Tara, who makes her video debut below, may not be related to Oakley but the two have lived together for all of their 13 years. She may be sleek and slim but she is the capitalist cat. Oakley does nothing all day and is thus sometimes referred to as Benefits Street. Tara believes that Greed is Good and thus eats far more than Oakley either from her food bowl or by snacking on human food whenever she can grab it. I guess she has a higher metabolic rate than Oakley and she also takes plenty of exercise patrolling the garden.
I first met the two of them in the Isle of Man after the sudden death of my previous cat Kitosh. His ashes travelled with me in the years that followed and are now buried in a wooden cat shaped urn underneath a newly planted thyme bush at the bottom of our Garden in Brislington.
At the MSPCA sanctuary as I wandered along seeking a replacement for Kitosh the sweet young kittens grabbed all the attention. But in one cage there were two much older cats Tara and Oakley. Well I was told there were two. Oakley rarely made an appearance as he liked to sleep all day inside a hutch but the staff assured me that he was a lovely creature, as indeed he is. Tara, on the other hand was flirtatious and friendly and I was amazed that after five months with the MSPCA no-one had offered them a home. Their destiny seemed to be to stay there forever. And so they came to live with me.
Tara will scoff food whenever offered but also begs for it at every opportunity. If you are cooking she wanders around at your feet miaowing suggesting that at least some of the chicken biryani, or curried pork chops should head her way. Thai Green prawn curry. Yum yum. Tara will eat anything.
If I am not cooking but just tapping away at my PC Tara’s strategy is just to lie on the floor wriggling and looking sweet. She knows this will catch your attention and then she can demand food. Right now the Mrs has gone to bed with Oakley to get some much needed rest. The public sector worker and Benefits Street feel overworked and exploited. Tara sits with me in the kitchen watching me work and occasionally looking up at me with that face that says ”you know I still have some Dreamies from my Christmas stocking over there don’t you?”