WE’VE had a number of dogs and cats sharing our married life but currently ruling the household is a cat named Jasper.
We rescued Jasper as an orphan kitten from a cat shelter and you would think he would be grateful for the rest of his life. Not a bit of it.
At the time we had gone with the intention of rescuing an older cat. And indeed, we picked out a 12-year-old named Weasel. But then the kittens took our eye and little Jasper was the busiest, the cutest and the smallest.
So we took them both.
Jasper’s kittenish playfulness soon distressed the quiet and solitude that Wheezy (by now a more affectionate name) hankered for and so one of them had to go. And of course, we made the wrong decision. We kept Jasper and despatched Wheezy to a friend who wanted an older cat and whose love of pets extended to rabbits, white rats, and later a dog.
Jasper was now king of the castle. And doesn’t he know it.
We installed a cat flap in the patio screen door so that he could come and go at his leisure. But he displayed little brain power in recognising how it works so we set out to train him by pushing him through, me on one side and my wife on the other. Back and forth he went with the aid of a little nudge. The only thing he learned was that he can walk through unaided if we hold his little door open for him.
That is still the routine. Cat meows at the door, human leaps up and opens it, cat strolls through with not even a thank you.
Mind you, I have to admit that he may distrust the cat flap from the day when my wife was trying to push him through without having opened the second door. All that happened was that Jasper’s head and body squeezed ever more against the door…
Wheezy has long since passed on to the great cat litter in the sky and Jasper’s kittenish days are behind him. He’s not even fun anymore. The only time he deigns to look at us is when he is seeking food. The only time he deigns to sit on a human lap is when he seeks a scratch behind the ear. The only time he deigns to purr is when the food plate is hovering above his head.
We’ve resorted to laughing and giggling with the cat antics that crop up on video on Facebook where our FB friends clearly have links to felines that are much more fun than Jasper.
And he still doesn’t use the cat flap.