Pet Spotlight: Alex Marwood and Baloo
My name is Baloo. I’m just like a cat, only smaller. My slave called me after the bear in the Jungle Book, because I come from a family of giants and I’m blue, but I became perilously ill at ten weeks old, and never got my growth spurt. Two years on, I’m covered in muscles, have the sense of entitlement that comes with devoted nursing, and would fit in the average handbag. But I have no concept of how small I am. I swagger about my patch of London bellowing in my foghorn voice and demanding treats. Cats and people bow before my greatness. My slave got quite despondent the other night, when she arrived at a neighbour’s birthday party to find that I had got there before her and everyone liked me better.
I come from a long line of muses – I’m Alex’s third – but I know I was really put on this earth for romance. Well, love and stealing things, but love comes first. I fell in love a year ago. My beau is gigantic, butch and jet black, and his name is Mr Pooky.
Our eyes met across a wall and ever since we have dedicated our lives to Grecian wrestling and long, luxurious spooning sessions. I thought for a while that I might set up a Nora Ephron scenario for the slave with Pooky’s serf, Ariel but although they quickly progressed to calling each other ‘darling’, he has never advanced beyond dyeing her hair freakish colours and draping her in pieces of spangly cloth and going ‘There! You see?’. Humans can be very disobedient.
Sometimes, though, I tear myself from Pooky’s arms and go to my day job. Musing is demanding work, let me tell you. Slave spends her days cross-legged in bed, smoking and playing with her computer, and I am forced to spend hours on end on my back waiting for her to massage my tummy. She seems to find this inspiring; certainly, she give me my obeisances at the end of each paragraph. To make sure she keeps up the pace, I will occasionally grab her wrist with my claws and gently sink my fangs into her Mount of Venus, just to remind her where her duties lie. I have only written one book so far, but I feel that I’m already an old hand. Seriously: the world of literature would be lost without me.