It were Grandam Demdike showed me how to tice cats. “Close your eyes” she’d say, “and fancy him on your lap. Now lift up your hand and fancy your fingers scratching him under his whiskered chin.”
So I’d shut my eyes and fancy our old cat Tibb – though he was dead from when I was four years so’s I scarce recalled him – a’purring in my lap. I’d fancy the weighty warm of him. Then I’d fancy his grizzled old chin, grizzled like Grandam and tickle the air, fancying he were there, just above my hand.
“Now,” she’d say, “d’you feel him yet Jennet?” And after some moments, I’d say I did.
Then she’d say, “Well?” and keeping eyes tight shut, I’d nod. And then she’d say, “Now, stroke him, gentle now, from head to tail and listen for him purring.”
So I did and she’d say “Do you feel him still Jennet?” and I’d fancy I did. Feel soft fur under my hand. Feel the weight of him, feel the warm of him and once, when I peeped, saw his shadow curling on my lap.
She knew other things as well…