Am I a batty cat lady?
21st August 2008
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What is it about cats? They are the only animals I can think of who have complete freedom - even down to having their own "door" to come and go as they please.

We live on a 1960s estate just outside Norwich, with a maze of pedestrian paths with back gardens all open onto these paths - in other words, the perfect cats' playground - no cars, few boundaries and plenty of things to keep them amused.

Every morning the cats congregate in our garden, just sitting peacefully next to each other as if they are visiting for a cup of tea.

Ambrose from across the road has even taken to coming over for breakfast and lunch each day. He is a gorgeous black cat who just wants to be stroked all the time. If you stroke any other cats he just buts in and insists that you stroke him instead. He actually belongs to David our neighbour but seems to have adopted us aswell.

We have given up trying to shoo him out when he sneaks in to polish off any cat food left out. Our cat just looks at him and lets him get on with it - but if the ginger and white cat (who really does need the food!) comes near, she hisses and threatens.

If I had my way, I would look after the ginger and white cat - we thought he was a stray, he is so thin, but it appears he belongs to some other neighbours down the road. I'm not sure of the etiquette in these circumstances. I would just take him in but our cat hates him. I keep wondering whether I should do anything about it but it could be that he is just old.

Anyway, to keep our cat amused (so that she doesn't nag us to play whilst we are trying to work) we have started taking her for a walk every day down the back lanes. She loves racing us and then sits under a tree around the corner for a while before racing back with us, sprinting across the neighbour's garden to get to the front door before us.

The only trouble is, some of the older folk must think we look very suspicious loitering down their lane - especially if they can't see the cat - and go to great lengths ostentatiously locking their doors and peering out of their windows - even though they see us every day - and we often have a cup of tea in our hands.

Some days, though, we get a whole posse of cats following us - if they are having one of their "cats coffee mornings" in the garden, they all come for a walk. Anyone walking down the lane must thing we're a bit batty - especially as the cat has a habit of hiding in the bushes whenever anyone goes past so it looks as if we spend half our life loitering in the lane.

If you think our cat is spoilt, then you won't want to know about some of the catteries in Norwich.

It is always a dilema when you go on holiday, especially if it is for a long break. We often get a relative to stay in our house but this year, I found the answer to all my worries.

There is a new cattery in Norwich called "Cosy Catz". It is the height of luxury and is the one place where I would be quite happy to leave my own cat - what with heated beds, miniature garden benches and individual climbing posts as well as all the care and attention they get from Ann, who is a true cat lover.

As one of Cosy Catz's existing customers said "I'm a bit reluctant to write a review ...I'm selfishly concerned that this review will result in a permanent full house with a "No Vacancy" hung in the driveway."

I too, had to think hard before extolling Cosy Catz virtues, in case it gets so popular that there is no room for my cat, but Ann deserves her praise.

Another client of Ann's had a cat who had been unhappy in 3 previous catteries in Norwich but when they picked up their cat at the end of their holiday "he was a very happy relaxed cat and wasn't really worried about coming home, he seemed quite happy to stay in his heated bed!"

With so many happy clients, Ann must be doing something special. I just hope that she has room for this batty cat lady's cat.

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