MEOW & LULU™
Meow was a neighbourhood stray and a daily visitor to Cottontails for a long time before Lulu officially adopted him. Being a bunny person, Lulu didn’t want a cat at first, but Meow wore her down with his love and wonderful personality! Lulu thinks he’s perfect, and they’re now inseparable. Meow is also the inspiration behind a picture book, a board book and his own art show.
Poems written when Meow was the neighbourhood stray
Meow The Love Cat
Every morning when I feed the birds on the green
Meow comes running from under the bushes
where he’d been sleeping with the foxes.
He’s very vocal and as soon as he’s within jumping distance
he leaps on my shoulder and starts digging.
He follows me home and pushes his sweet muzzle
inside the fridge when I get the milk
and in every mug and dish
but I cannot feed him (or he’ll never leave)
and it takes me ten times longer
to make my cup of tea.
It’s cold and Meow thinks better than going back outside.
After more digging in blankets and the sofa’s armrest
he lies on my chest, tugging at my necklace.
If I wriggle my feet he pounces on my toes and bites!
– thinking they’re a bouncy ball.
Meow is peaceful but immediately bristles
if Mr Purry pops his head round
– this is his second home after all.
Then he washes himself and nudges every piece of furniture
or rolls on his back to be stroked.
He’s left home but someone else is taking care of him
so I can’t feed him anymore
but how I wish he was my cat:
he’s the most loving one I’ve ever known
he’s all love.
20/12/13 & 5/2/19
Meow ran away from home
and he’s already found a someone to love him.
But from time to time he pops round to say hello
– he likes to keep his options open.
As soon as I’ve made myself comfortable on the sofa
Meow immediately jumps off the top of a cupboard
– where he was taking a nap –
and lands on me like a sack of potatoes.
Meow is Multi-Tasking
Meow is multi-tasking:
he’s eating his sardines
while having his back rubbed.
Meow Loves Slippers
When he leaps through the first floor window
pawing for breakfast at 5am
Meow likes to make sure I’m coming downstairs.
So instead of skipping down the stairs
heading straight to his food station
he jumps on and off my slippers
tripping me up at every step –
he’s a slippery customer.
Meow’s New Favourite Spot
Meow has a wonderful choice of spots
to enjoy his post-breakfast nap
after waking the whole household up.
He could for example snooze by the French windows
or on his new fleece mat
on the back of the sofa
or even in Topper’s bed (the guest cat).
But of all the places in all the rooms on all the floors
Meow had to sneak on top of Lulu’s best watercolour paper
where he was caught rolling triumphantly!
Now every sheet looks slightly cat-eared
and there are Meow’s pawprints all over.
Meow, Turfed Out at Night
All the neighbours know
that Meow is really good at going round each house
begging for food and love.
But he’s a scratcher and a waker-upper
(and there’s a limit to some people’s love)
so when night falls they show him the door.
And that’s why at 1 or 3 am
Meows paws loudly at Lulu’s bedroom window
– especially if it rains –
and makes straight for her bed
falling asleep on her head.
Meow is Good Value for Money
Of course Meow – who always has his claws out –
causes a lot of damage to furniture and blankets.
Certainly he is messy with food
and jumps on countertops
even when he’s told, “No!”
But for the price of a tin of sardines
and organic roast chicken
this little honey
gives so much love
he is worth every penny.
Lulu thinks that other neighbours
don’t allow Meow to sleep on their bed
which is why from time to time
he can be spotted sneaking upstairs
and rolling triumphantly on her double bed
(even in the daytime).
“Do Not Disturb”
Meow is not available at present:
he’s upstairs napping on Lulu’s bed
while she prepares his sardine dinner.
He needs some “me” time.
Poems written after Lulu officially adopts Meow
On the 1st of November 2016 something magical happened:
Meow became my official pussycat and my little prince.
There may just be two of us but now we are a family.
Meow & the Catflap
From today nobody will be able to say,
“Meow is hopeless with catflaps”
because in the early hours
in the middle of a rainstorm
Meow bravely took the plunge
and whizzed through the catflap
emerging very damp but unharmed into the living room.
Meow very modestly didn’t immediately boast of his success
preferring to dry his bottom by the radiator first
and only then went upstairs to show Lulu he was there!
Lulu thought she was dreaming
or that maybe Meow had come in the door the night before
when she fed Smudge the fox.
But today Meow caught in an afternoon shower
once again used the catflap
while Lulu was washing her hair
and was not available for concierge duties.
Lulu is very sorry she ever thought Meow
might be a teensy bit slow or maybe very spoilt regarding catflaps:
this pussycat is very smart!
and catflaps are easy peasy now
for a pro like Meow
(but he still likes Lulu to get up
and open the door on command most of the time,
so she gets her exercise).
Meow has a big heart:
he does not chase squirrels
and does not fight with other pussycats
even the stray toms
who eat his food and nap on his blanket.
He feels happy and lucky in his new home
and shares the love.
Jump for Love!
If Meow is around
remember he likes to jump in your arms
given half a chance.
Meow and Mouse
Meow is very patient
but there’s a limit to what
any self-respecting pussycat will put up with.
When a mouse boldly pops up from under the floorboards
to snack on the birds’ sunflower seeds
Meow jumps up like a spring
and chases him noisily around the house.
Good luck, little mouse!
Some homes have dogs barking at the postman
but I have Meow guarding the letterbox and the mousehole:
he’s my official guardpuss.
In just a few days
Meow has acquired a selection of toys
that are the envy of all Walthamstow pussycats.
multiple sachets of catnip,
4 catnip balls,
5 catnip mice – one of which Meow destroyed overnight,
6 dangling leopard-print toys with feathers
(all matching the décor)
and 2 scratching posts – one for each floor.
(Meow also has a special box to store his kit.)
Meow has only been my official cat for three and a half weeks
but already he’s earning his keep.
Last night there was a commotion
in the living room and up and down the stairs
and as a result three mice will no longer nibble
on the birds’ sunflower seeds.
And today Meow, true to his name,
MEOWWWWED!!! by the French windows
to keep a stray cat out of the house.
But when I looked it wasn’t just the stray cat
who was trying to pop in.
Smudge the fox, well known for stealing slippers
(and once even poems)
was cheekily trotting around the living room.
Thanks to Meow’s amazingly loud MEOW!!!
Smudge trotted back out
dropping my slipper in the middle of the garden.
Just yesterday I was thinking how much Meow
has cost me in three and a half weeks.
Today I think he’s worth his weight in gold!
You’re a hero, Meow!
Meow is Beautiful and Useful
“I never wear hats!” said Lulu
and Meow soon saw to that.
That’s why on winter days
(and even nights)
he can be found snuggled up
on Lulu’s head
hanging on for dear life!
Meow obviously read
that most body heat
is lost through the head
and is making himself useful
as an alternative woolly hat.
Tips for Using a Catflap
Although Meow uses the catflap
when Lulu is not around
he still hasn’t worked out the ins and outs
and that he needs to push his furry head in first.
Instead he paws at the catflap for five minutes
like he did on the French windows.
Then Lulu has to get up
and hold the catflap open for him
to save his pride
(and on the other side she has put
a step covered with a fleece mat
to give Meow a soft landing).
Meow is Twice as Handsome
Some mornings when Meow comes home after a night out
his fur looks super smooth and twice as shiny
so Lulu is wondering
who else is brushing him.
Meow is more like a dog than a cat:
when he rolls with all fours in the air
he gives Lulu one paw
(and sometimes two).
Meow does not like to be left alone:
when Lulu goes out
he follows her to the front door
to demand more love.
Lulu thinks about Meow
when she’s at the theatre
or by the river
wishing they could be together:
they both have separation anxiety.
You would have thought that now he has a catflap
Meow would not wake Lulu up in the early hours.
But the little guy uses the catflap to go out
and when he feels like popping back in
he’d rather paw at Lulu’s bedroom window,
meowing loudly if she’s a bit slow.
Meow in the Workplace
When Meow decides it’s time for some attention
he jumps on Lulu’s sofa
which is her workstation.
Lulu may have gone to the kitchen to make a cup of tea
but when she comes back
Meow is napping right where she was sitting
(and sometimes on top of her paintings).
Please Don’t Take on the Fox, Meow
Smudge the fox likes cat food
and can be very bold
when pawing at the catflap for his breakfast.
But he’s respectful of kitties
and waits patiently for you to finish eating
before wolfing down your food.
So please be nice Meow
don’t growl when he’s around
let him trot down the garden
and even sit on your blanket.
Smudge is just famished.
Meow’s Christmas Present
Meow didn’t want Lulu to be empty-handed
so he gave her a mouse this Christmas
and left it by her bed.
Lulu worries she’ll find a mouse in her bed one day.
When Lulu goes upstairs
Meow immediately stops eating
and runs up to nudge her a few times
until she returns to the kitchen in a hurry.
Meow only goes back to his dinner
when he’s sure Lulu is behind him
and is patting him on the back.
They’re happy together.
Meow loves to jump on Lulu’s shoulders
to get a back rub.
She feels like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Meow loves to follow Lulu to the apple tree
when she feeds the sparrows.
He is kind to birds.
Meow the Explorer
When Meow was a stray he spent the day
bravely jumping over garden fences
fearlessly roaming into people’s houses
and climbing the highest peaks of apple trees.
But since Lulu’s adopted him he’d rather pop into
her cupboards and wardrobe instead:
he’s an indoor explorer.
Meow & Lulu’s New Year’s Eve
Lulu didn’t see the fireworks on New Year’s Eve
because Meow pounced on her chest
as soon as they went off with a bang.
As a result Lulu could not leave the house
and saw in the New Year in a bear hug with Meow.
Meow the Muse
Meow has a very important job
and that is to improve Lulu’s poetry.
So far he has certainly increased the quantity.
Meow’s Eventful Day
Meow loves climbing trees
but today there was an unfortunate incident
involving a flowering cherry.
Here’s how it started:
Lulu was just watering her pots in the front garden
when Meow, who likes to be part of the action,
ran up the cherry tree.
But the moment he reached the top
he realised that tall thin branches are not a great foothold.
The treetop explorer meowed and meowed
not afraid to show his more vulnerable side
to the neighbourhood
while Lulu wondered if the Fire Brigade should be called.
Then Lulu took off her dressing robe
– the one Meow loves to sleep on –
and laid it on the hedge
to get Meow to jump on it…
…which he finally did!
Lulu quickly scooped him up
to stop him rolling off the hedge
and Meow is currently enjoying some roast chicken
to get over the shock.
Today there was a computer malfunction in Lulu’s home office:
while she was backing up her files
a meowing feline pounced on her laptop
and pressed the stop button.
Meow Loves Company
Meow may have had a bad experience in his kittenhood
so he likes to have Lulu around
while he eats his food.
Lulu doesn’t have any holiday planned
she won’t be travelling around the world
because Meow likes her to stay at home.
They say that everybody needs their beauty sleep
if so Meow must be getting more handsome by the day
judging by the number of naps he takes.
King of the Castle
Meow loves to be an only pet:
he is OK with other cats when he’s in the garden
but in his house he’s king of the castle.
9/1/17 & 22/1/18
Meow likes to jump on kitchen countertops
and poke his sweet little nose inside coffee cups.
Lulu has to scoop him up and teach him the “No!” command
– it’s work in progress.
Lulu Smells Lovely
Meow has chinned Lulu very thoroughly
on the arms, legs and face
and even given her a wipe with his tail.
Now Lulu smells great!
First Winter with Meow
Winter is lovely with Meow:
in the frosty garden
sitting together on blankets
warming up in the winter sunshine.
Meow’s Tail Is the Best
Meow’s tail is swishing and swaying
and dusting Lulu’s furniture.
Meow doesn’t mind if Lulu holds it;
it’s soft and black, Meow flicks it up
and wags it to show he’s happy.
Lulu is worried that Meow’s catflap won’t last much longer
since Smudge the fox and all the neighbourhood squirrels
have been swatting it daily begging for seconds.
They think it’s a fast food shop.
That’s What Catflaps Are for, Meow
Popping outside when you fancy a spin around the garden
popping back in when you need a snack
popping in and out without making Lulu get up
and without waking her up in the middle of the night:
this is what catflaps are for, Meow.
Meow Loves Lulu
Some people say that cats
only love you for the food
but Meow loved Lulu
from the first moment they met
and he jumped into her arms
– long before she made him
delicious fishy snacks!
Meow’s Catnip Mouse
Dangly toys, feathery birds, noisy balls and leopard-print things on a stick
Lulu has bought Meow every toy available from Cat World
but his favourite is the velvet catnip mouse with the cheeky tail
he loves to chew off.
Neighbourhood cats have been spotted sneaking in
to swipe Meow’s toy mouse
and roll around with it on the patio
which is why Lulu has to buy multiples.
When Lulu makes the bed
Meow jumps right in
dashing under the duvet
and pouncing on his catnip mouse.
Lulu thinks even housework
is fun with Meow around.
Bee careful, Meow!
It’s 20th February, the hottest day of the year so far
and while Lulu is sunbathing in the garden
reading Catullus’ poems
Meow is busy chasing another yellow and black fuzzy creature:
a bee, just landed at No 20
to feed on the newly blossomed crocuses.
Meow is running after the little bee
twirling and swatting and flying through the air
but bees can sting so take care little hunter.
Lulu is Lucky
Since adopting Meow Lulu’s life has been great!
She’s feeling so much better
and work is excellent
especially when Meow sits on her lap
and they share a well-earned snack.
She has made some fantastic friends – all cat ladies –
and Cottontails is in newspapers and on the radio.
Every day is a good day with Meow around:
the mice have moved to another home
the living room is cat-friendly and warm
and Meow and Lulu are happy in love.
This small black cat has certainly brought lots of luck!
In the past few days
Lulu has stayed up late
working until midnight
to update Cottontails’ website
and write the Easter Bunny campaign.
But today storm Doris has arrived
and Meow & Lulu are not in a hurry to get up.
They’re having breakfast and playing mouse on the bed
– it feels good to have a lie-in.
Meow Hogs the Duvet
Lulu is freezing:
she can’t get under her duvet.
She made the mistake
of tossing it aside
just for five minutes
while she went to make coffee and eggs
for breakfast in bed.
Meow quickly made himself comfortable
on the fluffy duvet
and fell asleep with his feet in the air.
And that is why when Lulu went back to bed
she couldn’t get under the duvet
and she’s freezing
while Meow is snoring.
(Lulu used to have a lovely fleece dressing robe
but Meow likes to sleep on that too
so she can’t wear it anymore.)
As soon as Lulu picks up her keys to go out
Meow springs up like a rocket
(even if he’s in the middle of a nap)
and follows her outside.
Lulu has to stop to give Meow a cuddle
and persuade him with treats back into the house
but Meow has been tricked before
and shows off in the front garden
sniffing the daffodils and climbing up trees.
Lulu is running late so she slowly walks away
but Meow follows hot on her heels like a little dog!
Whenever Lulu thinks he’s turned back
he dashes ahead of her
going round and round her feet
until she has to pick him up
and carry him home –
but Meow immediately pops back for more.
Yesterday he followed Lulu almost all the way to the park
weaving in and out of parked cars
and worrying Lulu very much
but eventually he made his way back
and when Lulu returned home at 8
Meow was waiting for her
demanding an extra snack.
Meow didn’t let Lulu out of his sight after that
and slept on top of her head.
Lulu wonders if she’ll ever be able to go out again
without feeling bad.
Lulu can’t listen to the radio this morning
because Meow is purring very loudly.
Good Morning, Meow!
There’s nothing sweeter
than waking up in the mornings
and finding Meow asleep on my head
soft, warm, and purry.
Meow is a peaceful cat
and likes all the other cats
– all except one: a bold orange and black striped tortie
who loves pouncing into our garden.
Meow chases this kitty
whenever he dares to visit
and wolf down his food or Johnny’s (the lovable stray).
Now the rival puss has to sit on the neighbours’ shed
or walk along the top of fences
if he fancies a trip around the neighbourhood.
He knows his place.
6 & 13/4/17
Lulu Belongs to Meow
Meow nudges Lulu a lot
and swipes his tail daily all over her
– “You’re his,” say her friends.
6 & 13/4/17
Meow never learnt to pull in his claws when he was small
and scratches wherever he goes
but since Lulu adopted him he’s become sure of her love
and his paws are turning from scratchy to velvety.
6 & 13/4/17
Meow Feels Loved
Meow has become more confident of being loved
he no longer worries too much if Lulu opens the front door
to water the garden
and yesterday he even let Elton the plumber sit on his sofa
while he was having a nap.
He’s happy and loved.
6 & 13/4/17
Meow’s eyelashes are fluttering
and his paws are shaking
chasing butterflies or little birds:
Meow is dreaming.
When Meow is sleeping in Lulu’s arms
and decides it’s time to get up
he stretches one paw right up
as if to give her a hug.
Lulu has ordered in some expensive new food for her little Meow:
single portion fishy dinners
and tins of organic chicken
that look so delicious
they’re probably better than human food.
Now every breakfast and dinner
Meow has a choice
of chicken breast with wild rice
or perhaps tuna with prawns or sardines,
mackerel or salmon
– whatever he fancies –
plus a little Wiltshire ham or cheese from Lulu’s dish.
That is why Smudge the fox and Mrs Fox
Johnny the lovable stray
and all the other neighbourhood cats
are hanging around Meow and Lulu’s garden
hoping for leftovers.
15 & 17/4/17
Meow Lives up to his Name
Meow is a great communicator:
he meows for a dawn breakfast
he meows to call Lulu downstairs
he meows for sardines and roast chicken
he meows for his Dreamies.
He meows to say hello
he meows for love
he meows if the cuddling stops
he meows to show off.
He meows when Lulu goes out
he meows to say, “Welcome back!”
he meows for a back rub
he meows as loudly as he can.
He meows and meows
to be carried around
he meows for this and that
he meows at the cat flap.
He meows when the builder’s around
he meows when he wants to pop out
and two seconds later when he pops back in
he meows when he climbs up the apple tree.
The only time he doesn’t meow
is when he’s in Lulu’s arms
– then he PURRRRRRRRRS!
Meow Lives in the Moment
Meow doesn’t do social media
he’s not on Twitter or Facebook
he doesn’t need to Instagram to know life is good
he would have thousands of followers of course
but he’d rather snuggle up to Lulu
and play with his friends in the real world
– and he hopes you do too.
Meow is a Social Butterfly
Meow is well known in Walthamstow
for popping in to say hello
to the nice people who cared for him
when he was a stray.
And Lulu often hears
about his social calls
and that he makes someone feel good
simply by napping on their sofa
or meowing for a treat or two.
But Lulu can’t help worrying
when he runs across the road
or when a neighbour says he’s seen him
at his cousin’s house two streets away
and hopes and waits
that’s he’ll come back safe.
30/4 & 1/5/17
Meow in the Dark
Meow is all black so sometimes
when he’s sleeping on the sofa in the evenings
Lulu can’t see him!
But as soon as she does she sits
on the small bit of cushion that’s still free
and pets him on the top of the head.
Then Meow immediately rolls over
for a belly rub.
30/4 & 1/5/17
Meow’s Beauty Routine
From this week Meow has some great grooming accessories in his kit:
a wire brush to make his fur smooth
and which he loves so much, he keeps nudging it with his nose
a purple Zoom Groom for that essential daily back rub
and a flea comb just in case.
Meow is delighted with his new beauty routine
and purrs loudly while Lulu brushes him.
30/4 & 1/5/17
6 Months with Meow
Meow celebrated his 6-month anniversary
with lots of cuddles from his new friends Maggie and Manuela
who made him feel really special.
He showed off by jumping on their lap and on their back
purring for England
while Lulu dished out his favourite tuna with prawns
– being the centre of attention can be hungry work!
Meow and Lulu Have Breakfast in Bed
“Everybody should have breakfast in bed,” Lulu says
and Meow totally agrees with that
which is why as soon as she lays her tray on the bedside table
Meow immediately jumps into her lap
begging for love.
Lulu has to twist her back
to eat her Lebanese walnut cakes
without dropping crumbs all over Meow
Meanwhile her coffee is getting cold
and Lulu doesn’t even try to hold
her bowl of watermelon & pomegranate salad
as Meow is cleaning his toes now.
Yes, everyone should have breakfast in bed
especially at weekends
and maybe some days it isn’t as relaxing as Lulu hoped
but she wouldn’t change Meow for the world.
Mindfulness with Meow
Cuddling Meow needs your full attention
as he’ll know if you’re thinking of work or paying bills
while you’re tickling his belly.
And don’t even think about looking at a screen or multi-tasking
Meow would immediately jump up
to remind you he’s No 1.
So when Meow wants to be loved
stop whatever you’re doing
take the time to watch him roll over
making funny shapes and purring for two:
you’ll feel better too.
Mealtimes with Meow
Mealtimes with Meow can be tricky:
for example today Lulu was just sitting in the sunshine at the bottom of the garden
with a plate of refreshing watermelon
when Meow immediately jumped on her lap
and all Lulu could do was to grab a biteful of slurpy melon
between a back rub and a tickling session
taking care not to drip juice on Meow.
By the time she finished she was a little stressed
while Meow was purry and totally relaxed.
7 & 9/5/17
Little Grey Squirrel
There is nothing sadder in Meow & Lulu’s garden
than the heap of almonds and hazelnuts left uneaten since Monday
– the last time the best little squirrel in Walthamstow dropped by.
Little Grey Squirrel was a daily visitor
entertaining Meow and me with his parping and big leaps
he even banged on Meow’s catflap
when he wanted a top-up
and took hazelnuts from my hand.
His cheeky brown nose told us
he buried most of them but I didn’t mind
and gladly stocked up on his favourite food.
Little Grey Squirrel would pop into the living room if breakfast was late
or help himself to the birds’ sunflower seeds
hanging upside down from the feeders in the apple tree.
He could be bossy, and defended our garden against two other squirrels
who sneaked in while he wasn’t looking
but they too have gone
and Lulu and Meow hope they will be back soon.
7 & 9/5/17, revised on 16/1/19
Meow Snores (a Little)
On winter mornings if it’s rainy outside
Meow and Lulu stay in bed until lunchtime
Lulu with her laptop trying to do some work
and Meow sitting on top of it or nudging the keys
if Lulu stops cuddling him.
Lulu can’t write any poetry or check her emails
but she loves their cosy lie-ins
and when Meow falls asleep
she listens to his little breathing noises
while he’s dreaming.
Today the builder painted the flat roof outside Lulu & Meow’s bedroom
and it needed a few hours to dry
Lulu checked the weather forecast and everything was fine
but within an hour or so she looked outside the French doors
and Meow was on the roof begging to be let in
having forgotten all about catflaps and ground floors
and even more cheeky Smudge the fox followed
thinking of food and trying to make eye contact with Lulu.
Now there are foxy paw prints and Meow-shaped prints
all over Lulu’s newly painted roof.
(And the friendly starling who nests under the eaves every year
has dropped some soil and fluff on the roof
so it looks just as dirty as before painting.)
Meow’s Fallen off His Perch
Today Meow was rolling so energetically on Lulu’s lap
that he almost fell off his perch.
Lulu had to grab him in mid-flight
and kiss him on the top of the head
to save his dignity.
Meow’s Rainy Night
Meow pawing and meowing at my window at 3am
(forgetting to use the catflap)
jumping in with the fur puffed up and wet:
Meow’s Ensuite Kitchenette
Meow likes to have a sleep-in with Lulu on rainy days
napping on her duvet while she’s having breakfast and writing poems.
So Lulu has given him an extra food station
in her ensuite kitchenette.
Now Meow doesn’t need to go downstairs
when he fancies a snack.
Meow is super happy with Lulu’s new purchase:
a sofa from Ikea with pouf and armrests
and a great view of the garden.
To Lulu’s horror
within 5 minutes Meow set to work
on the velvety soft cover
which now looks slightly rougher,
and the very same day
Smudge the fox was spotted
standing on the pouf with muddy paws
hoping for seconds.
Lulu wanted to be the first to sit on her new sofa
now she’s online ordering a spare cover.
Lulu sneakily put some flea drops on Meow
when he was having breakfast
but he ran off
so they didn’t work.
Now Meow has fleas
and he doesn’t seem to mind
– he’s rolling on his new Ikea cushion!
…while Lulu is itching all over
and doing lots of washing and housework.
Meow’s Superhero Brush
Meow has a new brush
red and blue (superhero colours).
Lulu bought it from an upmarket vet in Chingford
and Meow loves it!
Every morning he jumps on Lulu’s chest
while she’s in bed
and purrs to be brushed
with his new Superhero Brush.
Afterwards he leaps on Lulu’s bedside table with wheels
to get his superhero chicken treats
– that’s Meow’s way to start the day!
If Lulu needs to move Meow
while he’s sleeping
she just picks up the little lump
and he immediately starts to purr.
Meow the Love Cat
Meow is not a kisser
but he shows his love every day:
by rubbing his chin all over Lulu,
rolling over to have his tummy tickled
and plopping himself in her lap when she’s having breakfast
or when she’s watching a film with a good-looking actor.
Meow follows her around the garden
climbing on every tree to show off
then pounces in her arms from the tallest branch
meowing for comfort!
Whenever Lulu is sitting on a chair
Meow immediately nestles into her
and although he shares his love around the neighbourhood
he always comes home to her, even in the rain!
Meow is Not the World’s Greatest Kisser
Meow does not give kisses
(Lulu has to steal a few licks while he cleans his paws)
but he loves to be smooched
on his cheeks and the top of his head
on his back and behind the ears
on his chin and even his feet!
No, Meow is not the world’s greatest kisser,
but he can’t get enough of nuzzles and nose rubs
belly tickles and hugs
so Lulu hopes one day he’ll kiss back!
Meow is Respectful
Meow is very respectful:
if he thinks I’m sleeping
he doesn’t wake me up anymore
(except when it rains:
then he paws furiously at my bedroom window
forgetting all about catflaps).
1 & 4/7/17
Meow is unsettled:
when Lulu came home at lunchtime
after her sleepover
he turned his back and ran!
It took Lulu a lot of sweet calling
and multiple tin openings
before he returned meowing loudly
and jumped into her arms!
So Lulu has decided:
there will be no more sleepovers
or pyjama parties from now on
– especially if she comes back
smelling of other people’s cats.
Furniture for Pussycats
Lulu was looking forward to relaxing
on her new IKEA chaise longue
after it was assembled.
She couldn’t wait to recline on the soft warm cushions
making art or eating pain au chocolat.
But when she tried it, it was too squishy and not at all suitable
– she wished she could return it to the store.
Days passed with the chaise longue sitting in the middle of her living room
while Lulu thought of what to do
until one afternoon she spotted Meow
fully stretched on his chaise longue!
Now Lulu doesn’t have the heart to get rid of it
and Meow enjoys having all his naps on it
(and using it as a scratching post
when he thinks he’s not being watched).
Meow is Around
Lulu thought she was alone in the house
and she went on sketching and writing
until she heard a little snoring sound:
it’s Meow sleeping on his chaise longue!
Meow is Needy
Since Lulu’s sleepover, Meow’s been super needy:
he runs between her feet when she goes up and down the stairs
jumps in her lap the moment she sits down to eat
and helps out with all household chores
(so they take ten times longer).
Now he demands to have the back door opened
every time he fancies to pop in and out
he doesn’t come when called
and all night he sleeps on Lulu’s chest or on her head.
And from the moment she gets up,
Meow wants to be cuddled non-stop
and brushed with his Superhero Brush
he expects double breakfast
and meows for nothing.
24, 28 & 30/7/17
Meow has just been told
the story of how he adopted Lulu
was named “Star Letter” in The Cat magazine
and he’s won a super prize:
a microchip-operated pet feeder
so other cats can’t steal his dinner.
Meow is a modest cat
and has taken his new nationwide fame in his stride:
he simply begged for undivided attention for hours on end
until Lulu, who couldn’t get any work done
had to remove him from her lap
and give Meow a winner’s snack.
“It’s one of the trends for Winter,” says the sales assistant
as Lulu tries on a black faux fur jacket
so she buys that… …and a faux fur bag.
The only thing that’s missing now is a furry scarf
and Lulu tries every store with no luck.
But when she returns home
Meow leaps into her arms
– the warmest, purriest fur outside Primark!
Meow’s ears are cold
and he’s spent the whole afternoon
sleeping on his new furry blanket:
Lulu Needs New Clothes
Being the caregiver of a prize-winning cat
requires a whole new wardrobe – thought Meow –
which is why he paws at Lulu’s jumpers and tops
as soon as she scoops him up for love.
And today Meow’s made more holes
in Lulu’s favourite bunny t-shirt and denim dress
so she has to go clothes shopping
to look smart when she’s photographed
with one of the nation’s award-winning pussycats.
Meow Learns Commands
Meow is well trained:
whenever he jumps on countertops
or in Lulu’s wardrobe
all she has to say is “Down, Meow!”
and he lands on his food mat or in Lulu’s arms.
And when Lulu is eating mackerel or salmon
and he magically pops up in her lap
she says, “No, Meow!” and he listens!
– then she slips him a small piece.
Sometimes this award-winning pussycat
seems a little deaf or confuses “No!” with “Yes!”
but hey, nobody’s perfect.
Most of the times Lulu has to make art in the most uncomfortable positions
due to Meow only wanting to sleep on her lap or on her legs.
And today after hours of drawing with him rolling all over her
she finally scooped him up and moved him to the end of the sofa (her workstation).
Where Meow stayed for a full twenty seconds
before Lulu felt so bad, she went to get him back.
Autumn with Meow
Picking raspberries at the bottom of the garden
feeding some friendly foxes bread and honey
and eating lunch sitting in the autumn sunshine
are even more lovely in Meow’s company.
Meow & Lulu’s One-Year Anniversary
As their first anniversary is coming round
Lulu can’t even remember her life before Meow
and couldn’t live without him now.
Meow & Lulu Are Stressed-out
Lulu cuddled Meow for three hours before the builder arrived
but he’s still playing up: refusing to stay outside
running upstairs all the time
and sneaking under the floorboards to catch mice.
It turns out the builder was a letdown
and Meow and Lulu are both stressed-out.
Lulu had to ring three call centres today
and was on the phone for hours
getting cut off and resolving nothing.
Luckily Meow was on hand
to be thoroughly brushed and massaged
and keep her heart rate down
so she didn’t completely waste
the better part of her day.
Meow in Winter
It’s snowing outside
but Meow’s not worried:
he’s happy to be a couch potato
and hog Lulu’s electric foot blanket
– while she’s freezing cold
he’s as warm as toast!
Meow Has Come in from the Cold
Meow enjoys being at home so much
sleeping on his furry throw
or the electric blanket
that Lulu wonders how he survived
as a stray for five years
out in the rain and the snow
except when he pawed on her windows at night
begging to come in from the cold.
Honey the stray kitten
who was always hungry
and trying to move in with Meow and me,
was taken to a cat shelter yesterday
and is greatly missed.
He was bold, loving and followed me around,
climbing all over me when I ate my lunch
and sneaking in the second I opened the back door.
But there are so many strays
all adorable in their own way
I can’t help them all,
and being young,
Honey deserves a bright future.
So he won’t be outside anymore
waiting on our garden lounger
in the wind and the snow
that’s coming this week.
little ginger and white one,
I’m keeping in touch with the shelter
to make sure they know
that I care and I love you
and they find you the best home in London!
Good luck, sweet Honey
from Lulu & Meow
The Cat Burglar
The neighbours’ kitty – the one who loves to eat
popped in through the first floor window
pretending to be Meow.
But 10 minutes later the real Meow came in through the catflap
and found the kitty wolfing down his breakfast.
Meow is a mild-mannered cat who gets on with everyone
he doesn’t mind Lulu feeding strays and Smudge the fox
but this kitty is very bold
so he growled to defend his home.
Lulu had to jump out of bed
to quickly let her out the door
and Meow’s chasing her to show
she’s not welcome in our home.
Meow’s Favourite Spot for Naps
Meows likes to take very long naps on Lulu’s legs!
There is plenty of room on the sofa and pouf and on her double bed
but Meow would rather stretch out on her legs
(it gives her pins and needles).
So today Lulu lifted him up
and moved him to one side, patting his head.
Meow got up, looked around wondering what was going on
then plopped himself back down on Lulu’s legs
looking very pleased with himself.
Meow the Poet
While I’m editing Poems for Peanuts
in this cold winter
it’s lovely to have Meow on the sofa
nudging me for love and food
like the bunnies used to do.
19/12/17 & 9/2/18
Lulu is glad
to have a black pussycat
to bring her good luck.
Meow is the Best Christmas Present
Lulu usually buys herself a brilliant present for Christmas
and this year she has Meow, the best present of all.
19/12/17 & 14/1/18
Luckily Lulu isn’t wearing her fabulous new cashmere jumper
with the stars and rainbow
because Meow has just jumped on her shoulders
and is sharpening his claws on her back!
That is why Lulu sports a grungy, shredded look
and her best clothes usually stay unworn.
21-22/12/17 & 9/3/18
Meow Is Magic!
Meow has been extremely busy this morning
snoozing under the bird feeder
and watching out for any mouse
who sneaks into his garden to eat the seeds.
But the second Lulu puts her coat on
like magic he pops up in her dressing room
meowing to be cuddled and carried around
then after he’s been brushed at least twice
he goes to sleep on Lulu’s legs
so she can’t go out.
21 & 24/12/17
Meow, Poet’s Cat
Lulu can’t print out her poems today
because Meow is sleeping on top of the printer
and is not moving until dinner.
The Christmas Party
Meow is not happy
that Lulu went to a Christmas party
so he’s been brushing her with his tail
ever since she’s been back
(smelling of Kiki the cat).
Meow & Lulu’s New Year’s Eve Party
Lulu has received a charming invitation
to a New Year’s Eve dinner party
but she RSVPed to say
she’s celebrating with Meow.
Meow Was Poorly
Last night Meow was poorly:
he slept all afternoon on Lulu’s bed
and in the evening Lulu couldn’t find him!
She looked for him all over the house
– under sofas, behind furniture, even inside the wardrobe
(in case he’d sneaked in)
so she went to bed.
Suddenly at 11pm she heard a very loud MEOOOOWWW!!!!!
It was Meow coming out from behind the guest’s pillow
where he’d napped squashed against the wall.
He jumped into Lulu’s arms, meowing
then snoozed all night on her bed
and in the morning
he wolfed down his breakfast
before popping out to check the bird feeders.
So he won’t need a trip to the vet:
Meow is well again!
Meow’s Favourite Hangout
Meow could nap on the three-seater sofa by the window
or the brand new sofa with plush blanket Lulu hasn’t even sat on
or his chaise longue with the velvety throw that doubles up as a scratching post,
but like a magnet he always ends up on Lulu’s two-seater sofa
the one she uses as her workstation
with her artwork and laptop
and a little box with Simon’s cat.
Meow knows that if he nudges the box repeatedly
eventually Lulu will let him dip his muzzle in
for tuna treats!
“Sit Down, Meow!”
“Sit down, Meow!”
“Sit down nicely!”
“Sit down, please!”
Meow is still standing up.
Lulu says he’s learning
(very very slowly).
Meow has scratches on the top of his head
one of this legs
and on his back.
The little warrior has been defending his land
from a stripey neighbour’s cat
and Dora & Marigold (two hungry strays)
who growl and lie in wait
outside his catflap.
Meow’s Forever Home
Carole and Peter, who fed Meow when he was a stray
are moving house this year
and if they’d adopted Meow
he would have been leaving too.
After 5 years of roaming the neighbourhood
Meow made himself at home so quickly
when I finally took him in
that he must have thought,
“What took you so long?”
Without realising it
I’d taken for granted he was our local stray
visiting for cuddles and food
and he’d always be here.
So I’m doubly lucky I adopted him
as I could have lost him very soon,
one day this year
I would have been wondering where he was
not knowing that he’d moved.
As I write this Meow is sleeping on my feet
on his favourite furry throw
and I couldn’t imagine living without his love.
Meow is wondering
why dishwashers and washing machines
make so many beeps
it disturbs his beauty sleep.
Meow, Internet Hazard
Lulu should have known better than to try
to book cinema tickets online
while Meow wanted another cuddle.
She had to twist her back
hold the laptop over her head
to press the buttons
while Meow sat on her lap
nipping her fingers for attention.
Lulu ended up buying tickets in the last row by mistake
and won’t enjoy watching the film from so far away
while Meow looks happy and loved-up
and is still on her lap, purring.
Lulu wanted to brush up on her disco moves
so she turned on BBC Radio 6 Music
and was about to watch 3 Easy Dance Steps on YouTube
when Meow ran up the stairs
and jumped into her arms
making her feel like Baby with Patrick Swayze.
Now every day they dance in front of the mirror
like there’s a disco ball.
Nobody puts Meow in a corner!
Je M’Appelle Loulou
After seeing Call Me by Your Name
Lulu decided to learn French again
so she bought The Complete French for Dummies with CD
and has been playing it ever since.
Meow’s been a wonderful audience:
yesterday he sat through
endless repetitions of French sounds
but today this loving feline’s had enough
and has made a quick escape for a nap.
Yesterday Meow and I said goodbye
to the big pink cherry outside our house
– it was not allowed to grow older at its own sweet pace.
Meow had climbed it just on hour before
and two days ago we took photos of our tree against the blue sky
with its familiar woodpigeon sitting on it.
In Spring our tree brightened the street
with its fluttering blossoms
and its leaves made the view beautiful.
And in Winter its branches made a heart shape
so on its last morning we too
left a note on its trunk to say,
Goodbye, dear tree
we love you!
11 & 15/1/19
Meow ♥ Culture
Waltham Forest is the first London Borough of Culture
and Meow and I couldn’t wait to see the light show.
We didn’t need to go to Lloyd Park:
the laser beams shone right above our garden
like stars and an alien spaceship landing.
Last night Meow and I watched them from our bed
(Meow napped through the celebrations)
but tonight – the grand finale – he followed me outside
and in the January night we cuddled up to wonder
at the most fabulous night show in Walthamstow
the lights dancing for us alone.
13 & 14/1/19
Meow’s Amazing Energy-Saving Winter Sleep Plan
Meow is a fantastic sleeper:
he spends his evenings napping on Lulu’s legs on the sofa
while she tries to draw or type on her laptop.
After doing his rounds with Lola the stray cat
and the neighbourhood foxes
(but not if it rains)
Meow pops upstairs to Lulu’s bed
where he can be found snoring
on a cashmere scarf on his own personal pillow
or on Lulu’s pillow, which is nearer the treat box.
After breakfast Meow snuggles down next to Lulu on the duvet
while she reads and has coffee, pomegranate and delicious soft-boiled eggs
– she learnt from Meow to take it easy on Winter mornings.
When she gets up Lulu can’t make the bed
because Meow quick as a flash has moved to her side
on the furry electric blanket
where he sleeps late – sometimes to 3 or 4 in the afternoon
then wakes up famished!
Snowy Night Disaster
Meow is in the doghouse.
In the middle of the night
while looking for his Simon’s cat treat box
he knocked off Lulu’s bedside table:
her bottle of water, causing a mini-flood
an expensive radio/CD player, which doesn’t work any more
and her china bunny ornament, which only has one ear now.
At 3 o’clock in the morning
Lulu had to mop the floor
and afterwards couldn’t go back to sleep.
But Meow is forgiven –
he was stressed out by the snow
that made his paws wet
and the fact that Lulu had been to the cinema
leaving him home alone that evening.
In the morning Lulu
can’t get up to make a cup of tea
because Meow is completely stretched out on her duvet.
23/1/19 and 26/1/19
Welcome Back, Dear Starling!
Our starling’s back!
And she’s making a nest
in her usual place under the eaves.
Meow is helping out
with bits of fur from his superhero brush
so she can line her home
and keep her chicks warm.
Blurb for back cover
MEOW & LULU
A Love Story
Meow is the kind of cat who makes you feel happy and warm inside – and is in need of a home. Lulu is an artist and London explorer who doesn’t want to be tied down with pets. When Meow meets Lulu, it’s the beginning of a wonderful love story and the inspiration behind this little book of poems.