These are Oliver’s front paws. Oliver is our other cat, and a cat less like Giles you could not imagine. Aside from his colour, which is a magnificent ginger, with a white muzzle, he is confident, cocky, assertive and pushy. He is the very definition of top cat.
We adopted him in Dubai, after the vet assistant said to me: you look like you could use another cat. In other words, she knew one when she saw one. Oliver was still a young-un then, about six months, skinny and scrawny, but he thrust himself up against the bars of the cage and insisted on all my attention. He had a rough kittenhood, I think this was the third time he’d been returned to the vet’s, and on one occasion he had been shaken by a dog, leading to the one thing he’s actually scared of: dogs.
He has a lot of names, Oliver, Tipsy McStagger (he’s got some hip and back issues because of the dog), Captain Stripeypants, Mr Pyjamas, and most often, Thruddle. Martin coined that last, it’s a portmanteau of ‘thrust’ and ‘cuddle’ and describes exactly what it’s like when he runs up to you and leans his whole body against you, purring madly.