Where I wrote my novella in the back of beyond had 21 rescue animals. This included 5 dogs, 6 chickens, a bird of some kind, a goat and 8 cats. Rusty was the oldest of the cats. Partly blind, handsome, grumpy and 16 years old, he spent his days swiping anything or anyone that dared to get near him and spent most his reclining years inside the bottom of a cupboard in the kitchen. One night a few days into living at my new abode I found Rusty scratching at my bedroom door. I let him in on the condition that he could hang around for a while so we could get to know each other. An hour or so at most but he then had to leave for I mostly prefer my room to myself.
Two weeks later that bed hog had me constantly uncomfortable in my own bed. It was like I'd suddenly gained a husband, but one who snored. I had a double bed and Rusty was allowed his half, plenty of room, but he preferred being right up against me. I mean that the cat needed to be attached. I wouldn't mind so much but he vibrated when he purred and he purred whenever he slept. It was like sleeping next to a running car engine. By day I was person non grata (Rusty didn't want to know me), yet every night he was scratching at my bedroom door. In time I came to the realisation that I was not sharing my bedroom with Rusty but Rusty had decided he was sharing his bedroom with me.
The top K9 in rank of the 5 dogs was the smallest, BooBoo, whose breed was Maltese Shih Tzu. He made it known to all and sundry he was boss. He always availed himself of my lap when I had food and made sure to let whichever other animals in the room know that my focus was to be on him. BooBoo hogged all the time of all humans present and made sure we catered to mostly him. BooBoo was given the afternoons to do his business, toilet wise, and for some exercise. He often refused commands that his exercise time was over and it was time to come inside. My nerves still flinch from many a time hearing from my room loud cries of, “Booboo, BooBoo inside, BooBoo, BooBoo”, repeated every evening. It nearly drove me insane. It was the ridiculous sound of that name being loudly repeated that agitated me for some reason.
I once adopted a stray cat for a short while. She disappeared a year into our adoption and I never found out why. I named her Whoopi, after Ms Goldberg. Unfortunately, I discovered yelling “Whoopi, Whoopi!” out into the garden every night from the back door had the neighbours wondering what I found so enjoyable. Anyhow, that first world problem didn't last since, unfortunately, my relationship with Whoopi was not to last. Our furry friendships always tend to turn out to be the best ones, like my friendship with Rusty.