We have had a lot of concern about the move. Concern over our cat, that is. For some reason, people assume that humans deal reasonably well with stress. They even believe that I can deal with it, despite having no evidence whatsoever to back this assumption up. But the cat? Concerned voices, whispers, sympathy, even tins of luxury catfood have been lavished on our pusscat. ‘How is she, how’s she taking it?’ everyone murmurs. Huh! I suppose I should be used to Mme Bovary soaking up all the attention. She was a superstar in our old neighbourhood, and is already the toast of the new district, picking her way through the builders’ rubble with all the daintiness of a prima ballerina who is inexplicably down on her luck.
On the day of the move, she decided she was having nothing to do with it all, remaining aloof in the garden and eschewing our bribes of lush tuna sandwiches from the deli. We had to go without her, then drive all the way back in the dead of night, sneak up on her and trap her when she wasn’t looking. She still managed to achieve that amazing feat of sticking all four legs out in different directions as we attempted to lower her into her hated basket.
Now that she’s here, she maintains a busy schedule of hiding from the builders during the day, greeting new neighbours in regal fashion (and probably working out who’ll offer her Whiskas instead of the dry food she gets at home) and waiting for the night. Nights are very special, as, since the move, we haven’t had the heart to kick her out of the bedroom so she has at last achieved her ambition to sleep on my head all night long. Seriously. I wake up at regular intervals, after having strange dreams about motorbikes, to find her purring unfeasibly loudly and peering into my eyes.
Oh Madame Bovary, I do love you to bits, but I can’t wait for the building work to be over and for the natural order of things to be reinstated – me, peacefully asleep, and you, meowing piteously outside my room, waking everyone else up.
In the meantime, I hope she stays safe amid the hammers, the saws, the joists, the holes under the kitchen floor and the constant thrum of drills. That reminds me, I must check that her pet insurance is up to date. I think she’d look quite fetching in a little hard hat too, I must see if I can find one online.