Who’s the Boss?

Peanut (aka the boss) at home

Establishing who’s the boss in my house is a tough one. You may have heard the saying, “A dog has masters, a cat has slaves”. It’s certainly true in my home!

I have a much-loved, adorable, tortoiseshell moggy called Peanut. I named her Peanut because when I rescued her, she was a tiny kitten the colour of a dry roasted peanut! What better reason. She’s the first pet I’ve had since living alone (quite happily, too). Although she’s now two-and-a-half years old, she’s still quite petite and looks like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. But … don’t be fooled by her angelic looks. She’s no angel. She’s feisty, doesn’t like being picked up or held and is picky about her food, only eating the expensive stuff. She doesn’t like the beef or lamb cat food, only chicken, turkey or fish, fussy little madam. It’s just as well that I’m vegan with the cost of meat these days! To begin with, I found it challenging to buy poultry or fish cat food, but cats are carnivorous, and it wouldn’t be fair to expect her to be anything else. It was my choice to take her in; therefore, it’s only reasonable that she is fed naturally and responsibly. 

She also does what comes naturally to cats – she’s a hunter (unfortunately for me and her prey, of course). I’ve lost count of the number of mice I’ve had to chase around the kitchen floor after. Not the easiest of tasks in a wheelchair. Some have survived to tell another tale (pun not intended), but others, sadly, have met their demise.

She did catch a baby bird the Spring before last. I managed to rescue it from Peanut’s jaws; it appeared uninjured but was definitely in shock and hardly moving. I wrapped it in soft tissue for warmth and protection and popped it into a relatively small empty box. I then had the slowest of journeys up to the vets an hour away while trying to shield the little mite from the wind and the broken paving beneath my wheels. Once I arrived, the vet examined it and declared it to be uninjured, as I’d thought. That was a relief. They took it in to care for it and were going to send it to the local wildlife rescue centre until it had grown enough to be released safely. It turned out to be a baby Great Tit. Unfortunately, the butterflies she catches fare less well. Last week, she caught a slow worm (rather lovely creatures and much-needed for the garden, as are all worms). Fortunately, this one did survive completely unscathed and got put back in the garden, whereas Peanut got put in the living room with me to give the slow worm time to make a quick getaway. They can move pretty fast.

The one that got away!

Going to bed is another matter. She doesn’t like being shut-in, but I couldn’t have her bringing in all and sundry while I sleep upstairs. Firstly, I’d be none the wiser when I got up, and secondly, I wouldn’t stand a chance of finding her live prey in the morning if it had run under the fridge or washing machine. She’s got her biscuit, water, and litter tray, so is quite comfortable. But the fuss she makes when I go to bed is only to be seen. I’ve tried taking her up to bed with me in case she’s lonely; she then decides to shin up the curtains and plays leapfrog from the chest of drawers to the dressing table, knocking off everything on them. I wouldn’t mind if she quietly settled down next to me, but I swear she thinks she was an Olympic athlete in one of her previous lives. But, for all that, I love her dearly and couldn’t imagine being without her. She’s become a good companion … when it suits her!

Peanut asleep on my sister’s lap – Day One
“You can’t see me”

14 thoughts on “Who’s the Boss?

  1. What an adorable kitten. We’re cat people too, and it amazes me the effort we’ll go to for the little brats. One is diabetic and requires injections twice a day. The other one wakes me up if I sleep past 5AM. At times I wish for a life without the hassle, but I get so much love from them that I doubt I would ever give up being a cat owner.

    1. Ah, another cat person. And don’t we just go to extraordinary lengths to keep our little furry friends happy, even to the detriment of ourselves (or I should say myself). I can’t imagine giving Peanut injections twice a day – I’d have to catch her first! The last time I had to take her for her annual vaccinations, it took two of them to keep her still enough, and the vet called her ‘a sassy young lady’. I’m not sure whether that was a compliment or a complaint! Even though she sometimes drives me to distraction, I love her far too much to even consider being without her.

    1. It was definitely a slow worm. Slow worms are actually lizards without legs, and have gleaming skin and eyelids, whereas snakes have no eyelids and fairly apparent scales. This one was young as it was only about 15 cm long, and they can grow to twice that length, apparently. If you look carefully at my photo and compare the size of the slow worm to the blades of grass under and beside it, you’ll see how small it was in reality. Some people used to keep them as pets which is wrong, and I believe they’re now a protected species.

      1. (Jeff spends a minute on Wikipedia). Ah, I get it. A slow worm is a species. We don’t have those here. My cats will sometimes sniff up a snake and leave it dead on the back porch. They are always teeny. Not sure what they do when they encounter an adult snake. Probably turn around and run.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and kindly reading my post about Peanut. Perhaps you, too, will have a cat in your life at some point. Peanut is excellent company, even if she’s also real mischief! Ellie 🙂

  2. They are always the boss, except in very few situations where we should stand out ground (in my opinion). I hope that you and princess peanut are okay!

    1. Absolutely! I agree, there are times when I have to ‘wear the trousers’ in the relationship! I do put my foot down after she’s caught a mouse or a baby bird and keep her in for a few hours. Not as punishment, of course, but just because I can’t face more than one dead or injured body to deal with just then. We’re both fine, thank you. She’s asleep upstairs on my bed at the moment. At least I know where she is and can see that she’s keeping out of trouble! X 😊

  3. Cats have amazing characters and intelligence. I grew up with dogs so I understand them better, my son recently adopted a lovely Heinz 57 called Hutch and he is MUCH smarter than any dog I have ever known, he may be half cat!!! I guess that all street animals must be smart just to survive…

    1. Thank you so much for being kind enough to leave me a comment, Simon. It’s really appreciated. Yes, I agree with you about cats’ intelligence and characters – Peanut certainly has a mind of her own. I’ve never had a dog, so that would be a whole new experience. I’m a wheelchair user, so going for walks might have been a bit of a problem, though. I’ve got friends with dogs of various temperaments, but I think I’ll stick to cats, and then, only one! I love Heinz 57 varieties of cats (moggies) and dogs far better then pedigree pets. Hutch sounds lovely. Thanks again. Ellie 😊

  4. Hiya Ellie. I think that dogs have a special 6th sense when it comes to people with special needs. Don’t know about cats. We once purchased a female boxer puppy which had been trained to guide people with reduced eyesight but she failed at the last hurdle so was sold on. She was AMAZING and as kids we would close our eyes and let her lead us even crossing the road!! Amazing dog really!! Ciao xxx

    1. Hi Simon. Sorry for the delay in replying. I typed out a message last night, went to post it and it suddenly disappeared! I think you’re right about dogs having a sixth sense and I have seen people on mobility scooters taking dogs for a walk on a lead. I doubt very much I could get Peanut to wear a harness although they do make them for cats. She’s too feisty to get one on her! I think I’d have a battle on my hands. Your boxer puppy sounded lovely – what a shame she had to be sold on though.

      My niece has lost all of her sight and has a guide dog now – I don’t know how she would manage without it. She’s allowed to take her dog to university with her. She’s studying medicine at Oxford which is a really challenging thing to do without any sight. She can read braille and the university have been wonderful in supplying her with the aids that she needs to study. Quite a remarkable young lady. Have a great day, Simon xx 😊

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