The saga of Cat Brown 5: agrophobic, addicted to beds and plastic

Ambridge has become immortalised! From this:


To this! Thanks to Cethan Leahy.

It’s an accurate portrait, because Ambridge is fulfilling the destiny of someone who sleeps 26 hours a day by becoming a complete bed whore. She spent much of winter igloo’d under my duvet, but despite the fact it’s spring, and she’s a fur coat on legs, this is starting all over again. She’s also podging out and purring like a steam train.

Due to never going outside, Ambridge is getting quite fat, and due to being Ambridge, is incredibly smug. During my frantic training montage while preparing to Be A Good Cat Owner, I memorised the right shape for a cat, and when I looked down at her the other day, I saw plump. The 10 minutes in which I tried to get her on the scales have been optioned by the Benny Hill Memorial Trust.

She was also getting dandruff, so I have been spraying olive oil on her food with the glorious result that she is now glossy enough to double as a wig in the West End. Given the amount she’s enjoying her food, I’m lost as to why her addiction to plastic bags is still a thing, and the only way I’ve managed to stop her waking up at 5am to have a noisy snack is by removing all bags from my room, or locking them in cupboards.

Since being bitten in March, the cat’s distrust of the outdoors has now turned into a complete refusal to voluntarily set foot outside. My every moment at home is spent with windows open so that she can sit on the window sill (which she adores, being a creature of nosy, judging habits). The flat has never been so well-aired, nor I so chilly. The plan is that she will see the world is not full of things that want to eat her, and thus eventually go a-prancing through Camberwell.

This has not happened.

Instead, I lure her outside the front door with me by jangling the keys, and then head off to work hoping she will explore, rather than doing what she probably does and beat a hasty retreat through the cat flap.

The other option is tough love. Shutting the window behind her and leaving her to wind her way through the garden to get back to her cat flap. This only works when I’m leaving the house, otherwise she claws at the window. With her glossy coat, she looks like a relentless audition for a Korean horror film.

Despite the magical coat, her indoor habits are now regressing to winter. Yesterday I got home to discover her nestled inside a blanket fort. At night, she sleeps on my bed, but in the morning demands to be let under the duvet so she can curl up with her paws on my arm. This is hard to resist, not so much because she’s cute – nothing is cute at 7am, let alone 5 – but because she has an alarmingly strong head and butts you with it until she is granted access to either duvet, or crook in arm.

The realisation that you are spooning a West End stunt wig is horrifying.

Collage of Ambridge the cat


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