Simba and Tiny have now been living in England for four months, and they're getting on very well in the new house, coping admirably with the stairs. I've noticed they eat a lot more these days, perhaps it's the extra calories they're burning off from running up and down them all the time, playing chasing games. Sometimes, Tiny will run down the stairs so quickly that by the time he gets to the bottom, his rear end is travelling faster than his front end, and he lands in a slightly confused heap. Last week, he also infuriated Simba to the point where he chased him downstairs at a tremendous pace, and Tiny fell over backwards in his rush to escape. I wish I knew what he'd said or done to Simba to elicit that response. I must admit that sometimes, when Tiny wakes me up at an ungodly hour by happily sinking his claws into my chest or the soles of my feet, I wish I could chase him downstairs, too... They're now a group of three cats again, with the inclusion of my housemate's cat Vlastelin to the family. Vlastelin is an enormous, muscular white cat, about the same age as Simba, with deep green Russian eyes that are filled with inexpressible melancholy. The introductions went well, it was nervewracking at first, but it soon became clear that nobody wanted a fight. Tiny loves having other cats around (it's people he's not sure about) and he seems fascinated by Vlastelin, he follows him around and they play together. Simba was a bit hissy at first, but now they seem to get on, they sleep next to each other and touch noses. When Vlasty came in one morning, deeply upset after a violent confrontation with a neighbourhood cat, Simba sniffed him gently and touched noses with him, almost as if he was comforting him and welcoming him home. Vlasty is a very bold cat, we often find him a long way from the house and in places where he really shouldn't be at all. He once met my flatmate from the gym and he met me coming home last Saturday, which increased my journey considerably because he insisted on rolling in every single front garden we passed on the way home, miaowing loudly while he did it, while I said, "Vlastelin, come home at once!" and was roundly ignored as only a cat can ignore you. Having one outdoor cat and two indoor cats is...challenging, to say the least. With the good weather, I thought it would be nice to let the boys have some supervised outside time, which they loved, and now it's all they can think about. Simba chased his first butterfly across the lawn. Tiny was very funny, he was too scared to go on the grass himself, so I picked him up and put him on it, and he walked as if he was on the moon, very, very slowly, with ridiculously exaggerated movements, and keeping one front paw in the air at all times. We played chasing games with sticks, and Simba hissed and growled when it was time to go back inside. The outdoor experience has clearly refined his hunting instincts, he caught an enormous moth the other day and sat with it hanging from his jaws, growling whenever anyone got too close, like a real lion. Then he ran out of the room with it, so we left him to it, and he went and sat in the study, in the dark, alone with his moth, growling to himself. Rather less impressively, he later executed a spectacular jump at the window to try and catch another moth, which unfortunately was the other side of the glass, and he slid back down like a cartoon cat (you could almost hear the comedy sad trombone slide as he did it.) Not to be outdone, Tiny has pulled off some amazing pilfering feats, with a whole array of new kitchen cupboards and doors to open. I passed him in the hall one day, he trotted briskly past me with an air of nonchalance, only betrayed by the entire packet of meaty sticks he was carrying in his mouth... He is also no longer afraid of my flatmate's fish and watches him avidly and occasionally puts a paw to the glass of the tank, for good form's sake. The whole street is ruled by my neighbour's cat, a fierce, elderly, extremely vocal black cat, the terror of the road, who rejoices in the name of Twinkle. She's very friendly and cheered me on as I came home after a run the other day. Hope everyone is OK here, I know this has been a very sad week for the forum and I'm looking forward to catching up with you all.