This morning we had proof, should there ever have been doubt, that Miss Dilly is a tyrant… More of that later.
It is three months since we moved house and in this smaller place it is easier to watch the dynamics of the resident clowder.
Oberon took a few days to venture out of the spare room – which we used for ourselves until out new bed arrived. He still retreats there if threatened in any way. Even though he is now able to go out he seldom strays more than a hundred yards from our small garden and scoots indoors at the slightest noise – which, in a city, is often.
Betty Poop, alas, did not come out from under the spare bed during daylight – or even at night when lights were on – for almost a month. Even now she seldom strays far from that room, poor thing has been traumatised by the move. In that first month she scuttled out for food and to use the litter tray under cover of darkness and would not come out voluntarily despite all we could do. And this despite Feliway plug-ins and similar recommended by the cat ‘experts’. She has always been a very nervous cat. When we first brought her home from the Cat Protection League (she was almost 2 years old) she hid behind the panels of the kitchen sink for three weeks. In this new house she has ventured into the back garden just once and even considers the conservatory to be highly suspect.
Odd how siblings with exactly the same rearing should be so different. Miss Dilly, as expected, laid claim to the house as a whole from word go. Once she had ascertained where the food, litter and sunniest window sills (including the front (master) bedroom) were to be found, she resumed her reign of terror as Queen of her world; which she considers to be her right. She treats this house as she did the last as her personal fiefdom where her vassals (hooman and feline) are subject to her every whim.
Once our new bed had been delivered and we had moved into the master bedroom at the front of the house, she took up residence on her King-sized throne from which vantage point she views the household with expected disdain.
We had expected Oberon to resume his usual spot on our bed once he had got used to the move, but no. Whilst he still waits until I go to bed, and precedes me up the stairs as he always had, he now turns right, like an economy class airline, and joins Betty Poop beneath the spare bed.
Almost three months after moving house, and two since the change of rooms, neither Oberon not Betty Poop had set so much as a paw inside the Master boudoir on a voluntary basis, which I found odd even by their standards.
Now we come to the crunch.
Sitting in bed drinking my early cup of tea I noticed Oberon sitting out in the landing, peering through the door and uttering small squeaks of query. No amount of entreaty could persuade him to step over the threshold.
Did he sense something in the room that we did not? Was the room haunted? Should we call the Ghostbusters?
A lion-tamer might be more appropriate as it turns out.
After much entreaty Oberon eventually ventured 18 inches into the room and ZOOOOOOM. An exocet-feline shot across the room to deliver a thorough pounding!
Oberon – being the wuss that he is – retreated back from whence he came to gaze woefully at me through the open doorway where Miss Dilly stood, fur bristling like a diminutive toilet brush, daring him to ‘try that again…’.
The master bedroom is, it seems, not ours as we had fondly imagined, but the exclusive domain of the tyrant known as Miss Dilly. Serfs — even if they are the King of the fey folk — are not to be tolerated in her space.