Saturday, March 10, 2007

Birthday Blog - The Cats, Two years old

Biscuit and Bon-Bon celebrated their second Birthday today. Although unlike us humans at the equivalent age (24), they aren't living in their own place, 'going steady', thinking of getting married nor pressurising their parents for money! They are however, still using Mum and Dad as a taxi service!!

Biscuit tends to be the more sociable one. She'll happily mooch around the front-room when it's full of people. Bon-Bon tends to prefer her own company. Brushing and bathing them is still a dangerous occupation for us. We've now fully delegated this opportunity! The local cat parlour has got used to severed limbs and the sight and smell of blood (theirs!) during these six-weekly events. Biscuit’s coat is the easier to manage by far. Bon-Bon's still gets tangled very easily.

Neither of them enjoy being picked up and cuddled but they're prepared to tolerate it much more now than say, a year ago Food-wise, they still eat a combination of wet and dry food. We think they are eating a lot more of the dry stuff than they used to. Biscuit is the more adventurous one and will happily eat yoghurt, curry and baked bean sauce off our fingers. Bon-Bon tends to me much more selective and prefers water from the pond! Yuk!

They hardly sleep together anymore which was feature this time last year but they are very comfortable in each others' company. We've heard stories of sibling cats hating the site of each other - not these two!

Playing and exploring in the garden is now a regular feature and they expect to be let out as soon as one of us is up in the morning. They will happily stay out there all day - even if it's raining - and in most cases it's a challenge to get them back in-doors. I think they both see it as a game when one of us attempts to herd them back indoors. They run for cover and hide. Having said that, both of them will (if the mood takes them) answer to their names and come running when they're called. We think that's pretty good considering they are CATS not dogs!

We haven't seen them play-fight for ages now and we think they are getting rid of their energy chasing each other around the garden (and hiding from their owners). Biscuit has managed to get up onto the top of the fence causing complete panic at our end. However, she didn't stray too far. We discovered that she was leaping onto an empty plant pot and then from there, jumping up onto the fence. Bon-Bon prefers to watch.

Early one morning whilst it was still dark, I could see Biscuit balanced on the top of the fence. I had a feeling she would leap over the other side - straight into the territory of our neighbour's cat - the one that ambushed them when they were kittens. So, I whispered at the top of my voice - "Biscuit! Biscuit...! Biscuit! Biscuit..." to encourage her to get down. She stood up, looked at me - and then calmly disappeared over the fence across enemy lines! Panic! - well not quite actually! I felt something at my feet. It was Biscuit at my feet wondering what all the fuss was about. The cat on the fence was in fact the neighbour's cat - and not Biscuit! Well, it was dark and I do need to get to Specsavers!!!

The cats have their favourite positions in the house for sleeping. Biscuit now sleeps at the bottom of the bed on Ann's side, whilst Bon-Bon has discovered that one of the new office chairs is the place to dream... Neither of them are lap cats (yet) although Biscuit has occasionally jumped up onto my lap and snuggled down. Both are always pleased to see us when we get home.

They both seem to have found their own voices. At first, we thought they were whining, but now we realise it’s their way of talking to us. Biscuit tends to be the noisier of the two and doesn’t waste any time in ‘talking to us’. The trick is to work out what she means/wants.

They seem to have a sixth sense that seems to detect when one of us is due and immediately leap onto the window sill so they can see the car pull up on the drive Both are happily rolling on their back with their paws in the air when we greet them - we've read that's a good sign!

Bon-Bon has developed this habit of tapping plants with her paw - a sort of 'handshake' - it looks pretty weird, so we thought we would try and teach her to do the 'dog trick' - Give me Your Paw. Success, more or less. Now, if Bon-Bon is sitting and we approach her and offer our hand, she puts hers out to shake – and she can do it with either paw. An ambidextrous Chinchilla, that must me a first!

Temperament-wise, they’re great, very friendly towards us and visitors and not an aggressive bone in their body. They're very much part of the family, and we wouldn't be without them.