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  • Writer's pictureSheila Norton

Monty's diary - Part 3 : Settling In.

I have to say, it didn’t take me long to settle in to our new home. The two humans who we were now employing to look after us were making a pretty good job of feeding us regularly and keeping our litter trays clean. Before long we started exploring the house – at least, I did. Maddie kept complaining that she just wanted to stay on top of the kitchen cupboards and sleep. I think she’d been traumatised by the cage and the car. She only came down to eat, and use the litter tray, and only when the humans were in another room. The female human kept laughing and asking her whether she wouldn’t prefer to come down and sit on the sofa with them in the evenings.

‘No thanks,’ she mewed. ‘I don’t trust that male human. He meows too loudly.’

I knew what she meant. We weren’t really used to the male version of the species. But I’d been keeping an eye on him, and he seemed OK so far. I’d already discovered the sofas were quite comfy, and they’d put some blankets on them, specially for us to lie on. Obviously, I preferred their cushions – who wouldn’t? – and I liked sitting there with them when they watched the TV. Sometimes the female would roll a toy ball across the floor for me to chase. I noticed that when I accidentally kicked it under the sideboard, she’d have a bit of trouble getting down on the floor to reach it for me, and a bit more trouble getting up on her paws again. Like I say, they’re getting on a bit – they must be at least 12 or 13, or whatever that is in human years.

I found the dining room table quite comfy too.

Eventually I persuaded Maddie to come into the living room and play with us, and she decided she liked lying on the blanket next to the female human – Sheila. From there she could keep an eye on the male. ‘In case he suddenly pounces,’ she told me.

‘Look at all the fur all over the cooker!’ I heard Sheila saying one day. She was laughing, though, so I knew she wasn’t cross about it. Well, we can’t help shedding fur, can we? And the cooker is our route up onto the top of the cupboards, which was still our safe place, and where we liked to sleep at night, so it couldn’t be helped. ‘You’ll have to let me brush you,’ she said to me as I was rubbing myself around her legs while she cleaned the cooker again. ‘Now you’ve got used to me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, and I can get some of that loose fur off you.’

Well, I already quite liked her, but once she started brushing me, I actually fell in love. There’s nothing like a nice brushing to make you forget all your worries, is there? I soon lost all my inhibitions and found myself rolling onto my back with my legs in the air, purring and letting her brush my tummy. Maddie was watching me with a look of disgust.

Maddie watching me with disgust. (She soon changed her mind).

‘That’s so undignified,’ she said.

‘So what? It’s also so nice. You should try it.’

She’d been running away when Sheila tried to brush her, but after a few more days of watching me being undignified, she gave in, and soon she was purring too. It wasn’t long before she was rolling on her back, and then we were nudging each other out of the way when it was grooming time, meowing ‘Clear off, It’s my turn now!’

‘I’ve got to admit,’ Maddie said one night when we were on our own in the kitchen at bedtime, ‘it’s nice here. I’m still not too sure about the male, but perhaps you’re right, and he’s tamer than he looks. Anyway it’s a whole lot better here than at the Hotel for Homeless Cats, isn’t it?’

‘Definitely,’ I agreed. ‘If this is what a Forever Home is, then I’m all for it.’

And we settled down to sleep contentedly. But that was before we started having visitors. I’ll tell you about that next time.

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