#blogging4charity – C is for Cats
I did warn you all that #blogging4charity would venture away from dyslexia…
Cats, they seem to clog up the Internet with their cute fuzzy faces. They’ve always been the animal I have been most drawn to. My newsfeed on Facebook is filled with photos, memes and videos featuring cats. I even sang one of the songs from the musical on stage at school.
Kitty Cats and Me
I think every year in my letter to Santa I asked for a cat. From a very young age I was very attached to our feline friends. When I was still in my pram, our neighbours’ cat used to sleep under the pram or at the bottom by my feet. There are photos of me in a pushchair as a toddler hugging a cat on my lap when we were on holiday. We did have a rescue cat when I was a young child, but he had to be taken back after he pounced at my baby sister’s head unprovoked. Fortunately he was caught before he got to her.
When we moved to the flat where I spent most of my life to date, there were a number of cat owners in our stair. Over the 13-15 years I was living in the stair there was Marie, Suzie, Peter, Mossie, Pepe, Kirsty and a little black cat whose name escapes me because she was a vicious little beast.
Marie, a tabby cat, used to sneak into our house (ok we used to let her in to say ‘hi’) and used to sit on the sideboard looking into the cage of Sandy II, our sand coloured hamster with grey ears. She never went for him, the two of them just observed each other through the bars. Sadly, when there were workmen in the stair they left the main door open and she got out and was hit by a car.
Marie lived with Suzie, who was a tortoiseshell cat, became lonely without Marie, so her owner had a couple of cats that included Pepe that ended up going back to the farm as they were very destructive. Suzie needed a companion that wouldn’t scare her very timid nature. She used to let me pat her if I was very quiet and gentle and made sure she sniffed my hand first. She wasn’t keen on any of the other kids that came to our house.
Kirsty, another tortoiseshell cat moved in with Suzie, but I will come back to her…
Peter was a big male tabby cat who used to hiss at everyone through the cat flap. It’s very rare that I dislike a cat but he was a grumpy old man who hated everyone except his owner. As kids we referred to him as ‘Fart Mouth’ because that’s what his hissing sounded like.
Then there was Mossie who was another tom cat who moved in and became a great companion to his owner and to us. In fact, he was a bit of a flirt! He used to snuggle up with his owner at night and once she was asleep he’d leave through his cat flap and in through the one in the stairway and scratch on our front door and meow until someone let him in at 2-5am in the morning. He’d then go and snuggle up with whoever it was that let him in!
He was a good cat. I remember being ill one Christmas snuggled up under the duvet on the sofa by the fire. Mossie decided that he would look after me and get a nap at the same time. I put my arms around him like a teddy bear and we fell asleep hugged up like that for two hours! He was such a big soft lump that loved the hugs and attention.
After Suzie died of old age, her owner got a little black cat to keep Kirsty company. Other than Peter, this cat was on my list of dislikes. She hissed and would attack you at random even if you had her permission to pat her after sniffing your hand and scenting you with her chin. I forget her name because she was a nasty kitty that I avoided.
When Kirsty’s owner passed away, Kirsty was 12/13 years old. She had lived most of her life in our stairway and so when it was suggested she was put into the cat rescue we took her in. She had a few traumas and lost a lot of her fur on one side when we took her in. She was very skinny and very timid. A lot of the time she would hide behind the chair in the corner of the living room away from us humans.
With a lot of love and reassurance, she became a far happier, healthy and more talkative cat. Her previous owner had commented that she was surprised that I could lift up and cuddle Kirsty in the garden as she wouldn’t do that for her. I was persistent without upsetting Kirsty. I knew if she wanted put down on the ground or if she didn’t really want a pat and always let her sniff me first.
Kirsty used to climb up onto my platform bed up the ladder and onto my bed to sleep both when I was there and when I wasn’t there. I guess it was a pretty good hiding place. When she thought no one was in the house she used to make this really loud crying noise, which was actually funny because she was normally very quiet and her meow was often unheard though her mouth was wide open. I caught her out a couple of times and as soon as she realised I was there she’d climb up the ladder onto my bed.
The poor cat endured a lot. I used to take her to the window to watch the cars going past just so I could give her cuddles. The cars whizzing by were like mouse size from the second floor flat. While she was distracted I got to give her a cuddle. She also had to endure me singing to her and rubbing my face against hers. She really came into her own as an older cat with all the love and affection from the whole family.
Sadly, in her later life she started to become ill. She seemed to develop a cat version of dementia and would forget where her litter tray was so we had two rather than one. She used to call out as if no one was in the house even though we were all in the house at the time. Then she started to struggle eating and meowing. We took her to the vet and it turned out she had a tumour in her throat. As she was 21, the vet was reluctant to operate but did offer life prolonging medication. After much discussion and watching how Kirsty observed myself and my mum, we decided that it would be cruel to prolong her life for our own selfish reasons.
Kirsty died aged 21 in human years. It was a very hard decision and she is still very much missed 6 years on. We didn’t think she would live as long when we took her in. We didn’t know how much of a loving cat she would become. We didn’t know just how much of an impact and lasting impression she’d make on our family. She was a wonderful fuzzy companion who became very much a part of our family.
A Fuzzy Future
We currently don’t have a cat of our own, but I am hoping once we are in a more secure situation we will be able to adopt a new fuzzy friend into the family. Currently I just pat a little grey tom cat who lives around the corner from us, called Thomas. He now runs to the gate when he hears our voices in the street so that he can get a pat and chin scent me. He’s a beautiful cat who is so friendly and purry! He’s not the only cat who has run after me when they’ve seen me or heard my voice. My friend’s call me a ‘crazy cat lady’ or ‘the cat whisperer’ for a reason!
I love music and it’s my greatest passion, but nothing makes me happier than hearing the sound of a cat purring.
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