Snufkin (therealsnufkin) wrote,

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Cautious optimism

As I write this, Bandit (big, black, tuxedo cat; stray but has lived here for at least ten years; we're losing count) is sitting in the tray of my printer. Not in itself remarkable – all the cats believe that my printer is for their personal use and they get a touch miffed if, you know, I use it myself (though I don't sit in the paper tray as a rule). However, this is only the second time in two and a half months that Bandit has been into my study, and the other was about two hours ago. I'm stunned but also relieved that he is finally coming into the house again.

Bandit more or less moved out after Minnow arrived – well, that's a little simplistic. Bandit tends to spend a lot of time out and about during the summer, supervising his territory, fighting (and losing – this cat is neutered but he's never quite got over the idea of having territory and taking care of it); and while he was out for a few days, Minnow arrived, and by the time he got back, she'd pretty much got her paws under the table. Which did not please Bandit at all.

He visited the house less and less often, turning up for a meal every day or so. When he turned up, he looked wild and woolly and was less and less inclined to be petted, or to be fussed. He used to be a friendly cat but now he growled every time I went near him. And whenever any of the cats went near him, especially Minnow.

We decided to be patient and sit it out. Either he'd come in when the weather got colder, or else he'd found somewhere else to live, and when cats decide, they decide, and there's not much you can do about it. We settled on it being a good thing if we saw him every couple of days and tried not to worry. After all, he lived rough when he was young and survived.

Gradually, in the last few weeks, he's visited more and more often. I don't think he's been sleeping in the house, but he's Around more and more, appearing for more and more meals, and now he's started to prowl around the house again. In fact, while I've been writing this, he has just climbed onto a chair in my study, curled up and has let me tickle him under the chin. He's even purring.

I think it's the cold weather and the attraction of central heating rather than me that's brought him indoors, but I do believe we will weather this little hiccup, and he may even learn to love Minnow.

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