Les Feuilles Mortes

After the strain of writing a long post about something halfway interesting yesterday, as well as spending most of today at work composing and sending out  umpteen letters of recommendation for various people’s job applications, I haven’t got the energy to write very much today. However, I was reminded at the weekend that it’s been a while since I posted anything about Columbo.

It’s almost two months in fact since I took the moggy to the vets to have another blood sample extracted, although I think he extracted more from the vet and her assistant than they got from him. They phoned me a day or two later to say that his blood sugar levels were fine and he didn’t need to go back for six months or so.

We’ve settled back into normality, except that I’m keeping a specially close eye on his food intake since the vet declared him officially obese. He’s lost about 350g since he’s been on the current diet, so it’s working. He’s more affectionate too, at least when it’s time for the grub. Cupboard love, I think it’s called.

After a couple of generally fine and temperate months in September and October, we’ve suddenly hit a patch of decidedly inclement weather this November. Over the weekend a fairly intense storm passed over the UK, heavy rainfall causing floods here and there and high winds causing problems in a number of areas. Cardiff is fairly sheltered so the winds didn’t do much serious damage here – at least not that I noticed – apart from bringing down what was left of the leaves on the trees in the surrounding streets and in the park. The effect of the pouring rain on the fallen leaves has been to produce an unpleasant slippy  brown sludge on the paths and pavements.

Columbo has a bit of a thing about windy days and leaves. He always seems to enjoy going out into the garden when it’s blowing a gale. He gets very skittish and chases things about as if he were a youngster again. Well, for a few minutes at least. The recent storms have curtailed this fun a bit. I don’t think there’s much excitement in playing with a pile of soggy leaves stuck to the ground compared to nice dry ones floating in the air.

Columbo isn’t spending so much time outside these days because when he does venture forth he’s as likely as not to come back soaking. Then he usually comes straight to me, leaving a trail of muddy footprints and jumps up covering me with mud and twigs. Once he was so filthy when he came in I had to put him in the shower, although I just sponged him off rather than turning it full on. He’d probably have a heart attack if I did that.

Although the weather has reduced his options, Columbo’s life still seems to present many challenges for him. The main one these days is where to sleep. In the summer he’d quite often snooze outside on the lawn, on the decking or under a bush in the garden. Now these are no longer viable, he still has important decisions as to where to take his repose.

Columbo has four main places to sleep inside the house, and he seems to visit them in the same order each day like a drowsy student moving from one lecture theatre to another. At night he sleeps in a basket in the dining room. After breakfast, and the brief period of wakefulness that follows it, he moves into the sitting room (I think because it catches the sun in the mornings).  In the afternoons he likes the space under the window in the spare bedroom and then in the evenings he likes the mat next to the bath.

He sometimes interrupts his busy schedule of napping to climb onto the sofa, usually when I’m trying to read or do the crossword, to snuggle up and to sleep again always in what looks like an impossibly uncomfortable position.

That’s just about all there is to report for now. Soon, if I can be bothered, I’ll be putting up a Christmas tree. That usually produces a generous batch of  hilarious moments because he likes to play with the decorations, especially if they’re reflective, batting them about to the point of destruction. But I’ll leave that for next time.

By the way, he often sleeps on his back like this. It’s quite strange for a cat, I think.

7 Responses to “Les Feuilles Mortes”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Could you put an up-to-date pic of him in this post?

    PS If you consent to let him sleep on your bed you’ll find he gets friendlier when it’s colder, as well as when he’s hungrier.

    • telescoper Says:


      If I let him sleep on my bed I’d have to wake up at 4am every morning!

      I’ve added a picture taken earlier this year. I need to get a new camera and will take some more when I do.


  2. Columbo, or rather your writing of Columbo, is making me reconsider the species – and that’s a very large boulder to move.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    He might adopt a different pose for sleeping after he’s lost enough weight to curl up! I prop my bedroom door ajar wtih a book so that ‘my’ cat (actually a neighbour’s) still has access to food and the great outdoors via downstairs.

  4. Anton,

    Columbo has always liked to sleep on his back even when he was a little kitten, before he got fat. He curls up sometimes, such as when he is in basket, but when he does so he looks almost spherical.


  5. Someone told me that when our cat slept on her back she was showing high trust in her environment including the people she shared it with.

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