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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Guilt and consternation

From 12:30 onwards, Anders has been sitting there mewing at me. It's now well after 20:00 and he's continuing, more persistently.

At first I thought, 'There's no food.' So I filled the bowl. It was licked clear of every last biscuit.

He trotted in his arthritic way up the garden but returned to stare through the windows and mew.

I thought, 'Maybe he's starving today and that wasn't enough.' So I went out and checked the bowl. If he'd even touched it, I couldn't tell. I turned and saw he'd stalked me up the path. I froze. So did he. We exchanged looks, stares, a few blinks. I moved. He ran.

Inside. And he was mewing again. I stood in the conservatory watching him. My cats came up and climbed up my back. Anders stared at them. They behaved like they couldn't see him. As far as they were concerned, there was nothing there.

I tried to work. He kept on mewing.

I decided that the cold was getting to him. So I moved the bed - which scared him away from his wooden chair - trying to make it windproof, waterproof, warm.

As I returned to the house, I saw he'd followed me to the door. I squatted and he came to within four feet of me. I spoke to him but I have a suspicion he's deaf - he doesn't flinch when I drop metal pans in the sink or clatter the lid of the pedal bin. It's sight he responds to.

He seemed to be licking his lips a lot. Is he nauseous? Feeling ill? But cats will usually hide themselves away when they feel sick, not chase strange women around their gardens. Maybe it was the conflict between his desire for proximity and fear. Adrenalin can make you dry-mouthed. Dogs lick their lips when afraid.

I stood. He fled.

Inside. I saw him sniff the bed, Then return to the chair and mew.

I thought he'd stop when the sun went down. But no.

I thought maybe he'd gone off the food I'd been giving him. I put some organic chicken dinner out.

He continued to mew.

What can I do?

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