You've been invited over for cocktails and a slap-up meal at a new chum's house. As you rock up to the front door of a very fancy-looking detached pad, you have high hopes of a slick shindig, but after mopping up your nose after a sudden sneezing fit on the porch, things take a strange turn. The hackles rise on your neck as if you're being watched, but when you turn around, there's nobody there. You know you're trespassing on a cat's turf when...
1 The furniture is scratched to pieces
When you first walk in, you're pretty impressed by all the design classics on show, but on closer inspection, you notice that the bottom part of every single table and chair leg, sofa and desk are all scratched-up. That must be one angry kitty.
2 As you walk into the kitchen, you step in something wet and slimy...
This is a real problem in one of the growing number of 'shoes-off-please!' houses. A cat will deposit his mushy hairballs in the most inconvient of places – especially on the stairs – meaning you should look before you leap when entering a new house and never, ever step out of bed with bare feet. Lesson learnt, you head off to the bathroom to clean up, stepping gingerly as you go.
3 Your tea comes with fur
Just like popping into a
dog owner's house, Chez Kitty will have a bit of a hair problem. When
you're served a fur-laden cup of Earl Grey, distract the owner by saying there's
something odd in the garden and either chuck it down the sink or fish out the stuff with a spoon.
4 There's something small and very dead on the sofa
The homeowner will be all-too aware they're living with a ruthless serial killer. But if you haven't been informed of this inconvenient truth, when you're ushered into the living room for a cosy chat and come face to face with one of its undoubtedly endangered victims, it'll be one hell of a shock. Best to scream like there's no tomorrow and hopefully the unfortunate owner will be inspired to think of the birds and shell out for a collar with a noisy bell in time for your next visit.
5 There are paw prints on the dining table
reckons it's his right to go exploring after dark and have a nosey round
the fruit bowl and anything else left out on the table. If you see said prints
when you sit down for supper, politely but firmly point it out to your hostess or make a note to drop your food into an improvised doggy bag.
6 You feel something sharp sweep across your ankle as you take your seat
Puddy loves to stake his claim wherever he is and as you finally sit down to the admittedly swanky meal, you feel a sharp, hot sensation on your ankle. All you see is the flash of a departing tail darting from under the table. 'He's only playing!' says your hostess as your skin starts to drip with blood and you head off to the bathroom to clean up (again).
7 There are paw prints stamped into the patio and pool surround
The moment the expensive concrete was laid, Puss took a moment to leave his mark, just to warn pesky Ginger next door to back off. Your hostess says it adds character and anyway she has a bit of a thing for animal art, you briefly wonder if it will start a new trend…
8 You hear crazy screams in the garden!
Just as you're about to take a sip of a yummy pudding martini by the pool, the air is filled with almighty yowling and a frantic rustling in the trees. As you retreat to the safety of the house, you spot a pair of angry saucer eyes staring down at you unblinkingly and a menacing face looming towards you. Fearful of another injury, you start to swoon…
9 You are well and truly charmed
After the garden kerfuffle, your hostess suggests you go for a lie-down in the immaculately decorated spare room, you quickly pass out only to awake to see a pair of calm emerald eyes staring deep into your panic-stricken ones. And is that a knowing smile he's giving you? And a wink! But then you hear his beautiful, soothing purr and see how gentle he is when he's stroked and somehow you're lulled into submission and just want to take him home with you.
Got an animal in your house? See more of our pets at home features.
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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.
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