Friday, 3 June 2011

Got to love your pets...

At the risk of sounding like 'crazy cat woman' this post is about cats,
or more specifically it's about Twmff my boy cat. (Pronounced Too-mph.)

There are two cats that live here with us - Twmff the male and Modlen the female.
You can read more about their Welsh names here if interested.

Modlen is a proper cat, - she'll more or less do her own thing during the day and then find your lap to sleep on during the evening. Sometimes I wonder if she sleeps 20 out of 24 hours? She lives her own life kind of a cat. Twmff on the other hand....well, Twmff is a little confused! You see we think that Twmff doesn't believe he's a cat!

a little afternoon nap

When we brought these rescued cats home they spent the first few weeks under the sofa. They were very poorly little cats and would only venture out in terms of necessity. Twmff would appear nose first, scan the room then go back and nudge Modlen out and guard her as she ate. He has always looked out for her. Once, when she went missing for a couple of days he spent the whole time on the front veranda or in the study window looking down the driveway whimpering...

"I don't want to be indoors"

This was the first sign that Twmff was not what I considered a normal cat.
Most cats give the odd miaow - Twmff has full blown conversations! Loud ones! He will 'answer' when spoken to (oh dear, now I definitely sound like 'crazy cat woman!). I swear that I have stopped what I'm doing on more than one occasion as one of his miaows sounds just like "maa-aam"!

"how much more??"
Sibs has treated Twmff like a live teddy from when he was a kitten. He gets carried around, played with - he's even been on the trampoline with her a few times and appears to like it! He does occasionally give me the look that says "how much more?" but most of the time they are absolute best friends.

sneaking on to the bed with Sibs

He comes when called and when story time was 'read aloud' time he would be first at the bottom of the bed waiting for the book to be chosen. He sleeps outside Sibs's room guarding her like a dog.
All of this is great for a family who secretly want a dog...maybe he knows??

story time

Anyhow, his latest escapade in the "I'm not sure that I really am a cat" world is to question why he has to stay indoors overnight...

Here in Brisbane it is encouraged to keep your cats indoors. We tried this with our two for the first 6 months or so but Twmff would be out of any open window or crack in the door before you knew it. The obvious solution therefore was to install a lockable cat flap. For a couple of years this has worked well. The cats come and go as they please during the day, they are happy in the garden then at tea time they come indoors, the cat flap is looked and everyone is happy and safe.

Recently Twmff has been disputing this house rule...
He still comes in for his tea, but is not too happy to stay indoors. At first it was just a bit of annoying miaowing when the sun came up to let us know that it was morning and he wanted to go out. Then it became earlier and earlier and he would start scratching at the cat flap. Then a few evenings after lock down we would see his face outside the window! There were numerous "I'm sure I locked the cat flap" conversations before we realised that the clever little thing had mastered the art of moving the plastic little locks to open it and let himself out. Had I not seen him do it I wouldn't have believed it either!

Twmff aka Houdini

We placed various objects in front of the cat flap and each time he would work away to move it before opening the locks. So now, each night we lug a heavy stone and place it leaning in front of the cat flap in his way. So far this has foxed him...
However... last night at around 2.30am there was a constant flapping sound, and when I went to investigate, Twmff had managed to get one little paw between the stone and the door and had still managed to open the cat flap! He was trying to squeeze himself out of a 3cm gap!!
I know that you have to keep one step ahead of your kids, but this is something else!

You would think that he doesn't enjoy his life of luxury here at our house. As I'm typing this he's stretched out on the sofa next to Modlen snoring away. He has shelter, food, water, another cat for company...what more does he want?

Our bedtime routine is becoming more and more elaborate - checking the locks on the doors takes 2 minutes, manoeuvring the stone in front of the cat flap and now a footstool in front of the stone takes a lot longer!

You've got to love your pets...It may be a little inconvenient, but I wouldn't swap him.

8 Comments and thoughts:

  1. Twmff sounds exactly like our Albie houdini cat. We went through a similar routine placing objects in front of the cat door (no Brisbane rules here, but foxes instead) but he kept escaping. Now we have to close the door to the room that has the cat flap... very complicated! Albie chats to us too and joins in for a book. Crazy cat women perhaps, but you can't beat a GOOD cat! gxo

  2. I've never had a cat,
    but if I did, I'd want
    one the heart and personality
    of your Twmff....even if
    he was a wiley rascal!!
    Both your cats sound just
    wonderful. The men in my
    life -- Dad, brother and
    now, hubby, all have allergies
    to cat dander, so it's been
    a no-go. I am absolutely
    certain that my daughter
    will have one first thing
    when she is an adult and
    living on her own. What
    a sweet story; thanks for
    sharing it!
    xx Suzanne

  3. just like having another child in the house, an unruly teenage one! I am also allergic, so despite husbands desire, we can't get a cat. We've been pondering a dog since we are now settled in the country where we will probably live for a good many years, if not forever, undecided as to whethr to go for breed or shelter dog...we'll get there eventually and when we're ready, the right dog or dogs will come along!

  4. Cats are amazing arent they? Very clever.You have a proper houdini there!
    Glad we're not the only ones that think our cat "talks" too! Ours quite clearly (to us anyway! )can meow "hello"!
    Lovely photos!
    Gill x

  5. Perhaps Twmff has a hot date waiting for him? He's very persistent anyway.Lovely looking cats, I like cats but am allergic to them. Re. the snake, gosh you are very brave, snakes and spiders and general creepy crawlies would put me off moving to a hot country. Enjoy your weekend, love Linda x

  6. I had to laugh when I saw the photo of Twmff under the bed covers! There has been many a time when I have gone to make the beds - only to find one of our furry felines snuggled deep into the heart of the bed. No doubt about it - he is a gorgeous boy! ;)Sharyne

  7. I'm really not a cat person but your description of Twmff makes me consider an exception to this rule!

  8. Oh I love a good cat story...they are such interesting intelligent animals who are usually only pets on their own terms...very nearly human! I miss our cat...he's home with my kids in Australia and I've always had a cat in the house for company. Even if I could have one here (in a rental) I couldn't bear to leave it behind whenever we return home. Great photos and very handsome cats! Robx
    Just try to stay one step ahead of them!!