I recently adopted an 11 year old boy named Domino. His heft sits at a remarkable 7kg and his eyebrow whiskers loom large over a solemn, handsome face. His claws will make themselves known, retracted or not, for clippers are his sworn enemy. He does little snores and snuffles while he sleeps, which may be off-putting on a senior human, but Dom-Dom isn’t a senior human; he is a senior cat. Having had him for exactly one week now, I have gleaned his daily routine and decided to record it for posterity.
Before we go on, I must clarify that Dommy Wommy is a sophisticated, posh sort of cat. He may have come from a shelter but clearly originates from a loving home. As such he exhibits grace and dignity in all his behaviours including when he plays, sleeps and, I assume, poos. I wouldn’t know much about the latter as he has never gone poopoo in front of me or my husband, such is his desire to remain proper and distinguished from his peers. Indeed, when I went to collect him from the shelter, his disdain for the other cats was deeply ingrained. There, in his little rectangular cage he sat, a guttural growl emanating from deep within his fluffy little throat.
“Common swine!” he might have said. “Catnip-ridden plush mice swatters. How have I, Sir Dominus Felinus Swattencourt come to find myself in this ghastly room with the common swill?” He possibly raised a dramatic paw to his forehead and gave it a forlorn lick.
With that clear, we begin the routine. I hope it proffers some kind of guidance for those blessed with a gentleman cat.
7am to 7:30am
Gentle scratches, much like the respectful rap on a door made with one’s major knuckles rather than the sharp knock of the minor knuckles, are heard at the bedroom door. Dommy, being a feline endowed with privacy and seclusion, does not sleep with us in our bedroom. His private parlour is downstairs in the converted box room where all his essentials lay. It is here that he expects a feeding and so, when ready, deigns to come upstairs to remind his humans of their duty. He may meow at this point but has learned that it is not necessary, the humans are well-trained. The smaller, female, blogger human is usually spread-eagled on the bed mumbling incoherently. She offers her naked paw over the side of the bed, and Dim-Dims will allow it to graze the top of his head, purring to comfort her.
Once provided with sustenance by the larger – and clearly more physically capable – human, he will delicately nibble at his foul-smelling meal with one ear perked towards the sounds of his litterbox being cleaned. All is well.
7:30am to 8am
Dummy Wummy is a lil’ bubba wubba who enjoys a morning cuddle. His preference is for long, carefully considered strokes and any aggressive attempt to squish his fuzzy wuzzy face or vigorously scritch scrotch his back will be met with a soft meow of indignation until the appropriate level of affection resumes. His sheddings will fly in your face regardless of how much one grooms him with that fancy 5-star brush and, as he prefers to face away from you during snuggle time, his powerful tail will whip you rhythmically, further distributing the dander in the air.
8am to 2:30pm
Dombum enjoys this activity very much. In the past week however, his preference has moved from the reclining armchair in the living room to the bedroom. He snuffles, squeaks and snorts on occasion and sleeps in the shape of a log. He is not allowed on the bed but has no interest in being picked up or prodded away from it. A massive dog bed was placed in the bedroom as an alternative and thus far, he seems pleased. However, the temptations of a human bed remain and negotiations are ongoing as to how to best resolve this situation to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
2:30pm to 3pm
Upon waking Dim Sum likes some reassurance that all is how he left it. Repetition of past experiences aid in this and he will find a lap to lower his bulk onto and begin purring like a little motor. He’ll get deft cheek swipes and scritch scrotches under his chinny win, a type of scritch scrotch he is not averse to, and scritch scrotches just above his tail, a region his senority limits him from licking. Often his bum will rise encouraging further scritch scrotching. Once reassured, he pads away.
3pm to 3:10pm
Bubbawubba is a creature of taste. He is aware that his humans have a selection of *shiver* toys to supposedly engage his primal instincts, but pities their pathetic efforts. Fluffy, grey catnip mice, some jingling contraption wrapped in twine, a useless ball with grotesque feathers sticking out of it… do they not know he is possibly descended from lions?! For days he watched them desperately try to engage him in factory-fresh fabric fish and other such tat. He looked away in saucy disgust.
One such item was some dangling plush mouse hanging from a cheap plastic ring. What a pointless item. What did they expect him to do with this? He sniffed it out of respect but was otherwise baffled.
However, they later dangled the plastic ring instead and Dumster felt the call of the wild. The roar of his ancestors beat in his breast and his claws extended in anticipation. A dangly. It must be killed. It must be conquered… he leapt. Suddenly the humans scrambled and began cutting and tying and doing various things to the plush mouse. When they resumed play they had attached twine and made a long rope with a knot. This was more like it. He watched the dangly’s pendulous movement, first slow and then faster and faster. He wiggled his bum, eyes wide… his heart roared as he pounced!
3:10pm to 5pm
The small, female one makes a lot of noise. Dimpy Dumpling tolerates her insistence on “snuggles” and “attention”. He recognises that there is a benefit for him in the shape of the foulest-smelling salmon and cod meats called “treats”. She will floof him and give him human kisses and generally invade his personal space with grabby, clawless lumps of flesh, but it’s worth it for the meat sticks.
5pm to 5:10pm
You shall not best me twine snaaake! Begone fiend! I shall hide behind the sofa… and KILL YOU! DiedieDIEnomnomnom!!!
Ew, it’s tangled on my claw.
5:10pm to 7pm
The best places to lounge are the recliner in the living room, the back of the main sofa and the doorway to the living room. All of these are safe, secure places in which Minowino can lick himself. It is also prudent to groom one’s vicious claws so he will on occasion sway over to the frankly enormous cat scratcher bought by the humans, at great expense, to scratch it. It’s also worth scratching the sofa and the recliner. The humans sometimes protest to the scratching but it’s unclear why. More communication is needed.
6:50pm to 7pm.
Stare pointedly at humans.
It’s almost time for dinner. Do they not know? Might they have forgotten? Sir Dommyfloof pads and paces in front of them ensuring he is noticed. Are they doing the calculations for how much to feed him? Perhaps they need some mewling…
7pm to 7:30pm
Cat food boxes attempt to aid humans in their desire to feed the correct amount to their beloved beasts. This is often done by attributing portions to cat weight. Many boxes go up to 5kg. Some to 6kg. Dubba Bubba cannot be categorised in such limited terms so each meal is a careful calculation to ensure the correct amount is provided. The humans are encouraged to provide this correct amount by consistent mewling every 5 seconds until the task is complete. This approach never fails and odorous meal-time can commence.
7:30pm to 10pm
Lounge about even further.
Dinner was wonderful… time to lick. Possibly have a monster poo. It’s been quite the day.
10pm to 11:30pm
The dog bed was initially in the living room but it’s now clear that atop the Ottoman at the foot of the human bed is where it shall sit. Dumbobumbo prefers to rest here in preparation for nightly sleep. Belly full and humans cheerfully staring at the noise box in the living room. Here is where he begins to truly settle after the daily labours.
11:30pm to 7am
Pre-sleep naptime makes for an awkward transition to actual sleep because a sleeping Dom Pom Pom is urged to leave his dog bed to retire to his kitty parlour downstairs. As the sky darkens and the humans retire to sleep, there, in the inner sanctum of what is now a family home, he will snooze on his dog bed. The humans often forget he’s there. A chorus of snoozes fill the air and he rises, sauntering towards the human pillows to join in the rhythmic breath of slumber and be one with his newfound fami- wait stop whatareyoudoing?! The naked paws grab his chubby tummy wummy and lift him up, gently depositing him outside the bedroom door. He hears a soft click behind him.
“Night Night, Domino!” says the high-pitched one.
“See you tomorrow, little man!” says the strong one.
He retires to his parlour with an air of dignified sulk. Such is the life of Sir Dominus Felinus Swattencourt, Gentleman Cat.
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Or read some recent posts that I am quite proud of:
- My senior cat’s daily routine (includes monster poos and dog beds)5 minutes of descriptive prose of my new cat’s first week with me.
- the Olympics is when I revel in my ignorance of all sports.800 words of confused Olympic joy.
- Do you ignore your tea until it gets cold?3 min quickie about when your tea goes cold. Heavy journalistic stuff. Proceed with caution.
- I took a week off work, but it didn’t change my life.5 min read about expecting too much from yourself because #alwaysbehustlin’
- My Sunday evening: doomscrolling, taking offense and yogaQuickie 2 min read about that dread you feel every Sunday evening.