Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Reality Check For Bootsy
The above pictures show Bootsy, my smallest and most demanding cat, indulging in her latest, most impressive habit: curling up in the wastepaper basket in my bedroom. It doesn't bother Bootsy one iota that she's sitting in what's essentially a slightly upmarket dustbin. And why would it? After all, she lives in a house where random ancient crisp packets and sweet wrappers are often strewn across the carpet, courtesy of Janet. Although she's not asleep in the photographs, she often dozes off in the basket for periods of up to four hours. Admittedly, the first time I saw this I thought it was very sweet. It's also impressive to see the skill with which she manages to nimbly get into the basket without tipping it over. You can see from her face that she's incredibly pleased with herself about it. In her head, she can probably already picture the resulting greeting cards flying of the shelf, the aunts and grandmas making cooing noises.
I see Bootsy in this instance as a little like me, when I won my first local golf tournament the age of 14. I thought I was Seve Ballesteros, but in reality I had simply managed to hole a few more putts than various part-time players from the East Midlands, the most fearsome of which being bloke called Maurice, with a hip problem and a struggling garden landscaping business: there was a big, competitive golfing world out there, and it would soon come to devour my delusions. Because, really, in the grand scheme of things, how cute is Bootsy in this picture? Right now, as we speak, there are cats sleeping in all kinds of unusual and impossibly cute places. Who knows? In the last five minutes - that's right, the last five minutes - a tabby could have curled up on a goat's stomach, or inserted itself knowingly into the family wok. Bootsy, having never been out of East Anglia, is not aware of just how many other cats are in the universe and that many of them are even more deviously adorable and self-consciously "Who? Little me?" in attitude than her. I would be cruel to expect her to be.
But, as regular readers of this blog will know, I like to try and keep my cats grounded, so, for fear that Bootsy develops any warped ideas about her talent for narcoleptic cuteness, I have decided to provide the following examples of sleeping cats. These are not meant to discourage her from future experiments - there's nothing I'd like more than to come home this evening and find her wedged happily inside my computer printer or one of Dee's Ugg boots - but to give her a very real sense of the competition out there. I hope that she takes heed, although what seems more probable is that, when I put her in front of the screen of my laptop to face the hard facts, she will ignore them, preferring to chase the cursor for a few moments before jumping down onto the floor and cleaning her bottom in a loud and disinterested manner.