Looking After Elliot (aka catface)

The following is a rough diary of three days I spent looking after my sister’s new cat at her house whilst she went to the Lake District. The cat had only been brought home the week before and so had to be kept indoors in order to acclimatize itself to its surroundings, cats being known to have a very delicate constitution. Read now of the almost unbelievably horrific and traumatizing events which unfolded.

day one
I arrive late (around 11am) having missed the junction off the A11. Stagger into house with rucksack etc. cat takes one look at me and dives under the sofa and refuses to come out to be introduced. Make a cup of tea. Sister has already left for the Lakes but has helpfully left a long list of instructions of how and when Elliot (cat) likes to be fed. Also included are instructions on “poop scoop”, which turns out to be a small plastic shovel with mesh tray. Proceed to sift through litter tray and decant cat’s deposits into carrier bag. Process puts me in mind of panning for gold, although nuggets of precious metal hidden beneath the earth never caused old western prospectors to gag in disgust. Not to my knowledge anyway. Cat eventually is coxed out with fake mouse toy and introductions made warily on both sides. As I make more tea the cat takes the opportunity to vanish. Thorough searching of house reveals NO cat, mounting panic, check all windows and doors for possible escape route, still no cat. Eventually rediscovered curled up behind television, asleep, apparently worn out by game of hide and seek. I decide the best way to befriend cat is to ignore it, which works like a charm. As soon as I am sat on sofa with yet more tea and biscuits cat emerges, leaps onto lap, and covers clothes in hair and claw marks. As soon as I dare exhale cat leaps off lap and attacks rucksack before charging back underneath sofa, from where no amount of tempting with mouse toy can cox her out.

day two
Fresh optimism for the new day, but as I saunter downstairs I find cat sitting on sofa. Cat takes one look at me and dives back underneath. However cat soon emerges to eat my offering of Felix cat food pouch (beef flavour), a meal which looks and smells like its already been eaten. Approval noted and general rising of  my stock in the eyes of cat. Litter tray to be emptied (how can one cat produce a whole carrier bag full of “nuggets” in just one night?). I eventually work out, through careful study, that the cat has a body clock more precise than a swiss made watch and must relieve itself every hour on the hour without fail. After each visit to the litter tray cat comes and proudly tells me about it, as if I should go and take a look, usually by leaping onto lap and stepping on book/keyboard/lunch. I give in and decide to go out but cat refuses to be shut in living room. My attempts to p

man-handle cat lead to an altercation and blood (mine) is spilt. Cat is eventually tricked into living room with mouse toy and door secured. My return some hours later is met with cold indifference as is my peace offering of extra cat biscuit. At 10.30 pm cat goes mad and charges around house leaping, kamakazie fashion from sofa, sideboard, and mantlepiece seemingly in a frenzy. I hide under sofa.

day three
This morning cat and I largely ignore each other, a truce seems to have been called after yesterday’s hostile actions. Breakfast of Felix cat food pouch (chicken flavour but much resembling yesterday’s beef) is received with good grace. Cat returns to pride of place in front of television, making watching Diagnosis Murder quite impossible. I set up laptop in kitchen and do some work, at which point cat falls asleep on sofa. The reason for the cat’s contentment soon becomes clear, the litter tray is full to over flowing. Despite brave efforts I’m forced to retreat, the job half finished, even I, who once spent a summer pumping out toilets from hire boats on the Norfolk Broads, can’t stand the smell. With more tea and a rudimentary gas mask fashioned from a towel I’m, at last able to clear the mess. Collapse exhausted onto sofa. Leap up again having sat on cat. Luckily sister returns home before a full scale war is declared. I cut my loses and retreat to the safety of the kitchen only to discover that the litter tray once again needs emptying.

Let this be a warning to all you seeking to do a good deed for a friend or relative.

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1 Response to “Looking After Elliot (aka catface)”


  1. 1 wellsmon October 31, 2008 at 7:53 am

    Interesting Read! Very detailed blog,thanks for sharing


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