Charlie the Cat at Four

Despite the promising start, 2021 turned out to be pretty much a lockdown-ridden sequel to 2020. But once again, my little fluffball remained blissfully ignorant of the COVID-19 crisis and just enjoyed his chance to pester me while I was working from home.

Naturally, he made at least one guest appearance during an online Teams meeting by jumping in front of the screen, to much oohing and aahing from my work colleagues. In winter time, he grew fond of curling behind my work laptop, for warmth presumably:

It takes British Shorthair cats about four years to reach physical maturity, so now my boy is officially a man! His breed is unfortunately predisposed to putting on weight easily if you don’t watch their diet (I can totally relate, except that unlike humans Charlie feels no angst over body issues). In theory it should be easier to control your cat’s food intake than your own, but cats are notoriously picky eaters and it’s hard to convince Charlie to enjoy the special lighter-calorie diet that’s meant to be good for him.

I finally had to give up on the idea of ever having a house plant in my living room, after Charlie mauled my poor Zanzibar plant to near-death. I gave it to my Mum and apparently it was so traumatised it took months to recover and spring new shoots and leaves again. In its place there’s now a bouquet of fake flowers I bought in a shop in Bright, which is of no interest to the little plant terrorist.

Charlie can sometimes act wary around visitors to my apartment, but does he love the attention from the safety of the ground floor window sill. It’s hilarious to see him prance about and soak up the admiration from the neighbours and tradies who happen to pass by. My elderly Russian next-door neighbour is by far his biggest fan, to the point where he rushes to the window and greets her when he senses her presence outside.

During the past year, Charlie developed what I can only refer to as a kink. I remember watching weird and funny videos many years ago about cats who love to be spanked hard by their owners on the back just above their tail, which is apparently a common thing due to a concentration of nerve endings in that area. Charlie’s own variation is hiding inside his cat scratcher or cat tree, and having his bum smacked by the feather teaser. I can’t remember how we discovered this predilection, but now he expects it on a daily basis. Strike, dear mistress, and cure his heart…

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