Ruby is her name.
‘Devil in a fur coat’ is how she is often referred to by me. As you can see she is a calico tabby tortie (yeah I know a mouthful) with an expanse of very soft fur (although oddly the white is silkier than the colour patches) and she’s kinda fluffy … not long haired but, how can I say it, poofy, especially old cold days.
She has an upside down ginger ‘v’ on her forehead that’s kinda cool and I have always loved her tail – again poofy – which, strangely for a cat, she doesn’t mind too much if it’s pulled or held … within reason that is.
But a warning – don’t rub or even attempt to rub her vast tummy though. While not breaking the skin she will make it quite clear that that is a no no. I know the temptation is great – all that expanse of white furry goodness – but don’t.
Her feet are a funny thing. She is happy for me to touch both front and back toe beans on one side but not the other (I can’t remember which is the favoured side). Don’t ask me to explain the origin of this peculiarity as, to be honest, I know not from whence it came.
But like all cats she has a sizable catalogue of such oddities.
She hates and is afraid of plastic bags of all kinds which, when coupled with the knowledge that she used to catch rats, I find quite ludicrous. How can you not be intimidated by a rodent of reasonable size but disappear in a blur of fur and large black eyes at the rustling of a plastic bag?
She also loathes the vacuum cleaner (but this applies to most felines), being kept waiting, the sound of rain on the roof, going to the vet, people walking too close behind or beside her, the fan heater I use to warm my bedroom, getting picked up, having to take tablets, some doorways, washing flapping on the line, me concentrating on my phone and not her, having her picture taken, sleeping inside during the day no matter how cold it is, taking too long to open any door of any description and so on.
She does like jam and cheese (not together), getting chin and cheek rubs (again poofy), sleeping tucked up next to her mother (me) at night and being told she is a pretty girl (but don’t we all).
And she does meet me when I get home from work every night BUT along with this I usually get a long, involved and angry sermon about what has gone on in her day. This happens after I have opened the door of course.
She won’t like me disclosing this but Ruby is a dribbler. This is not a result of her age – she has always done it. I am not talking about a drop here or there. Nope. This is a veritable waterfall, a cascade from her mouth and nose. While amusing it can get quite messy and I tend to have to wipe the results of this habit from various surfaces quite a lot. It’s best not to leave electronic equipment around in reachable places in case they get drenched.
She is senior in years – 13 to be exact – and has the grumpy old lady temperament to match. But if the truth is to be told, she has always been like that. It even says so on her case notes at the vets. I’ve seen them.
Grumbling. Growling. Hissing when asked to do anything for which she does not agree which is normally everything. To be fair there is no real malice in her exclamations. It’s all for show which makes me wonder what her point is. Why waste the energy when she could put it to good use and do what cats do best – sleep.
I do adore her although some days she can be quite a pain. Constantly pacing and not settling. Coming in and going out. On repeat. All day. Claiming she is hungry but turning her nose up to any food that is offered (she has been known to have, on occasion, at least four courses at her disposal ranging from biscuits, jellymeat, ham and salmon). She can be silent and uncommunicative or loud, demanding and talkative. You never know on any given day what you will get.
But then again I suppose this is the mysterious, complicated and contradictory nature of these most popular of creatures.
Leonardo Da Vinci is credited with saying ‘the smallest feline is a masterpiece’.
Ruby is my little masterpiece and I love the silly old puss.
(Image: Sarah Kreig)