It depends who you ask.
I’ve grown big and sturdy. I eat with the others. I jump on Mrs Danvers’ bed – when she’s in it! – and pounce on her toes. Sometimes I let her stroke me if it’s in the middle of the night and she isn’t sitting up. I might even purr and drool a little, or I might run away. I walk on the yard walls. I tolerate the dogs. I go bravely into every room in the house.
I am even more beautiful than when I arrived a year ago today. Mrs Danvers is privileged to have me in her house, eating her food, playing with her toys, and messing up her
back yard flowerbeds cat trays. She does not seem to be aware of how honoured she is; she expects servility and soppiness! Foolish misguided woman.
Rachel (rudely referred to as Mrs Danvers):
He’s grown because he eats surreptitiously during the night when no one sees him; at least he now shares the same bowls as the others. He plays on my bed, so long as we pretend the pounced-on toes aren’t mine, and he flees if I sit up or let on that I’ve noticed him. He is terrified of the hoover, and extends this terror to poor tender-hearted Margery, who wields it.
He spends most of his life sleeping, tucked discreetly behind a chair upstairs. He looks balefully at me then runs away whenever I enter a room. He chirrups, rolls and rubs against Lottie, and mostly hangs out with Scooter, who could be a lot friendlier to humans without Hamish’s bad example, but he makes it plain that – mostly – I am The Enemy; that’s when I’m not being The Servant.
I have rarely stroked him, have never picked him up, and as for that fantasy of having him sit next to me on the sofa – well, pah! it won’t be happening soon.
He is very bonny, though, with glowing orange fur that lights up a room. I love him, but think of him as a decorative addition to the household rather than a pet. An addition that snubs me, despises my efforts on his behalf, and makes it very plain that he is not grateful in the least.
Happy First Anniversary, Hamish! The Servant will be serving celebratory sardines for dinner. No need to say thank you.