Did I mention that she can be a thorough pickle at home?
No . . . I don't think we'll go into that!