I was ordered to take pictures of them smooching to go in her photograph album to show her friends - Ollie and 8-year-old Deanna fell in love that very first day of the Xmas visit. As we all know Ollie thrives on admiration and Deanna supplied a ton of it. He wore her favourite ribbon tied to his collar and had some fairy dust sprinkled on his ears. She forgave him instantly when he left a tooth-mark or two on the leg of her Barbie doll.
"I've never met a cat that talks to me all the time," Deanna confided "do you think he understands everything I say to him?"
I didn't have to answer. "Meeeowwww," murmured Ollie, obligingly.
I gave Deanna a bit of string with some paper tied to the end. You should have seen them speeding around the lawn. They played and rolled amongst the lilies and both came out covered with lily pollen in their hair - a golden cat and a golden girl.
Deanna looked at Ollie's paws and told me she thought he might be a bit faded with the sun. "I hope he doesn't get sun-burnt," she said anxiously.
I assured her that Ollie was fine; that although some cats get sun-burnt on their noses they were usually pink-nosed cats, not dark-nosed like Ollie.
They slept together on New Year's Eve and this morning I heard Deanna having a serious conversation with Ollie in the loo. "I love you Ollie," she kept saying, "and I'll be back to visit you soon."
We had a final photo shoot before they left, several on their camera and several on mine. I told her she was Ollie's best friend but felt a bit guilty when I thought of Ted. Oh, what the heck, it was just a little white lie!