Animal attraction has mutual benefits
I can’t remember a time when I haven’t lived with pets.
Cats, fish, birds, guinea pigs, mice and now chickens have shared my home over the years, not always cohesively.
Growing up, my family successfully bred budgies in our suburban backyard.
The combination of cats and mice was not such a winner, as it turned out, especially once the cat, after months of observation, worked out how to get the lid off the mice cage.
The guinea pigs made an attempt to liberate themselves too, hiding out in the thick bamboo by the side fence.
But of all our pets, cats have been the constant in my life.
Mostly, we’ve kept moggies, given away by grateful friends or picked up from the local vet pleased to see them going to a welcoming home.
Although they’re seldom actively pleased to see you — unless you have food — there is something instantly relaxing about seeing a sleeping cat when you walk in the front door.
In fact, you could argue that they’re experts at relaxation, carefully selecting only the best spots in the house for themselves, whether it’s the lounge, the bed, the warm front path or your lap.
In winter, they’ll even venture into the bathroom, once they realise the underfloor heating has kicked in and there’s a towel on the floor to sleep on.
I must admit, finding them curled up and purring in the jumper drawer is less endearing, knowing they’ve covered the contents in fur.
While I don’t kid myself that they love us the way we love them, there’s certainly a mutual appreciation that cohabitation has its benefits.
Home just isn’t the same without them.