I have a backlog of things to write about – the Summer Wayfarer thank-you, meeting the Wayfarers and MacFarlane himself, the new Emanations book that will be coming out soon, my recent reviews on Sabotage and the couple of articles I’ve written for National Collective – but tonight I want to talk about Columbo.
Columbo is a cat.
I’ve spent the last two weeks or so looking after him for my aunt and uncle. He needs to be kept indoors for a few weeks to get used to the new house, which can sometimes be very difficult (for both the cat and the owner); cats want to be outside exploring, poking around, meeting other cats and generally getting on with their catty business. They’re independent creatures – often looking down at their owners, lazing around on pillows and not coming when you call them over, falling asleep on your lap when you’re about to get up or sticking their claws into your legs when you’re making tea.
Columbo’s a little different. I was to use my time at my aunt and uncles writing, applying for jobs/funding/awards and updating social media things. This means being inside an awful lot – but I’m more than content with this. I’m a writer after all, right? We’re basically designed to be indoors, complete with fast thin fingers and usually a pair of glasses (I don’t have any, though I should…). I didn’t really think much about the cat because they look after themselves, I’d feed him, give him some attention every now and again but that’s it, right?
Wrong. Columbo’s proven himself to be a real writers mate. He’s sleeping beside me now as I’m writing this. A muscly blob of black fur huffing and puffing through his catty dreams. When I get up to make tea he follows me into the hallway and watches me clatter pots around in the kitchen. He doesn’t follow me in (he doesn’t seem to like the flooring), he sits just outside in the hallway and mews at me quietly. I walk back into the living room and he follows, curls up beside me and falls asleep or climbs across my arms looking for fuss. When I need a break he’s right there, I just give him a light tap and he purrrrrsss up.
As far as cats go he’s probably the friendliest I’ve met, though he seems to know when he’s getting in the way and eventually disappears, but he’s back again as soon as you get up. He talks, too.
I’ve been going through a lot recently, personally, emotionally, psychologically, and these two/three weeks in London were meant to be a kind of recovery, getting away from everything seemed like a good way to go and, as weird as it might sound, Columbo has really helped that process.
I’m going to say it. I love cats, I love every kind of cat, but Columbo is the best cat. I will be sad to leave…