A classic cat
Cats have their own thing going on and hold little interest in changing to suit our needs, one of the reasons I love them so much. Our beloved Ingrid, who died on Thursday, never sat on a knee for the 16 years we had her or yearned for any physical contact at all. Some people might have a problem with that or see it as stand offish maybe, but we admired her restrained and dignified approach to life. What she did do was want to be near us, quietly and not wishing to be bothered. We learned that being talked to was her thing, rather than participating much. She was a very happy cat, quiet and content, and rarely gave much away, apart from once when we went on holiday about a year after she came to live with us. Upon one our return our other cats were furious at our bare cheek, but Ingrid started purring and chirping with delight. We were shocked; we were never convinced she cared anything for us until that moment.
She never looked for a lap to curl up on or wanted handling, but a scratch between the ears and under her chin was accepted. Apart from the classic feline in front of a warm fire position, what she did enjoy was sleeping in bags (plastic carrier bags, handbags, holdalls, laptop cases, she didn’t discriminate), sitting on the top of doors, and eating fish. Later when she became ill, she liked kipping on the back of the couch and being hand fed. Classic cat.
She identified the warmest spots in the house, like any cat. When one of Andy’s colleagues came to the house once and went to use the toilet, the poor woman came right back downstairs, shocked.
‘There’s a cat asleep on your toilet floor,’ she said.
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘It’s right above the water heater. Just ignore her.’
You can’t argue with a true cat.
Every night at approximately 10pm Ingrid would hop into the arm of the sofa, expectant and hopeful. She wasn’t after affection or attention from me, it was merely her body clock telling her that we’d be off to bed soon and she wanted first dibs on the warmed cushions. We hoped she would still be with us in the Spring, so she could stretch out on the garden wall in the sunshine, the true warm spot of the season, but it wasn’t to be.
Ingrid’s eyes were a pretty mixture of blue-green, and she miaowed silently, any requests for food and so on would be mimed. If she did miaow at all it was not shyly but quietly. That’s how I knew on Thursday it was time to let my cat, my little friend, go.
Ingrid, a classic cat.