Pepper is one day younger than the rest of Isis’s kittens as she was born the day after the other three and came as a big surprise, when we thought that Isis had only given birth to three kittens! She has such a lovely brindled black and tan colouring that Pepper was a natural name for her (the name was chosen by our youngest son, William, and it is very apt).
Pepper was always the reclusive one of the litter. In Saudi Arabia, she would stay indoors and sleep on the bed, well away from the other kittens, but very contented. In Devon, she would hide in the airing cupboard all day, only occasionally coming down to be with me in the studio, or dashing out to grab some cruchy biscuits for supper. We were really worried that she had agrophobia, but here in Denmark, she has really come out of her shell. Pepper is often the first out in the morning and the last in at night, happy to be out and exploring our empire. It seems like she really enjoys the peace and quiet and the freedom here – we often see her wandering about the fields and wood without a care in the world.
We’ve just figured out that Pepper is the “con man” for our other cats. Often, she will sit on the table and meeeeeow tirelessly until we give in and give her some treats. As soon as we do, of course, the rest arrive from nowhere to get some for themselves. Usually, Pepper isn’t really interested in the treats, anyway: it seems she we sent in by the others to con us into getting some treats for them.
Pepper still has her habit of going into hiding in the house from time to time. We have an “in and out” board in our hallway so we can try to keep track of where the cats are and there have been a few times recently when Pepper has been marked as “out”. That creates a search of the woods and fields by Peter and me to try and find her, but when we give up and come in (usually in the dark), who do we find but Pepper, sitting up on the table as good as gold, obviously saying “who are we looking for? I can help”.