I am sorry to report that there is a member of my family I have upset . Really, really upset. I can tell this because every time I look round I am being glared at balefully from the corner of the kitchen. The cat is miffed. Miffed in the regal, how-dare-you? way that only a cat can be. My crime? I threw out the mat that used to sit by the back door.
To explain, Schieffer lives in the kitchen. She has a cat flap in the back door so she can come and go as she pleases, wandering around the garden, falling asleep on the back step when it is sunny and hunkering down in the warm kitchen when it is not. She has a little cat bed, tucked neatly under the radiator, which she sleeps in quite happily. She even has it customised just how she likes it: coated with so much cat hair that a stray bolt of lightning would probably result in a completely new household pet. However, for those in-between times when she doesn't want to sleep, when it's too warm for the bed but not warm enough to stretch out like a mangy impersonation of a tigerskin rug on the patio, she likes the mat by the door. Or rather, she used to like it.
In cat terms, the mat was perfect: comfy enough to loaf on, suitably decorated with the spare cat hair she hadn't applied to her little tartan bed, and close enough to the cat flap so she could keep an eye on those pesky birds in the garden. She had adopted this mat, made it her own. Oh, and did I mention she had puked on it? Repeatedly? I had attempted to clean it a few times but her habit of eating grass (or my mint!) in the garden and then coming indoors to throw up was a bit difficult to keep up with. With a whole kitchen floored in easy-to-wipe-clean-and-disinfect laminate wood stuff, she always ALWAYS chose to yak up on the mat, and she did so regularly. The other morning I came downstairs to discover that she had done it again, during the night, and this time there were.......(deep breath).........lumps. Dried lumps. Eurgh. Whole mat went into the bin.
I have replaced the mat with a nice new one but the cat is not happy. The new, clean, mat does not have the patina of the old one. It does not smell of old cat and regurgitated vegetation (yet). So the cat is in a huff. Look.That is Schieffer sulking, pointedly sitting on old newspaper, squashed in beside her food bowls, rather than deigning to grace the new mat with her royal backside. She is also, I suspect, telepathically trying to tell me how much she hates me and how, if she had opposable thumbs and could open cat food pouches herself, I would be history. I wonder how long she will be able to keep this up?
EDITED TO ADD: I went through to the kitchen after posting this AND SHE HAD PUKED ON THE NEW MAT! A huge pile of semi-digested cat food. She still won't sit on the mat, but is perfectly happy to throw up on it. She really hates me.