Cobweb the Café Cat

At one stage I did say that perhaps Cobweb should have her own website, but it seems like she cer­tainly should have her own page on our website, given her con­sid­er­able fol­low­ing out there.

I’ve ended up looking after a number of cats over the last few years, none of them my own. The last one I had, Pushkin, was about 20 years ago. She and her sister came from Battersea Dogs Home as year-old cats, when Number One daughter wanted a cat as her 11th birthday present. She was a desert-storm coloured tor­toise­shell, with great char­ac­ter, but sadly after only 12–18 months she dis­ap­peared, and we never knew what happened to her. I have only one photo of her. Her sister Lady, moved to Skye with us, loved it here and was 15 when she finally expired, having become a very rural cat.

As my birthday loomed, and a friend who volun­teers with the Cats’ Protection League here on Skye was telling me that they were inund­ated with kittens, I told her that I wanted a grey one. I’ve always had a liking for grey cats, despite the antics of a daft grey and white tom cat called Digby, who used to poo into your shoes when you were not looking…It was going to be my birthday present to myself. As well as looking after Jess, Number Two daughter’s ditsy tor­toise­shell and Sadie, Number Two son’s evil-tempered long­haired black tor­toise­shell (also known as Satan), I would have a cat who was mine.

When she arrived late in August 2012, I hadn’t chosen a name for her. But in her alarm, she fled behind a bookcase in the café, and when she emerged, she had a cobweb draped across her nose, instantly naming herself — the ref­er­ence to A Midsummer Nights Dream is apt. Dainty in build, with 4 white paws, white bib and tummy, and ears that were far too big for her, I was smitten imme­di­ately and remain so as I write. It’s January 2014 and she’s asleep on a chair here in the kitchen, care­fully chosen so that she blends into the grey of my Buffalo jacket that’s been left on it. If we’re not careful, someone will sit on her!

Customers love her. She was born into a house­hold with dogs and small children, so once she got to know the café, little fazed her, and she is the most people-ori­ent­ated cat I’ve ever known. As she’s got older and more adven­tur­ous, she likes to be outside for much of the day, and with the traffic on the road at the café, I’m too nervous to have her there until she’s older and calmer. So in the meantime, her fans will have to make do with updates from the home front, but I will put pictures and details of her activ­it­ies on here, so you can keep up with her escapades.

She’s suc­cess­fully subdued our three large dogs, and adores them. cobweb on bed with dogsCobweb and Zen entangledSadie and she fight fre­quently, and she teases Jess a lot, but has made her more playful. She wants to know what we are up to and to super­vise us, and is not really happy unless she is in the same room we are. She remains a small cat, but very agile and fast (which has saved her on the many occa­sions Willow and Genji have coursed her round the garden).

She cat­er­wauls to be let in and then lets you know what she thinks as she comes through the door, tail held high. When the weather is awful, she has a habit of looking at you in an accus­at­ory manner, as if it’s your fault, and some­times, having decided better of going out of one door, she will ask you to open another, just to check whether the weather is better on the other side of the house.….

25 February 2014 Today’s adoles­cent antic involved jumping up onto the dining table where I had a curtain pinned out. Unfortunately the forward momentum and the polished surface resulted in Cobweb and the curtain landing on the floor, accom­pan­ied by my pin tin and needle con­tainer, both of which emptied them­selves. Rather than look abashed, Madam sat on the curtain pulling out the pins with an air of “I meant to do that” whilst I scrambled around the floor trying to pick up the debris. One of her bad habits is taking the long flower headed pins and eating the plastic flowers off — I now have them in a tin not the pin­cush­ion.