Things have settled down nicely at the Fister residence nowadays. He has accepted his role as Lord and Master with grace and bearing, and having reached his 8th year, is becoming quite a laid back old codger.
This is the life!
that is, when he doesn't suddenly get "THE URGE". This only happens occasionally (nearly always the weekend funnily enough) but can be quite annoying. The urge is of course to visit his old childhood home, the back yard. He is sometimes allowed out during the day, but it doesn't really interest him. No, it's the late night walkabout he's interested in.
He will suddenly become completely impossible, wandering about miawing and crying, usually ending up in the kitchen catawauling so loudly we're afraid he'll wake the neighbors! When he gets no reaction from us, he will retaliate by wandering round the house opening every cupboard door that he can find (a classic sign of frustration), finally going into a sulk or creeping back to us in bed with a very disgruntled look on his face. It's interesting to note that he never made a sound for the first few years he was with us, but he certainly learned how to attract attention by listening to his fellow boarders at the cat pensions!
Having some afternoon fun in his old back yard
His indoor territories are clearly defined (he has about 8 of them!), the bed is now HIS property, the food and room service satisfactory and he gets his daily brushing at 4 o'clock every afternoon.
Not bad for a timid, confused kid from the wrong side of the tracks.
Brush me NOW!
The only bone of contention still surviving from the old days is the question of Randi's pillow. But this was the one battle that he didn't win. Randi fought a long, hard and very brave campaign with him over a period of several years, and now he seems to have more or less accepted the fact that he only has rights to about a quarter of it. Our one and only victory!
The bed itself though, is another matter. It has been interesting to watch how his habits have evolved with time, but the bed rituals have stayed more or less stable. As I often lie in bed to watch television in the evening, he has found the perfect place to chill out, draped across my chest and stomach, purring up a storm. An hour or two of this, and he will retire to his armchair for a while, have a snack or check out the windows. When Randi comes to bed (guess what SHE is doing in front of the computer screen!), he will give us a couple of minutes to settle down, and then he will be back. But now it is time for the most important ritual. First he will trample across me to the middle of the bed, then he'll wander up and down between us 3 or 4 times, sometimes pausing as if meditating or for a quick head bump. This done, he will take another couple of clumsy hikes backwards and forwards over me, sometimes stopping for a rest and sitting on my chest, like a predator gloating over his vanquished prey. He's over 7 kilos, he doesn't walk carefully, and it can really hurt! After that it will be the "battle of the bread". He just loves pounding and kneading away at our expensive down eiderdowns as if his life depended on it. He is nearly unstoppable, and has ruined several covers already.
Then he needs a cuddle and a couple more head bumpies, before tucking himself into a neat tortellini between our pillows and purring us to sleep.
that is of course, if he doesn't get the other urge - the absolute and essential need to wash himself NOW even if it is right next to our ears. It's incredible how stubborn he can be, especially considering how timid he normally is. He scrapes and slurps and scratches and gasps, purring at full volume, practically nothing will stop him. We shout and we hiss and we push him around - no reaction. Even a severe battering on the head makes no impression. Usually, the only solution is our submission or his forced, violent ejection. Then he will either go under the bed in a huff and continue his wash (sometimes banging his head rhythmically against the bottom of the bed so we can't sleep), or wander off into the kitchen for a snack. When he thinks we've forgotten all about it (after about 3 minutes usually!), he will creep sheepishly back and try to continue where he left off. But this time he knows the situation, and a couple of solid bashes to the head will quickly put a stop to that. Then there will come the heart felt persecuted sigh, and he will curl up, tuck his nose carefully under his tail and entertain us with a symphony of purrs before sinking into a deep, contented sleep.
Yes, life is GOOD when you know how to train your bipeds!