Friday, 12 August 2011

His name is Tumble

It isn't very often that I talk about cats. Not because they aren't infinitely interesting we just don't spend as much time with the feline world. I have always had a cat in my life and when I moved into my first house I ended up talking the very pregnant farm cat home with me. Her name was Porsche which was ironic as she was more of the bagpuss variety rather than the sleek kind. Maybe she was named Porsche for her incredible purr yet even that didn't ring true as she purred loudly only to squeak on her intake of breath so not exactly an iconic noise!

Anyhoo I wanted to tell you about Tumble. Tumbleweed was so named as he spent much of his early life endlessly rolling around , wobbling, generally not landing on his feet. He could certainly jump unfortunately he hadn't mastered the landing part. For at least two years I had to keep a baby gate on my staircase as he came down the stairs by flipping head tail head tail till he hit the bottom, with a chirrup he'd scoot around the corner as if it was normal as I tried to quieten down my beating heart.

I dread explaining who and what Tumble is as people always presume he should be kindly ended to save his suffering. Take it from me the only suffering that happens in our house is our hearing. Hypo plastic is the correct term for what used to be named Spastics ( oh how I remember that word well it seemed the de riguer for anyone who wasn't popular). So not only is he Hypo plastic he only has one working eye and is completely deaf.

Now coming from a household with two three legged dogs, a horse with a hole in his heart and irregular heart beat you could see people looking strangely at me when I said what I had. Now that those lovely old guys are no longer with me he lives in a healthy household with only one doddery boy so he stands out like a preverbal sore thumb.

Being hypo plastic means he is Peter Pan of the cat world so ornaments remain high up, legs are still to be rugby tackled, dogs to be wrestled despite the gargantuan size difference. He likes to chirrup then run manically, albeit clumsily, around the house sending the podencos into full chase mode before returning to the room, chase hounds being chased.

Most visiting dogs are completely bemused or alarmed at this creature, a cat that behaves like no other. Any friendly dog is immediately smothered by love, dogs that hold off are generally worked on, kneaded, shaped until the are putty in his paws.Cat aggressive dogs are quietly stalked before he heads off to the kitchen. Time for that dog to leave this is Tumbles terrain, unfriendly dogs need not visit.

Yet recently I have noticed something creeping up on my dear feline...he is starting to behave much more cat like. Sure he still loves a ride out in the car, the vets are there for individual attention and a new place to check out a bath is a refreshing change. A few months ago he shocked us all and himself by hissing. He obviously couldn't hear it yet when he hissed he looked a little embarrassed, confused and befuddled. He also is getting less tolerant, no longer willing to put u with someones bad behaviour.

Isn't it funny how it is the little things that define who they are. He loves a pat a good hearty big dogs pat, enjoys having his ears pulled hard. He will only travel on your left shoulder but once there he will stay there rubbing your ear so hard with his mouth that you wince as his teeth connect with delicate skin. Tumble has no inhibitions, if he wants a pat he shoves you so hard on the booby that you feel your bra nearly buckle under the pressure. He has also been known to do that on mens groin, lets face it he isn't daft one way or the other he gets a reaction. Another funny slightly alarming habit is to give you a gentle nip and rag when he wants attention again it works beautifully!

Mind he is loud, what is it about deaf animals that make them think you are deaf. Tumbleweed doesn't meow he MEOWS I mean really BAWLS at the top of his lungs. He also spins so hard that you wait for something to fall off. I can't believe he hasn't worn a track in my rug walking his funny stereotypical march, always when he is hungry or frustrated, he will even jump obstacles on his track. This is usually a dog or feet lying in the way.

The quiet things are to be worshipped and revelled in, when he lies up against you his body rippling off his purring ( ah yes that is loud too), if he wakes his one eye is soft and he gives you such a loving look with a gentle stretch he rubs up against you and slowly slinks back into his dream world. When he wraps his paws around your neck and kisses you I smile then of course I wait.......did I mention one of Tumbles issues? He can put a snotty nosed kid to shame when it comes to being snotty, one snuffle and it makes Bruce run from the room and the two dogs running into the room to check him out. So he kisses you and you get a surge of love and fear he has managed to repel more than one visitor with his unfortunate snuffles.

So as I sit here the dogs are lying down, Flute and Tips chewing bones whilst plotting how to get the others bone, Shy lying in wait for his tea arriving Tumble lies on the settee his back nestled into my thigh and the rhythmical sound of him snoring accompanies my tapping on the keyboard.

Maybe one day you will meet him, ask me to put his hoodie on and I can guarantee you will have seen nothing like it in your life!

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