I came in from a lovely, long walk with my bipeds recently and Pippin, the cat, came to greet us as soon as we arrived home. He walked around the bipeds’ legs and they stroked him. Then he came to greet me and we sniffed noses. He stayed with me and walked around my legs, as I headed across the room to settle down for a nap. As soon as I was spread out on the floor, he started sniffing my paws – he likes to do that when he thinks I may have been somewhere interesting. I was soon drifting off to sleep, while my little friend continued to savour the smells on my paws. The thought struck me how different it was from our very first meeting.
When my bipeds brought me home, I was just a puppy. They carried me into the kitchen and put me on the floor, while they went to open the back door to take me out into the garden. I spotted a small dish of food on the floor and I trotted across and ate the food. They picked the dish up and we went outside. I was so interested in the new experience of walking on the grass that I didn’t notice the animal approaching us at first. Pippin had heard the bipeds come home and had come to see them, but when he saw me he was absolutely horrified and he turned and ran away to hide.
I heard one of the bipeds say, “Oh dear, poor Pippin! That was a bit of a shock for him! He was supposed to meet the puppy later, when she’s asleep and quiet!”
When we went back indoors I settled down for a nap, I was tired from all the excitement. When I woke up again, I had my very own bowls in the kitchen – one for water and one for my food. The small bowls had gone. I later discovered that they were Pippin’s bowls and they were now out of my reach in the utility room. I didn’t see Pippin again for a few days.
I noticed my bipeds kept swapping the blanket I slept on. Each time they took it away they left it next to Pippin’s food bowl when he was eating. They said that this should make him associate me with pleasant things and make it easier for him to accept me as part of the household. One day, as I woke up from a nap, I noticed Pippin was in the room. One of the bipeds stopped me from getting up to go and see Pippin and Pippin left the room. Every time I saw Pippin, he was free to get away from me and I was never allowed to follow him. As the weeks went by he became a lot more relaxed about being in the same room as me, but we weren’t left alone together until I was much older.
One evening, when I was five months old, Pippin was sitting on the lap of the male biped and I felt jealous. I got up and went over and pushed Pippin with my nose. This took Pippin by surprise and he stuck his claws in the biped in his hurry to get away from me. I was banished to the kitchen for what seemed like ages. When I was allowed back in the room, Pippin was calm again and sitting next to one of the bipeds on the sofa. I was kept on my lead and told to lie down quietly. This was very difficult as they were making a fuss of Pippin and I wanted all the attention from the bipeds. After a little while I was allowed near the biped who was making a fuss of Pippin. I sat close by and I was given treats and attention, as long as I made no attempt to push Pippin away.
Now I am the best of friends with Pippin and I wouldn’t dream of pushing him out of my way – I have learnt that all good things come to she who waits! If he is on a biped’s lap and I would like some attention as well then I form an orderly queue of one – I either go to the side of the chair and stand patiently or I lie on the biped’s feet.
Mulberry is also one of my best friends. He was a lot more enthusiastic when we met, but I’ll tell you about that another time.
See you next Wednesday!