Shortly after moving in with Mum, I realized how closely her cat Cheeky stayed by her side. You would think I would notice that while visiting, and don’t cats hang around anyway?
The answer to both is ‘not really’. If you visit your mother and see a cat in the same room – big deal. Cats quite often go off by themselves or sleep in their favourite spot, which might be another room or somewhere outdoors.
After moving in, I’d be sitting at the computer and Mum would come upstairs to talk. Cheeky would waft into the room hard on her heels, and sit looking at me as though to say “we decided there was something we just had to speak to you about.”
Occasionally Cheeky would arrive ahead of Mum by about 30 seconds. It always reminded me of the cat in the Harry Potter book, Mrs Norris. If she was around, you knew her somewhat sinister owner couldn’t be far behind.
I was also caused to think of how women with cats acquired the reputation of being witches with their familiars. If those good wives (or good singles) were followed everywhere they went by their green-eyed shadows, who then settled down and fixed people with meaning gaze much like Cheeky does to me, it was… whoops, just noticed some toothmarks at the bottom of my clipboard… not all that surprising.
I teased Mum about it more than once, but I think I’m getting my comeuppance now. Every time I come downstairs, it’s in company with the kittens. It’s almost as though they are waiting for permission; from the way they slink along at my side, looking carefully into the passing shadows, I feel like a lioness with her cubs.
Mum mentioned it only yesterday. Is a witch allowed two familiars?
The photo above is an old one – Cheeky when she was not much more than a kitten herself. And yes, I did green up her eyes…. it’s not a very good green; in real life you get a flash of emerald, and then she shutters her eyes and looks away knowingly.