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The Very Odd Story of the Cat in the Shower

By Ann Richardson September 30, 2023 Lifestyle

It was a very ordinary night. I was undertaking a very ordinary activity. I had gone into the bathroom to get my pajamas, which were hanging on the back of the door.

My mind was completely elsewhere, as minds can be when you’re doing a routine task.

Something odd caught my eye. Someone had dumped some black clothes (or a bag?) onto the base of the shower. But there are only two of us here, and we don’t wear many black clothes. And we never dump stuff in the shower.

I became uneasy about what was there – and how it got there. I approached the black bundle very gingerly.

And then it moved slightly and there were two eyes catching the light. It was a very black cat, looking at me as if I were an intruder. Not ours – we don’t own a cat.

I must admit, with some embarrassment in hindsight, I jumped and gave out a rather paltry scream. “There’s a cat in our shower,” I yelled down to my husband. He coaxed it down the stairs and out of the house.

The poor cat. It had just found a quiet place to sleep.

Neighbourhood Cats

I live in a house with a small back garden, with equivalent gardens to the right, left and back (from the parallel street). A lot of cats live in these various houses, most of which I have seen from time to time.

The weather was warm, and we keep our back door open for the fresh air. A cat could easily have come into our house.

As any cat watcher will know, cats can climb fences with the greatest of ease. They come and go as they like. They make themselves at home in any garden that takes their fancy. But they rarely go into a strange house. Or, at least, into our house.

There used to be two cats up the street who we looked after when their owner was away. We had looked after them as kittens for four weeks, and they consequently felt completely at home in our house. But that neighbour had moved six months ago, and her cats were both grey tabby cats – not jet black.

This felt very odd.

This Particular Cat

The issue might have stopped there. The cat might have scampered off to wherever it came from, and the story would end here.

But it lingered outside our house. And when we turned the lights off, it scratched at the door to be let in. We contemplated the issue, but the nights are not cold, and we didn’t know anything about this cat. It stayed outside.

And there it was in the morning, looking like it was guarding the back of our house.

We decided we should clarify the situation. Perhaps this cat was a stray. Perhaps a neighbour had been taken ill or was away. I had a vague memory that the neighbour at the back had a cat – and that she was a friend of a friend. A few phone calls later and we had all the answers.

Yes, the cat (a female named Kitty, evidently by default) belonged to a neighbour in the back of our house. She hadn’t been well, but was being perfectly well fed. No one was away.

Fine, I thought, all solved.

But the next afternoon, having forgotten the whole incident, I once again went into the bathroom to find the black bundle in our shower. And, I might add, the day after that.

I never thought I would meet a cat who was in love with a shower.

And since then, the cat comes and goes. It sits in our garden sometimes and comes inside sometimes, but we have had days with no sign of her.

I decided she was, perhaps, trying out alternative houses for size. We had a good shower, but not a lot else to recommend us.

We await future developments.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you own a cat? Does it disappear for long periods? Or do you have any connections with other cats nearby? What’s the oddest thing you’ve seen a cat do?

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Love this story and the fact that you allowed “Kitty” neighborly access. So sweet! 🐈‍⬛

Alida Jordaan

I also want to hear the next episode. My lease permits no animals and I really miss having a cat (or two) but the carpet in this house would be shredded so I have to obey. I think the cat in question, has found a kindred spirit in you and is sharing some love with you. Something you are doing is wonderful! Love it.


My older black cat, Bob, got tired of the food we were feeding him. This was many years ago (he’s now 18), and he decided to clarify the situation for us by going walkabout. He took off for three days. We posted flyers around the neighborhood and worried and drove around looking and calling for him.

After three days he came back like nothing had happened. I immediately drove to the pet food store to pick up some alternatives to offer him. I’ve kept a close eye for signs of boredom ever since!

Susan Cascio

I eagerly await for the next installment of the black shower cat.

Gillian Iszard

My cat, Maggie, sits outside the shower waiting until I have finished and then pops in and loves to lick the walls. When I was away, the neighbours would come in and start the shower so she could enjoy her daily ritual.

Ann Richardson

I think that story of your neighbours pandering to your cat’s whims is funnier than ‘my’ cat sleeping in the shower.

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The Author

Ann Richardson’s most popular book, The Granny Who Stands on Her Head, offers a series of reflections on growing older. Subscribe to her free Substack newsletter, where she writes fortnightly on any subject that captures her imagination. Ann lives in London, England with her husband of sixty years. Please visit her website for information on all her books:

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