Portrait of a cat 3
November 3, 2006
White lotus’s ‘who, little me?’ look
This is where my attempts at anthropomorphic-free descriptions break down as Bua Khao (White Lotus) seems to share many common human traits- mostly some less desirable ones. For most people, though, she’s the favourite. Who could resist those large appealing eyes? Bua Khao is attractive and she knows it. She’s a flirt. If anyone new comes near the house she will greet them, roll on the ground and arch her rear quarters provocatively before lying still to be carressed, like a well-to-do woman being pampered in one of the ubiquitous spas around here. She has soft fur, silky on one side and fluffy on the other which just cries out to be stroked. She is the only one of our cats to have a normal miao and she uses it to great effect. This, in fact, is how she first gained access to the house for at that point we were saying ‘three cats are more than enough,’ (the third being Saddam’s twin brother, a good-natured, fun-loving fellow who, sadly, died). Then we had to deal with Bua khao miaouing plaintively, pleading with her green eyes and rubbing herself affectionately against us. So, having been granted a temporary entry permit, she soon gained permanent residence rights. She does not get on well with the other cats, being particularly grumpy early in the morning, and any that come near her are likely to receive a swift swipe of her paw. If we pay attention to any of the others, Bua Khao will come storming in demanding to be stroked. There was a period of about ten days when all the other cats were at the vets and for Bua khao this was bliss- she spent the whole time with us, affectionate and playful, a paragon of feline virtues. At first she was particulaly attached to me, waiting at the bedroom door every morning then doing her rolling over, carress-me act. Then we took her to the vet for some female surgery. Apparently once there she fixed me with a reproachful ‘you betrayed me’ stare and for weeks afterwards would not let me come near her. Even now, although she will occasionally roll over for me, most of the time I get the feeling that she only just tolerates my presence.
Bua khao is meticulous with her toilet
She often spends the night outside and when she wants to come in will leap up to the bedroom window. Unlike the agile Miou who has mastered the art of leaping silently, when Bua Khao manages to reach the window there is an almighty crash as she demolishes half the mosquito netting. When I was still in favour (and, I imagine, a little bit to be feared) Bua khao stayed in the house one night and, for the first time, did her business inside, using the shower drain in the bathroom. That morning she met me at the bedroom door, miaoing in some agitation, and led me to the discovery of the offending object. If she thought that by this charade she would escape punishment she was absolutely right. Like the others, she loves playing with a piece of string and gets quite excited, jumping up onto any nearby furniture. Being rather plump, she sometimes doesn’t make it and flops in ungainly fashion to the floor. She is obsessed with cupboards and drawers- she can be apparently fast asleep but if someone so much as touches the door of a cupboard she is down peering curiously into its inner recesses. On one occasion she managed to get behind some drawers and I had to dismantle a piece of furniture to get her out. One of her tricks is to wait outside the door until it is opened. She will then crouch like a Linford Christie about to take off and finally launch herself a the speed of light into the kitchen. That’s where her favourite resting places are- on top of the microwave or on any of the shelves. She is extremely fussy about what she eats- apart from dry food and gorgonzola she will only eat mackerel that has been bought the same day. Another of her favourite tricks is to wait by her food dish expectantly then when she is presented with her favourite food, cast a disdainful glance at it before stalking off. When I go out for a walk round the block at night, three cats follow me: Saddam lumbering along in front, then Bua Khao swaying her hips as if on the catwalk (which, I suppose, she is) and Miao darting backwards and forwards in and out of the neighbours’ gardens. I take a torch and periodically count the eyes that it lights up to make sure we are all together. One day, I believe, she will forgive me.
a scary Halloween cat