My name is Squeaky the Cat and this is corona a cat’s view. I’m originally from Marrakech but I am currently residing in the Atlas Mountains. I’m nearly four years old and – if I say so myself – I have a certain air of elegance, a je ne sais quoi, perhaps even a touch of the regal. I never knew my parents, my Mum died soon after I was born, run over by a car, and I am sad to confess that my Father is not even a name on the birth certificate. Alice adopted me and her flatmate Alice (I know ,humans are very confusing) adopted my brother and they fed and de-flead us and taught us the way to the garden where the outdoor loo was.
Alice is an Adventurer and so am I. What are the chances? Fate must have brought us together. From an early age, I liked to make forays up the curtains, under the rose bushes and into the kitchen cupboards – no packet of Felix chunks is safe and I am currently working on how to open those round tins with the pull on top.
With Alice I’ve seen the world – well, Morocco anyway, although I live in hope. We have lived by the beach in Essaouira, where I learnt that seagulls use poo for aerial warfare: in an oasis in the Sahara where I encountered frogs – best plaything ever!; and now here in this little village in the mountains where I am the acknowledged Queen of the Compound and rule with dignity and a firm paw.
Alice is often away on her adventures, which I rather like, because then Fatma feeds me and she is much more generous with the old Felix chunks. Also, I get to go and lie beside the hot clay of her hammam steam bath in the courtyard at the end of her house. The black ash messes with my coat a bit but it is nothing that a good hour of licking can’t sort.
Of course, I am always very pleased to see my human when she comes back to me. I wait for her every night on the roof terrace and then when I hear her footsteps I set up my loudest and best welcome home miaow. When she opens the door, I am right there and ready to do proper figure of 8 leg rubbing followed by energetic claw kneading on her chest. This time, when she came back from the Sahara, it took me a little time to get my cat effects back on full throttle. My purr had got rusty and seized up, but after 24 hours it cranked up again.
But now, we are facing a problem. It is this Corona, Covid-19 malarkey. She is in the house all the time and it is driving me crazy. At first, I was happy. I thought we could catch up on all the little things we never seem to have time to do together: flea combing, nail clipping, chomping our way through a bag of Dreamies – you know the kind of thing. And we did do that, all of it, several times over.
The thing is, she has got really needy. She won’t leave me alone. It is just cuddle cuddle cuddle. I can be there having my all important mid-morning nap, the sun streaming through the window and shining off the sequins of the tasselled pink cushion and she will suddenly swoop down on me and grab me up on my back and cover me in kisses. A. I am not a baby, I am Queen of the Compound and B. what is it with kisses? All they do is make kind of gross smacking noises and ruffle my fur.
She seems to get worse in the evening too. I like my routine. After dinner, I retire to the bedroom and position myself with my head on the main pillow and catch up on my pre-bed snooze. I’ve grown to dread the sound of footsteps in the hall and the words, ‘Squeaky, Baby. Where’s Mummy’s Flower?” Baby? Flower? I ask you! Then the swooping happens again.
Sometimes, she follows me from room to room. ‘Squeaky, come here for a cuddle’ but I am wise to her and the minute she stands up with that look of longing in her eye, I make a run for it. Under the bed is one of my favourite places but if she has blocked the escape route to the door I can squeeze under the table too, although usually only in the morning as the Felix chunks make it difficult post dinner.
I’ve tried sitting her down and explaining that social distancing should apply to cats too but she is having none of it. ‘But Squeaky, I love you, I need you,’ she says and her face kind of crumples, so of course I have to do some serious damage limitation and go in for full frontal facial nuzzle.
I am praying to the Cat Gods that soon this will all be over and we can return to normal levels of affection but in the meantime, stay safe all you felines out there and do let me know if you are having the same problem or if you have any good ideas for keeping our humans in check. It’s just … too exhausting!
And there are lots more stories in all my books – check them out here