Skip to content

Mr Pussy’s New Game

May 27, 2014
by the gentle author

My old cat, Mr Pussy, loves water. While others detest getting their feet wet, he has never been discouraged by rain, even delighting to roll in the wet grass. Consequently, when he languishes in hot weather, I commonly sponge him down with cold water – an ecstatic experience that leaves him swooning.

Although I am conscientious to leave him a daily dish of fresh water beside his bowl of dry biscuits, he prefers to drink rain water or running water, seeking out puddles, ponds and dripping taps. Sometimes when I have been soaking in the bath, he has even appeared – leaping nimbly onto the rim – and craned his long neck down and extended his pink tongue to lap up my bath water, licking his lips afterwards out of curiosity at the tangy, soapy flavour. And when I choose to stand in the bath and take a shower, he likes to jump in as I jump out to lap up the last rivulets before they vanish down the drain.

One day, I took the shower-head and left it lying upon the floor of the bath, switching on the water briefly to wash away the soap in order to leave him clean water to drink. Thus a new era began. He perched upon the rim of the bath, his eyes widening in fascination at the surge of water bouncing off the sides of the tub in criss-crossing currents. This element introduced a whole new level of interest for him and now it has become a custom, that I switch on the shower for a couple of seconds, so that he may leap onto the bath and manoeuvre himself down to lick up the racing trails before they disappear.

It was something I did occasionally to indulge him, then daily, and now he demands it whenever he sees me in proximity – perhaps a dozen times yesterday and sometimes in the middle of the night too. The game begins with the spectacle of the surge of water coursing around the bath. He gets pretty excited watching the rush. And then, as soon as the water is switched off, he lets himself down head first, leaving his back legs on the rim and moving swiftly to slurp up the rivulets as they run. Each time it is a different challenge and the combination of the necessity of quick thinking, of nimble gymnastics and the opportunity of refreshment is compelling for him.

In the winter – you will recall – I found myself letting him in and out of the drawing room door, as he sought respite from the warmth and then re-admission again five minutes later. I am aware of his controlling nature and the pleasure he draws in extricating these favours from me, yet this new game has become a compulsion for him in its own right. When it gives him such euphoria, I cannot refuse his shrill requests, trilling liking a song bird and indicating the bathroom with a deliberate twist of his neck.

From the moment I turn my steps in that direction he is ahead of me, leaping up and composing his thoughts upon the brink with the intensity of a diver before a contest. Hyper-alert when I switch on the tap momentarily, he is rapt by the sensory overload of the multiple spiralling streams of water and intricate possibilities for intervention. Running all the decisions in his mind, he may even make a move before the water is switched off. Unafraid to soak his feet, he places two paws down into the swirling current and starts to lap it up fast. Observing his skill and engagement as a credulous yet critical spectator of his sport, I cannot deny he is getting better at negotiating the bathtub and the runnels. His technique is definitely improving with practice.

Within a minute, the water has drained to trickles and, before I may rediscover my own purpose, he seeks a repeat performance of his new game – and thus, with these foolish pastimes, we spend our days and nights in the empty house in Spitalfields.

You may also like to read

At Odds With Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy Gives his First Interview

The Ploys of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in the Dog Days

Mr Pussy is Ten

Mr Pussy in Winter

The Caprice of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy in Spitalfields

Mr Pussy takes the Sun

Mr Pussy, Natural Born Killer

Mr Pussy takes a Nap

Mr Pussy’s Viewing Habits

The Life of Mr Pussy

Mr Pussy thinks he is a Dog

Mr Pussy in Summer

Mr Pussy in Spring

In the Company of Mr Pussy

and take a look at

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part One)

The Cats of Spitalfields (Part Two)

East End Cats (Part One)

East End Cats (Part Two)

Blackie, the Last Spitalfields Market Cat

25 Responses leave one →
  1. jeannette permalink
    May 27, 2014

    a darlin’ companion. long may he wave.

  2. May 27, 2014

    Mr Pussy has a long lost relative on the other side of the world. Jazz rushes into the shower as I leave it, to lick the last drops of water before they disappear. Puddles, particularly rain puddles, are bliss.
    And I am now feeling a tad guilty for not exploring/indulging his water fetish.
    This is a heart-warming story. Thank you. And Mr Pussy.

  3. May 27, 2014

    This chap seems to know what he wants. Feline water games are new to me, but seem to be entertaining! Valerie

  4. May 27, 2014

    Oh Mr Pussy you are so clever and so funny! Cats are such amusing creatures. We lost our beautiful tortie nearly 2 years ago, Mozart was her name. Beautiful by name, beautiful by nature and she was funny too. She was 19 years old and she grew up with her brother, Haydn (he went at the age of 12) with our two kids. We miss Mozart and Haydn terribly. You are so lucky to have Mr Pussy to keep you company.

  5. May 27, 2014

    Mr Pussy leads a fun-loving life of its own — please give him a hug from me!

    Love & Peace

  6. May 27, 2014

    It seems you have quite rightly and honourably become head butler / cook / carer / friend / all round factotum to Mr Pussy – was it Dr Johnson who cut holes in all his doors to accommodate Hodge?

  7. May 27, 2014

    What an indulgent, inventive and loving kitty-master.
    ~ or maybe, he’s the people-master!

  8. May 27, 2014

    This is beautiful. Cat kisseys to Mr Pussy.

  9. Erica America permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Oh, Mr. Pussy! How these pets get us to bend to their will.

  10. gioconda permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Beauty always gets what it wants!

  11. Elli Pyne permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Gave me a good chuckle today, thank you and of course Mr.Pussy.

  12. Pete permalink
    May 27, 2014

    One of our old moggies used to get in the washing up bowl and sit there in the water, ( only if it contained warm water though )… she looked very like Mr P,…. maybe it’s a black cat thing ?

  13. Victoria permalink
    May 27, 2014

    As a still relatively recent follower of your website, I hadn’t realised there was a long list of previous postings featuring Mr Pussy or indeed other local felines. I have two cats, one of which is a Maine Coon, a breed that simply loves water. Kitten’s favourite pursuit is following the watering can or hosepipe around the garden on summer evenings, and such a delight to see his fondness of water. Lovely to read that Mr Pussy has such a love of showers and bath water. Hope though he doesn’t cause you too much insomnia!

  14. May 27, 2014

    I have small black imperious pug-mix rescue dog who rules my life. See @peppersprogress! She is on my stall at Portobello every Friday and is star of the show! Dressed in coats knitted by Paul Gardner’s mother. She comes with me to buy bags at his emporium.

    How sad we would all be without our pets.

  15. Gary Arber permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Mr. Pussy’s takeover of your home is now nearing completion.
    It is time for you to make the final move and start to sleep in the cat basket, obeying all the wishes of the master of the house.
    It is the order of things, dogs obey, cats control.
    Stroke him for me.

  16. Patty/NS permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Love how our pets train us!

  17. Ian permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Our elderly cat, Tiger (RIP,) became very eccentric in her dotage, to the point where she would follow family members along the landing from the toilet to the bathroom (seperate due to the layout of our Victorian house) where she would get into the bath and wait for cold water to be run into the plastic jug that we used to wash our hair (in those pre-shower days.) This she would drink ONLY if the toilet had been flushed. Had it not been flushed she would just regard the jug with interest but not partake of the delicious liquid it contained. Nor would she drink directly from the bottom of the bath regardless of whether the flushing had occurred or not – the jug had to be involved.

    She also decided that sleeping curled around the base of the toilet was a favourite place to be, which could be awkward at times…

  18. Pauline Taylor permalink
    May 27, 2014

    What a lovely account of a water loving cat, our much loved Sampson used to drink from a dripping tap but that was as far as it got, he never drank fresh water otherwise. His favourite trick was to settle down to sleep in the dog basket forcing our springer spaniel, Bessie, to squeeze herself into his basket, this was accompanied by much sighing from her, and of course her ears would not fit in but hung over the side. If he woke up before her he would be tempted to play with her ears but she never complained, she knew who was boss, as did we. Dogs have masters, cats have servants.

  19. Katya permalink
    May 27, 2014

    Oh Mr. Pussy, you’re a marvel of cat-ness. Thank you GA for capturing this humorous and simple pastime.

  20. Janet M permalink
    May 28, 2014

    You’re well trained, good job by Mr. P.

  21. Barbara permalink
    May 28, 2014

    You write about so many interesting people and places but the antics of Mr.P , rival them all. Long may he reign !

  22. Janet M permalink
    May 28, 2014

    Also I noticed the lovely needlepoint coverlet that Mr. P was laying on. It’s quite nice.


  23. May 29, 2014

    My daughter’s cats also love running water so she bought them a special drinking fountain for cats. These are available in all sorts of sizes and prices. Might be best to have one on loan first to see if Mr Pussy takes to it.
    I think he may be bored which is why he is making you his favourite toy/playmate/slave.
    You can buy cat toys in which food treats are hidden and the cat has to roll them about until the treat falls out.
    Let me know if you’d like to borrow Emma’s fountain for a couple of days. She doesn’t live too far from you.

  24. Anita permalink
    June 4, 2014

    Wonderful to have another an update on the mischievous Mr Pussy… I love reading about his latest exploits! I read all of your daily stories on Spitalfields life but I must admit I love the posts about Mr Pussy most of all.

  25. Bron permalink
    June 5, 2014

    Lovely post: thank you!

Leave a Reply

Note: Comments may be edited. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS