Cleo and Lemur Collyer welcome us into their beautiful home for an exclusive interview
Who is your mum and what does she do?
Cleo – is she talking to us?
Lemur – no idea? Shall we speak to her?
Cleo – yes, let me do the talking.
Cleo – Hi, Our mum is Zoe Collyer and most of the time she walks round with a dark black thing in her hands pointing it and then she presses a button and it clicks.
Lemur – I’m scared of it and hide from it.
Cleo – You’re scared of everything.
Lima – When she’s not holding the big black thing, she sits at her computer and we like to keep her company by sitting on the keyboard or in front of the bright screen. We spell check all emails for her! Also I like to drink from mummy’s cup but it's not so funny when I get my head stuck in it.
Cleo – yes I like to jump on mummy’s desk too as I can see my reflection in the screen and it has the added bonus of the moving thing on the screen that I can swipe at. Hours of amusement and very helpful to mummy when she’s working.
Could you give us your names, or would you prefer to remain anonymous?
Cleo – I’m called Cleo – short for Cleopatra but I’m also affectionately know as Pudding as I used to be large. My good friend is Lemur, named after the Lemur monkey (with the stripy tail).
How would you describe yourselves in terms of looks?
Cleo - We are standard street cats, Heinz 57 variety, not a posh bone in our bodies. No pedigree certificates for us. I came from Tooting Bec Market and Lemur came from a broken home in Balham. Lemur is slightly more pretty than me and very slim. We think she may have a little bit of Siamese in her, as she’s very chatty – can talk for hours.
Life can be so stressful for a cat, how do you like to unwind?
Lemur – I’m a scaredy cat so hide from the noisy humans and waggy tail (the evil sausage dog that uses our cat flap). I sleep in mummy and daddy’s bedroom under the radiator with the curtains disguising me. No –one knows I’m there, its great.
Cleo – To unwind, I like to torment waggy tail. I will sit at the top of the stairs and block the top one. When mummy comes upstairs, waggy tail always follows but she won’t dare pass me on the stairs, as I will use my flick knife claws to scratch her and hiss at her. Waggy tail has to sit there for hours until I decide when she can pass. Oh it’s so so funny.
As ‘Surrey Street cats’, how would you describe your ‘’hood’?
Originally we were from Sauf London but now we live in leafy surrey. We’ve come along way & moved up in the world, we have a detached 3 bedroom, with large garden, radiators in every room and two fireplaces. Bliss. We count ourselves lucky to have a stable comfortable home. The only thing we miss is being mummy and daddy’s babies but now they’ve got small humans we had to take a back seat. Oh and waggy tail arrived 4 years ago too. But….life is looking up as we now have two tiny tiny hamsters that we can watch all day. We drool over them and are waiting for the day when they escape and we can eat them. Yum.
|This is Lemurs hiding place that no-one knows about - and I mean no-one! its top secret!|
In the words of Boy George (a funny looking man), is ‘everyday like survival’ out there?
Cleo – F’real. Well for a start you’ve got the squirrel that winds up waggy tail. Then there’s Paddy and George the cat twins that rule the road. You’ve got Gromit who lives opposite and rules his kingdom from the back of the sofa, strategically placed in the bay window. Then you have the gang of five with the albino next door, they think they rule our garden so I have to sit on the shed and defend our palace. We send in back up .....waggy tail if we can’t handle it. It’s wall-to-wall cats on our road. We are Street cats from London town though, we can hold our own.
What’s your daily routine, for instance, what time do you like to roll in of a morning?
We start the day by standing on top of mummy and putting our head close to her. Then we purr like tractors really loudly. Normally that gets a reaction and she gets up to feed us. Then after eating breakfast we go back to bed and sleep. We just about manage to squeeze in around 23 hours of sleep a day so, it’s quite tough.
|Yes, I got my way, a small human opened the window.|
Mum wants to involve you in a location shoot to reflect your characters, but where would that ideally be?
Cleo – mine would definitely be sitting in the middle of the lawn in a rain storm. I like getting wet as it means I can lick all the rain off my coat – I’m slightly obsessed with water.
Lemur – mine would be in any open drawer. I like to get into things, like boxes or wardrobes. Once I jumped into the wardrobe and got stuck in there for the whole day. I had to meow really loudly before I got released. I snagged one of mummy’s tops whilst I was in there so I don’t think this will ever happen again!
It’s quick fire time;
Litter or wood chip?
Cleo - Neither we go outside & we cover it up with mud.
Lemur – then we walk all over mummy and daddy’s white sofa and fresh bed sheets.
Wet or dry food?
Both. But we trick mummy and daddy into buying a variety by refusing to eat on some days. Works every time. Currently we are lording it up on Sheba individual trays!
Water from a bowl, fountain or toilet?
Cleo – Water from the bath, fed personally from mummy and daddy’s hands. Or I sit in the sink and when people come to the toilet I meow until they turn the tap on. Genius.
Lemur – I’m dehydrated mummy and daddy have never seen me drink. I have a secret source of where my water comes from but if I told you where it came from I’d have to kill you.
Bed or basket?
Cleo – Bed, preferably on top of the dog (who’s under the duvet).
Lemur – On mummy’s pillow round her head. I kneed her curly hair at nighttime. I also purr and dribble.
Fur ball or fleas?
Cleo - Nasty Jane the vet makes sure we are free of fleas but I've has been known to barf up a fur ball with some food thrown in the mix. I’m quite considerate when I do bring my food up; it’s normally on the stairs so one of the small humans steps in it in the morning.
Well we've kept you for long enough, all that remains is for Quentin, Mishka and myself to say a big thank you for sharing your time with us today.
Many thanks to Cleo and Lemur's human slave, talented Surrey photographer Zoe Collyer.