Meet Binkie. A new member of our family.
Now Binkie is a strange cat of sorts - if, in fact, you could call him a cat. Oh, he purrs, snuggles in boxes, rubs your legs and all that other cat stuff, but he is also in the odd habit of following us around. Everywhere. And I don't mean just to the toilet. He not only follows us all the way to the shops (seriously), the tennis club or the children's school, but he is also in the horrifying habit of following our car as far as his little legs will allow. On an average day I will look in my rear-view mirror to discover Binkie running after our car like a some kind of dog desperate to be taken for a walk in the woods or on the beach. It's heart-breaking really. And pretty scary, what with all that traffic. In fact, I am always relieved to find him alive and well when I turn my car into our street.
Thankfully, there he will be: sitting on the fence, waiting for one of us to come home.
We got him from the animal shelter late autumn. He had been found roaming around some neighbourhood or other. The folks at the shelter were reluctant to let him go, due to their conviction that something was wrong with his left paw, which he kept holding up for some reason unbeknownst to them. 'When we squeeze his paw, he doesn't react, so he's probably not in pain,' they said, and: 'it's a bit of a mystery.'
It wasn't much of a mystery to us.We just figured he was using his paw to point at the door: 'I'd like to leave, please.'
A few days after our visit, the folks at the shelter came to the conclusion that, since he had now taken to holding up his right paw, nothing was really wrong after all. And so we rushed over to adopt him.
He likes to drink from the toilet (remember to flush please, children!) and sleep in the sink. He likes to nibble at toes under blankets and wait patiently to lick the last drops of rice milk from my morning cereal bowl. And when he's tired he likes to retire early to the laundry room to snuggle up in a pile of dirty washing.
He's only been with us for three months, but it's as if he's been here all along.