Why on earth should I write about cats and tea?
Well, for one thing, the Ernster cat has his head in my teacup, joyfully lapping up the last spoonful or two. He is always alert to the presence of food and drink in his life, especially if it is mine. He will circle in ever-narrowing rings, purring louder and louder until at last he has gained my lap, whereupon he pretends he is really not there. He does not like tea or ice cream and buttered toast is anathema to him. However, should a morsel of them be left, gentleman that he is, he will gladly lick them up, so I perhaps won't have to wash so many dishes. Uh hunh!
However, there are times when he is so eager to be helpful that a paw slides up over the edge of the dish, in case there are just too many crumbs or in fear I would be overtaxed by drinking too many more sips of tea or spoons of ice cream. It is so comforting to be cared for in such a loving manner.
Ernie does have his preferences. After all, he is a cat and must maintain standards. The tea he heartily approved of last week gets the “two-back-paws-covering-it-up” award this week. Cream is acceptable, skim milk garners only a disdainful sniff. He does believe that Oolong and green should never have anything in them and if you must, sugar, please, not that ghastly pink stuff. Lemon is most assuredly not to be added.
Beyond this sometimes excessive care, he is also willing to warm my lap and provide a book rest. Thus, I may experience a triple attention to my needs - warmth, intellectual companionship and butler service. All this for just a bit of tea and toast. Almost as good as and much cheaper than a husband. But I think I’ll keep mine, anyway.
Ernie is not a spoiled cat. Heavens, no, he is indulged, as befits a cat.