When I moved to France I never planned to have animals, but in just four years I acquired four cats, three dogs, 16 chickens, three ducks and two geese. I love them all but there is one amongst them who stands out – ‘Enry Cooper the cat.
He turned up on our doorstep as a tiny kitten. I used to be in London every month for at least a week to see my Dad who wasn’t well for quite some time and I’d leave the OH looking after the one cat and dog we had at that time. I came back after one visit a couple of years ago to find this tiny kitten living in a pen in the kitchen. He apparently appeared at the back door, climbed up the OH’s legs, looked him in the eyes and never left.
‘Enry Cooper gets on well with everyone and is definitely the King of them all. The dogs let him have his way, they clean him and kiss him and if he wants to sleep in their bed, they let him. The geese tolerate him which is more than that they do for anyone else, I have fed and watered them twice a day for about 6 months now and they still attack me or run away. ‘Enry Cooper is allowed in the goose house.
The chickens seem to think he is one of them and he quite often sleeps in a nest box if it’s raining and they leave him snoozing peacefully. Belle, Rapunzel and Dicky (the ducks) like him and follow him round the garden wagging their tails in a friendly manner.
The other three cats let him have whatever food he wants, if they are eating first and he wants what they have – they move. He picks the bed he wants at night and if he wants to play they either have to go along with it or scarper because they’re not going to win. He is a scruffy, long-haired layabout and a lovable rogue who likes nothing better than playing or begging for treats. He is pretty, gentle and great with children. He sits on the gate post watching the world go by and if anyone comes to the door he races up to inspect them.
Today he has demonstrated a new skill – applying face make up. I’d been out in the day, came back and as usual performed cat and dog butler services, letting them in/out, fetching food/water as required.
‘Enry Cooper turned up with a moustache. It looks like he’s drawn it on but it’s most likely he’s found some oil somewhere. The OH says he looks like louche film star Terry Thomas and made me a cat cartoon!