Born to Be Wilde

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”

When Oscar Wilde made this observation, he did not have cats in mind. However, it seems to us that cats absolutely belong in the former category: they cause happiness wherever they go, and unhappiness whenever they go. I, for one, often droop like an ageing tulip when my little minx trots out of the room. Mice and birds may hold a different view, but the lovely people who have been fostering our cats certainly aren’t eager to bid them furwell!

Last month, our Senior Cat Carer served us a generous slice of domestic bliss with Peter and Wendy. This week, her mum is also going to treat us to something sweet! When Amy’s parents, Tracey and Stuart, realised that the Emporium would have to close for an indefinite period of time, they were quick to offer their support. We are so glad that they have been able to help! We could not have asked for two better guardians for our “girls gone Wilde,” Dorian and Salome.

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The Picture of Dorian and Salome

Cat sisters Dorian and Salome relax on a bed together.

If Lady Dinah’s beloved butt-spank sisters, Dorian and Salome, were to pose for a family portrait, the result would be much less frightening than the infamous painting done of Dorian’s namesake! For a start, despite what their joint nickname might imply, Sal and Dorian are rarely naughty. In fact, they are totally delightful and have been the best possible addition to our home over the past couple of months.

My husband and I were first introduced to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium after our cat-mad daughter, Amy, visited for the first time in 2016. She had such a lovely time there that she encouraged us to make a booking, which we did very happily. Even with Amy’s high praise, the experience we had exceeded our expectations! We immediately became attached to the Emporium cats, and our affection for them has only intensified since Amy started working at the café as a cat carer. Since joining the team as an apprentice a few years ago, Amy has been promoted to the position of Senior Cat Carer, which has been a wonderful vindication of all of her hard work! We have loved seeing her in action on many occasions, and it’s always fun to invite our friends to the café so that they can meet our daughter’s feline colleagues. When the Wilde kittens were welcomed into the Lady Dinah’s family, baby Dorian took a liking to our friend Sheila. She made herself comfortable on Sheila’s chair and demanded to be fussed over. Some things never change!

Four kittens! A tiny Sal with her equally small brother Cecil looking up from a basket. Next to this is a photo of baby Dorian snuggling up to her sister Sybil.

At the start of March this year, it was becoming clear that a nationwide lockdown would be in the public’s best interest. Stuart and I soon realised that this was going to put the Emporium in quite a difficult situation, so we volunteered our support. We were willing to help in any way that we could, so we really hit the jackpot when we were asked to foster Dorian and Salome! We felt honoured to be trusted with two such precious creatures. Within twenty-four hours of agreeing (VERY enthusiastically) to take them in, we were driving home with them.

Dorian was quick to adapt to this change in circumstance. She meowed a couple of times in the car, but her meows were more inquisitive than interrogative. She seemed chatty rather than perturbed. Salome, however, was more vocal - nobody had consulted her about this move, and she wanted DETAILS! She was appeased somewhat after arriving at the house. Once the girls had explored every crevice they could fit their snouts into, Salome claimed an entire bedroom for herself. Sal has the spare bedroom while Dorian commandeers every available lap that she sees, it’s a good arrangement for us all.

Dorian is a lap-cat and benefits from receiving lots of affection.

Sal is a little princess and requires butt spanks all day long! Initially, she was a tad apprehensive compared to her super cuddly sister, but now she won’t hesitate to ask for affection. There is one condition: we must satisfy her demands immediately. Even when we’re in the middle of doing something else, it is impossible to resist her big Cleopatra eyes. It’s the same story with Dorian, except that she generally gets what she wants by sitting on us. There is one major difference between the girls in how they relate to us: Dorian seems to be madly in love with Stuart and wants special attention from him. This is no problem, he is very happy to oblige with lots of pats and cuddles.

Although it didn’t take a long time for the girls to feel comfortable with us, they were a little bit intimidated by our television. This was the first time they’d encountered one, so we needed to show them that it was nothing to be afraid of. We did this by keeping the volume low and playing videos of birds for short periods of time. After a few days, they stopped regarding the TV as a potential threat. Dorian ignores it most of the time as she prefers to gaze out of the window, but Sal really enjoys stretching out on her white fluffy blanket and watching programmes with us. She was especially interested in the shifting shapes and colours when we put on The Aristocats!

Salome is fixated by the animated Disney movie The Aristocats.

I am sure that Dorian and Sal miss their Emporium friends, both the two- and four-legged kind. While Dorian may have developed a crush on my husband, Salome must be eager to see her favourite man, Josh, again. Sal loves Josh so much that he was listed as her “favourite toy” in the café booklet, so it will be nice to know that they’ve been reunited when the lockdown ends. Still, we will be sorry to see them go! They’ve provided us with lots of comfort and cheer at this unsettling time, and they’ve become a major part of our daily routine. Whether Dorian is “helping” us to complete a jigsaw puzzle, or we’re listening to the thunderous sound of them chasing each other upstairs, we love having them around! Once, they got so carried away with playtime that they climbed up and down our curtains! We didn’t mind one bit, it makes us happy to see them in high spirits.

Tuxedo cat Dorian stands on a table covered in puzzle pieces.

After tiring themselves out with a full day of running around and receiving enough bum pats to rival the percussion in an orchestra, the girls retire to bed. For Sal this means getting some privacy in her very own room, and for Dorian this means hunkering down with me and Stuart. She either plonks herself on top of us, spreads herself across our pillows, or lies by our feet. She's quite a big girl, much more hefty than her tiny sister, but we’re happy to make room for her. After all, we know who’s in charge!

Yawning cat! Salome is exhausted after scampering around during playtime.

As we await the latest news regarding quarantine restrictions and the like, we hope for the best. It will be a bittersweet moment for us when the Lady Dinah’s clowder is able to reassemble, but we are grateful for the time we were able to spend getting to know these adorable bundles of fur. We knew that we would enjoy fostering Sal and Dorian, but the fun we’ve all had together has gone beyond our wildest dreams! 💗

Sister cats Dorian and Sal sit on a kitchen counter and groom each other.

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