It is Champagne’s first winter ever and she is not a happy camper. She made it through autumn well enough and still managed to sit outside on the balcony for half an hour in spite of the fact that she was extremely uncomfortable plopping her royal behind down on the cold surface. Nevertheless, she stuck it out with courage and would look out to the river and, more importantly, over into the neighbour’s balcony to see if the other cats were there.

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Cat with the blues ©MTHerzog

Ever since the temperatures dropped below 5C she has been very reluctant to go out, no matter how nice the weather might seem. I can’t say I blame her because after experiencing a couple of snowfalls and hail storms, she was no longer amused by snow and cold. Like me, she is utterly disgusted with winter and doesn’t understand why it has to be so cold outside even when the sun is shining.

Normally, when I open the balcony door to air the apartment Champagne is the first one out the door. Kessy, with the advantage of being on home turf and knowing exactly what winter is all about, is the wiser one and will sit politely at the door and not set a foot outside. Champagne, on the other hand, has dashed out at full speed only to jam on her brakes like a Berliner bus driver. It is difficult to keep a straight face when I see the look of befuddlement on her little face, utterly brokenhearted that it is getting colder by the day. During the week that we didn’t see the sunshine at all and sunrise was only around 08:00am, her otherwise punctual body clock failed to stick to the schedule.

To confound matters, Champagne has been used to going everywhere with me in her travel backpack, but ever since I started working she hasn’t been out for an adventure with me anymore. She gives me the dirtiest looks every morning when I put on my shoes and head out the door, or alternates these with big sad eyes asking why she can’t come along.

In hindsight, Kessy’s arrival in our lives was perfect timing for Champagne because she doesn’t have to spend the entire day alone. The two have become good friends, though they are not quite at the point of cuddling up to each other. Madam has put on the proverbial winter fat because whatever Kessy refuses to eat Champagne will mop up.

When I finally do get home in the evenings Champagne is camped out at the door and greets me eagerly, unlike the more dignified Kessy who will wait for me to put all my things down and pick her up. But my little princess is not taking my long absences well at all. She has taken to making political statements at the door, which necessitates the placement of puppy training pads every morning before I leave. She misses the warmth and sunshine, being the center of my world, and tagging along everywhere. Still very Asian in nature, Champagne will not beg for anything, not even for the additional hugs and affection that I know she needs. But she gets it in any case. I make sure we have our own time together, which is usually in the kitchen while I cook or clean up.

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