The menagerie members of Spring Rock have long kept me wondering about their various, often one sided, love affairs. The peculiar crushes that have come to life down through the years often defy description. Christie my pinto pony loved Tiffany a comeback sheep almost from the day they met. Tiffany loved Christie in return with her whole little sheepy heart. Then there was Bob the Tegals refugee duck I raised almost from an egg, who fell in love with a bantam filly hen and was convinced he was the father of her little brood of chicks. Bob ignored Jemima the female mallard we’d imported just for company for him while he whispered sweet nothings to the frilly though the chook wire. Billy my St Bernard fell in love with Shadow, my aged and cranky little silky terrier type despite the fact that Shadow had no use for overgrown, love struck, slobbery dogs. Even though she scared Billy witless at times when the mood took her to tell him off, he continued to sidle as close as she’d allow and chew on various parts of Shadow’s furry anatomy while Shadow grumbled away and became increasingly soggy. There have been other, mismatched love affairs at Spring Rock too numerous to mention but today I’m going to tell you about the latest one.
Nefertiti, my half Siamese tortoiseshell puss has developed a relationship with a giraffe. Now while it is quite within the bounds of possibility, if not probability, for a Spring Rock resident to fall in love with a real live giraffe, I’m relieved to put your minds at rest and tell you it is a little toy giraffe. When and why this love affair began I don’t know. I’ve had the giraffe for quite a while. I was shopping one day and its huge eyes said, “Take me home,” so I did. The giraffe then spent all its days sitting on top of my little embroidery thread cabinet in the lounge room minding its own business and moving only when I gave it an occasional dusting. Thus it whiled away the time thinking toy giraffe thoughts and causing no one any trouble. That was until he began to disappear and turn up in strange places around the house. I’d find him under the dining table, in the kitchen, even in our bedroom at the other end of the house. There he’d be all by himself, abandoned by his kidnapper in strange positions – upside down, on his side, even on his head at times. I’d pick him up, dust him off and return him to his perch on the thread cabinet with stern instructions to stay put. No matter how hard I tried I never managed to catch the giraffe napping culprit. Ambrosia the Bengal cat was the prime suspect, mainly because she’s been caught in the act of stealing any sewing tool she can get her teeth around. Ambrosia denied all giraffe napping charges but I remained unconvinced. I’d seen that innocent face denying all charges before. Time came when I had to apologise to Ambrosia and exonerate her from all suspicion of evil intend towards toy giraffes.
Josh, Frances and our four granddaughters visited a few weeks back and I thought with all these extra eyes, not to mention enthusiastic detectives in the form of the granddaughters, we might be able to finally pin the rap on Ambrosia, so I set the girls the task of getting proof positive of the giraffe napper’s identity. It was Josh who proved to be the best detective in the bunch though. While we all sitting in the lounge room chatting away, Josh brought our conversation to an end to point out that Nefertiti was making off with the giraffe. We turned to find a very guilty Nefertiti frozen in place with the incriminating evidence in her mouth. There, for all to see, dangled the giraffe. Irrefutable proof! All four girls took off after the giraffe napper to retrieve the giraffe and lecture a non-repentant Nefertiti on the evils of giraffe stealing. Nefertiti tried strong denial, but it was too late, she’d finally been caught in the act. Ambrosia meanwhile assumed the innocent, hurt look only a cat guilty of multiple misdeeds, but for once exonerated of all blame can.
Since then Nefertiti, realising the jig was up and her love for the little giraffe was out in the open, has become a lot more brazen about running off with her beloved toy. How do I know it’s love and not jealousy or a desire to de-clutter my lounge room? I’ve watched her pilfer the toy. She walks up to the cabinet making little purring sounds, gently lifts the giraffe by the back of its neck and begins making noises not unlike a mother cat with her kittens – sort a cross between a purr and a meow. She then proceeds to carry the giraffe to some previously determined place in the house, purring/meowing all the way, where she gently lays it down on the floor (not necessarily in an upright position though) sits with it for a while purring/meowing to it and giving it little nudges with her now. Obviously the talking to the giraffe is a new thing of I would have heard her when the thief's identity was unknown. Stealth is no longer necessary so she can let herself go completely when pilfering her love. She has even groomed it a couple of times while I’ve watched. Nefertiti then seems to lose all interest in the love of her life and walks off without a so much as a backward glance.
Her love for the giraffe seems to come in fits and starts. She’s capable of ignoring the toy for days on end and if I put the giraffe close to her, Nefertiti will give me a totally unimpressed look as if she’d never met the creature before. Once she drops the giraffe at its preferred (for the moment) destination and spent a small amount of quality time with it she then goes back to ignoring it for an undetermined period of time. I’ve tried leaving it where she’s put it and so far she’s left it alone in its abandoned location for days on end. I am the one who eventually puts it back on the cabinet.
Maybe she just disapproves of giraffes sitting on top of embroidery thread cabinets?