I think I introduced you to Domino our cat last year when he first arrived at our house. He's now 1.5 years old and has turned into a very adaptable kitty. He has been to Holland once, to the farmhouse in the Auvergne twice, and has travelled back and forth between Savennières and Vézelay three times. That's over 7000 km in the car!
At home in Savennières, he is quite independent and he likes to take off on his own for many hours at a time, just coming home for food and a little lap time, although he does come when he is called. In Vézelay, he stays much closer to us, spending a lot of time sleeping on the bed and exploring the vincinity around where I was staying.
When Jean-Marc was here for his holidays, we quite often went out in the evening for a little walk and we noticed that Domino was keen on following us. One time, we wandered up the winding paths to the basilica (about 200 metres away) and when we looked behind us, there was Domino trotting along. We continued further to the park behind the basilica, and he followed us along the stone wall that encloses the area. When it was time to go, he was right in step with us. I thought this was because he was a little afraid of going too far away on his own in Vézelay because of all the other cats and their territories, but what do I know?
A couple of weekends ago, back in Savennières, we were invited over to a friend's house in our village for a glass of wine. This friend lives in an out-building of a winery château that is situated in a large park, about half a km from our place. We went on foot, and when we arrived, we saw that Domino had followed us the whole way. We entered the grounds of the château, leaving Domino on the other side of the gate (due to the other cats) and visited with our friend. Since it was nice weather, we decided to wander into the park and have a glass of wine next to the pond. When we got outside, there was Domino ( he must have climbed the 3 metre stone wall) and he came with us down to the pond. We sat there for maybe an hour and he stayed close to us, either exploring around the pond or lounging at our feet. Our friend proposed a second excursion into the vineyards of the Domaine, so we crossed a field, climbed some steps and crossed a bridge, which led us into the hillside vineyard. Domino never missed a beat, following us the whole way. Once in the vineyard, we sat on the ground and drank a little more wine, admiring the stars of an incredibly clear night. Domino relaxed in his kitty sphinx pose a couple of metres away and hung out with us for another hour, until we decided to leave. By this point we were probably more than a kilometre from our place and I had never seen our cat wander so far from home before!
We walked all the way home, with our little dog-cat right behind us.
When he's out and about, I imagine Domino to be a bit scrappy because he comes homes with scratches and nicks, but when he's at home he's a total snuggle bear who is very gentle and affectionate. I have a friend who might say that our cat is our "fur kid" - which is kind of true - but as a cat person, I have never met any cat as responsive and faithful as Domino. More like a dog than a cat, really.
I think it's fair to say that Jean-Marc and I are both smitten. We're hoping that the move and the new house, which is dangerously close to some busy roads, don't cause a problem for our little choupie*.
* a word I have invented, pronounced SHOO-pee, which can be used for any animal (un choupie), but in Domino's case, he is Le Choupie. Wouldn't you agree?