Pillow talk (Cat in mi kitchen)

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that ownership of our garden is claimed by two visiting cats. Although Malteser and Milky Bar are pals – we think they live together in a house further up our estate – they are very different characters. Throughout the pandemic Milky Bar has been content to abide by the government’s tough Covid restrictions. He obeys the rules on social distancing, keeping at least two metres away from us at all times and never coming indoors for a bit of illicit socialising. Milky Bar is a model citizen, and deserves a knighthood.

Malteser claims ownership of our garden. Here he sits on top of the rabbit hutch

The same cannot be said for Malteser. If the local constabulary knew what Malteser’s been up to in recent months they’d have fined him ยฃ200. Multiple times in fact, probably every day. Such is his disrespect for the law he would most likely have ended up in chokey. Malteser is an unmitigated rogue.

OK, I admit it, Mrs P and I have encouraged Malteser’s wayward ways. When travel opportunities were drastically curtailed by the pandemic and we found ourselves pretty much confined to our house and garden for months on end, we decided it was a good time to develop the relationship with our ‘borrowed’ cats.

In the utility room, transfixed by the washing machine

Recognising that the best way (the only way?) to a cat’s heart is through his stomach we invested heavily in packets of Vitacat Filled Pockets, which the packaging explains are crunchy pillows with a soft centre. They’re available in beef, chicken and salmon flavours, and guaranteed to tickle the fancy of the fussiest felines.

To start with we stood in the doorway leading out to the garden and tossed pillows onto the patio in front of our feline friends. After a cautious investigation both cats wolfed them down greedily. Milky Bar pronounced himself happy with this arrangement, but Malteser soon calculated that there might be more to be gained by getting up close and personal First, he approached us on the doorstep to have his ears rubbed and back scratched. Within a few days he was brave enough to follow us indoors, stopping off first in the utility room to stare, transfixed, at the washing machine. Pretty soon he found his way into the kitchen, taking pillows from our fingers while purring loudly.

Cat in mi kitchen, taking a pillow (salmon flavoured!) from my own fair hand

It’s a ritual now. The centrepiece of any visit from Malteser is feeding him by hand. Mostly we sit on a kitchen chair and hold a pillow in front of him. He stands on his back legs, putting two paws on our knees to give himself extra balance while he reaches up for the tasty treat. A couple of quick crunches later the pillow has been swallowed and a few crumbs have been dropped unceremoniously onto the tiled floor. And then he looks imploringly into our eyes, eagerly awaiting a repeat performance. All the time he’s purring as loud as a chainsaw, making sure we know that his continued affection depends on a steady supply of pillows.

Having plucked up sufficient courage to cross the threshold Malteser soon decided he might as well explore the rest of the house. He particularly likes the stairs that lead up to the bedrooms, study and library. His idea of heaven is to roll on his back on the stairs, showing his belly while inviting us to fondle his ears. Honour having been duly satisfied, he climbs another three or four stairs before rolling on his back again and demanding we pay him further homage.

At the top of the stairs, purring loudly, waiting for his ears to be fondled

Upstairs there’s a whole new world for him to explore. In Mrs P’s study he likes a game of attack the piece of scrap paper, balls of which he obviously perceives as mice that need to be swiftly despatched to rodent heaven. He’s also fascinated by the door, which he tries to hook open with his paw. Then he’s off to have a sniff around the bathroom, and would happily drink from the toilet if we’d let him.

Malteser also enjoys visiting the library, particularly now we’ve set up a bed for him on the old sofa. If he’s in the mood he’ll snooze there for an hour or so, while Mrs P and I get on with the rest of our lives. It’s good to know that he feels so comfortable in our house, trusting us totally.

Resting on the library sofa

But he remains his own cat, beholden to no one, and when the time is right he makes it clear that he wants to leave us. And leave us he does, trotting off into the garden and over the fence with scarcely a backwards glance. We’re under no illusions: Malteser is an advocate of free love, and although we are doggedly faithful to him we’re certain he has relationships with other households up and down our street. But we can forgive his dubious moral character, recognising that his frequent visits have made the Covid lockdowns more bearable.

And anyway, we know Malteser will be back before too long. A cat and his tasty pillows can’t be separated for long, particularly if a couple of mugs are available to feed him those pillows by hand.

Back in the garden, belly full of pillows!

***

Pillow Talk : An ode to Malteser during lockdown 
(with apologies to UB40, a wonderful 70s/80s reggae band from Birmingham, England)

Cat in mi kitchen what am I gonna do?
Cat in mi kitchen what am I gonna do?
I'm gonna feed that cat that's what I'm gonna do
I'm gonna feed that cat

16 comments

  1. Yeah, Another Blogger · March 10

    Itโ€™s a catโ€™s life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. krikitarts · March 10

    Cats are so special. When they choose to adopt us into their life spheres, we feel honored. I was going to ask you about the spelling of “mi” kitchen, but I see that you repeated it in the caption of one of your photos, so I presume it was intentional (but I’m still a bit curious).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · March 10

      Yes, very special. Malteser is totally in charge of this relationship: we do his bidding, and are pathetically grateful for the opportunity!
      “Mi kitchen” is a parody of the spelling used in the title of the UB40 song “Rat in mi Kitchen” and is pronounced as “me.” UB40 were an English reggae band, and I suspect they used this spelling / pronunciation to give their song a characteristic Jamaican tone / feel. The first lines of their song are: Rat in mi kitchen what am I gonna do / Rat in mi kitchen what am I gonna do / I’m gonna fix that rat that’s what I’m gonna do / I’m gonna fix that rat.” Substituting “cat” for “rat” and “feed” for “fix” seems to sum up perfectly our relationship with Malteser.
      UB40 were a distinctive sound on the British music scene in the 80s / 90s, though I’m guessing you didn’t come across them in the States? The reference to UB40 (in red) at the bottom of my post will take you straight to YouTube where you can listen to the original recording of the band singing Rat in mi Kitchen. Wonderful, whimsical song, to my ears anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

      • krikitarts · March 21

        That is a fun one, and now it’s gonna be in my mind’s ear for hours.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Platypus Man · March 22

        Yes, it’s a CATchy little number ๐Ÿ™‚. We saw the band perform in Nottingham a few years ago. Took me right back to the 80s, the good old days when I still had a full head of black hair!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ann Mackay · March 10

    Cats know when they’re onto a good thing, and having extra human slaves bearing tasty morsels is obviously one of those good things, hehe!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Platypus Man · March 11

      We know our place in the grand order of things, which it to do exactly what Malteser and Milky Bar demand of us! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Mackay · March 11

        True – I know from experience, LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Laurie Graves · March 10

    Oh, this post made me smile! So lovely to read about how openhearted you and Mrs. P are. In my opinion, folks who love animals are the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The June Journal · March 11

    It is really fun to read this post! Malteser is so handsome. I almost think he is more beautiful than Oreo, but I need to be loyal to our cats as a cat mom. Please tell Malteser and Milky Bar that Oreo & Calie say hi to them๐Ÿ˜œ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · March 11

      Oreo and Calie are also very beautiful cats and I can understand why you’re devoted to them. Malteser and Milky Bar are pleased to send warm best wishes to their transatlantic cousins! ๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜บ๐Ÿ˜บ

      Liked by 1 person

  6. tanjabrittonwriter · March 12

    I can’t imagine Malteser making many such culinary stops along his way as he seems to have no problem staying trim!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Platypus Man · March 12

      I suspect Malteser’s slender, athletic build is down to the high metabolic rate needed to sustain his deafening regime of non-stop purring. Milky Bar, however, is putting on weight (I’ve nicknamed him Tubs!) perhaps because he rarely if ever purrs ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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