I’ve known a few cats in my time, but I don’t think I’ve ever known a cat as cuddly as Bella. Bianca likes to be stroked or picked up at fairly regular intervals, but Bella demands to snuggle. She lurks in the bedroom, waiting for me to come to bed, and then launches herself at me. I barely have time to pull the covers up and brace for impact before nearly 4 kg of affectionate feline hits me square in the chest.
One night, she moved up until she was literally in my face, then crammed her head in under my chin, stretched out full length, rested one paw on my shoulder, and started purring for England. I don’t think I’ve ever come closer to being hugged by a cat.
However, the recent sweltering weather has proved a bit of a dilemma for her. You would think it can’t ever be too hot for cats, but it evidently is for Bella. I can tell, because in normal weather, she adopts a spherical posture at rest, minimising her surface area. The past few weeks, she has gone linear. I think she’d form herself into a 2-dimensional plane if she could.
Anyway, the problem with the heat is that it is incompatible with snuggling on her favourite large mammal. The other evening, I sat down on the sofa, and as is her custom she went to climb in my lap. Too hot. So she sat on the back of the sofa, next to my head, and rested her head on my shoulder. Still too hot. She tried sitting at my feet, which were resting on the sofa. At first, she just stretched out along side, but then delicately stretched out a forepaw and placed it gently on the top of my bare foot.
We sat like that for a while, looking at each other.
Minutes later, she launched herself on to my lap, with a resigned look. We were both just going to have to swelter, and like it.