Now, here are the promised biographies of the cats I've been lucky enough to share my life with:
1983- 2000, Katie-cat, from Cats Protection sanctuary, age 18 months and tiny. They had rescued her from a bunch of schoolboys who'd been 'using her as a football'.
We moved house and Dad got us a cat. No more dogs, he said, as losing them was too painful. If only he knew! Did he really imagine cats were easier to let go? He doesn't believe that now, he has had several over the years since... Katie-cat passed in April 2000, age around 18 1/2.
She was an excellent mouser and once took on a rat that was over half as big as herself! She was tolerant and welcoming, letting a neighbour's cat walk right in with her kittens in tow, when the neighbour neglected to feed them.
1991 - 1996, Sam, a stray who came to live with me in my first 'own' home. Little by little -at first he was too nervous to come into the house so I left food on the doorstep. Then he'd come in to eat, but only if I hid. Eventually he became so affectionate, so special. He would lie belly-up with his head on my pillow. He loved to snuggle up.
1993 - Mama Cat and kits-
Mama-cat, the most elegant black cat you ever could imagine. Have you seen The Aristocats? Do you remember the white cat, Duchess? Well Mama was a black version. You would believe she was a ballerina, she was so dainty, graceful and poised. HUGE golden eyes. She would sit up on the table near the kitchen door each morning and wait for me to give her a forehead-to-forehead rub, which, as all cat people will know, is really special.
She came calling at my back door in early 1993, in thick snow. She was obviously pregnant so I had to help her. I invited her in slowly, watching to see that Sam didn't mind. Gradually she settled, and gave birth in my linen cupboard to 4 beautiful kits. At first I thought I should re-home them, so once they were a few months old I tried to find new owners. But I didn't trust any of the people who came to see them, and chose instead to keep them all.
Mama passed in 2003, from an inoperable cancer in her mouth. We were so sad, and her kits missed her terribly.
FIGS- March 23rd 1993- June 25th 2005 (I originally called this kitty Figaro, but then I discovered he was a she, hence 'Figs'!)
A black and white girl, SUCH soft fur. We now use the memory of that fur as a measure of softness. We touch something in a shop like a soft bath robe or cushion and we say, "Look! Feel! It's Figgy's belly!"
When she was 3, Figs was shot with an air rifle and went blind in her right eye. It never held her back.
VERY affectionate and silly and funny. She would lie belly up and let me blow raspberries on her tummy!
I had to say farewell to sweet Figgy in 2005, because of cancer.
WELLINGTON - March 23rd 1993 - ?
A black boy, Scooter's twin, EXCEPT he had much, much shorter hair, He was more 'snouty' and had an Oriental sounding meow.
He could really talk to you, he sort of chortled. So full of character. But he kept going missing for days, weeks at a time. One time when he didn't come back I called all the vets. The PDSA had treated a cat of his description for a displaced hip, due to a road accident (5 or 6 miles from home).
I contacted the man that had found him and had got him treated. He said that as Welly hadn't been claimed he'd been happy to take him home.
Welly seemed happy when I went to visit but purred and purred and purred when I held him, so I tried to bring him home, but he wouldn't settle. So the man, Andy Bathgate I recall was his name, came to collect him and adopt him.
He went to live with him and his golden Labrador where Welly soon claimed the dog's bed and ruled the roost.
I missed him terribly, but I think he just wanted to be in a one-cat household. I often wonder waht happened to Scooby's brother, and hope he did ok...
FLUFFY -March 23rd 1993- December 13th 2010
When I looked in on Mama in the linen cupboard that morning, to check she was ok, I counted her babies... 1...2....3...oh, what a clever girl you are, I said. 3 babies! And there were indeed 3 kitties at her tummy. But Mama moved slightly and lifted herself up, and a little bundle of thin grey fur rolled out from under her chest and chin. This was Fluffy. Though it took a month before she was fluffy. At first, she was called Midge, as she was tiny and had only very fine hair. Mama had been keeping her tucked up warm.
SCOOTER- March 23rd 1993 - September 17th 2011
My Best Boy.
I know others mean well when they tell me to take in another cat. I have given it some thought. But my heart is still brimming with love for this boy. I am crying as I type! It isn't time to move on yet, as there are still so many things I have to tell him. So many things to say to him. I cannot put that away on a shelf yet. (I can't even put his bed away, or his cushion from the windowsill). It's like there is unfinished business. I need to stay close to him. Maybe in the future I might be able to give a home to an elderly cat in need. I don't think I'd like a youngster again, not after the wisdom I knew behind Scooter's eyes.
I hope my kitties felt loved and safe. I know I made mistakes, it was a learning curve. I was a better cat-carer in the later years. I had to learn, listen, watch, read... but I grew into someone who would do anything for them. They loved me all along, they just waited for me to catch up. That's how it is with animals, I now think. They love unconditionally once they decide they can trust you. And you love them as much as you think you're able, but then you grow and learn, and maybe, with their example, you love them as much back as they love you. Not all pet owners take the time to do it. Not all think about it.
There's a story doing the rounds on Facebook. It's about the reaction of a 6 year old boy when his precious dog is put to sleep. The vet has not yet left, and the adults are all chatting, asking why it is that dogs have to have lives so much shorter than ours.
The little boy pipes up, "I know."
They stop talking and look at him. "Why is it then? What do you think?"
And the boy tells them-
"Because we have to learn to be kind and loving but dogs know that already, they don't have to learn it, so they don't have to stay as long."
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