Whilst he's been away, I have had the distinct pleasure of looking after Lord B's two cats. Goodness, a more neurotic pair of creatures it is hard to imagine.
One is extremely fat and nervous. I call her Fatty Boombatti and she isn't so bad really. It's taken her a couple of years to get used to me, but now she is brave enough to purr at me from across the room as I replenish the cat food (well, I think she's purring at me anyway). It's not much, but at least she's now a little more to me than a vaguely cat shaped streak of lightning flinging herself across the room and out of the catflap as soon as I let myself in. The other cat (who used to be called "Madeleine", but has been called "Hotpot" for the last couple of years for some reason or other) is white, slightly Egyptian looking and as deaf as a post. My first impressions were quite good, but on closer acquaintance she's as mad as a hatter. This cat has a lovely bowl of water in the house (refreshed twice a day by yours truly), she has a litter tray, she also has a cat flap to let herself into the garden. So what does she do when I come in? She runs to the back door, asks to be let out, and heads directly for a flower-pot filled with fetid black water, rubbish and cigarette ends and starts to drink. As you might imagine, this water makes her sick, and so I sometimes find that she's had an accident on the carpet. Bless her.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not at all resentful of this little task. It's not a chore and it doesn't involve much effort at all. I simply toddle down the street a couple of times a day, refresh the food & water and give the pair of them a little tickle before toddling back up the street.
I like cats in general, and I quite like these two characters.... they're just mentalists is all.
But who am I to talk, eh?