This time of year though has made me pretty reflective and while our dark ages seem to be truly over I have spent the latter half of the year in pain with bumps, bruises, casts or as a medical pincushion.
So rather than dwell on what was a pretty uncomfortable year I decided to take a look back at my life - with cats.
At age 9 I read a book called "Thunderpuss." It was about a girl whose cat was her best friend and this cat was totally awesome. It used to follow her to school, play in the garden, sleep on her bed and just generally be as cool as a cat can be.
So me being me, I wanted a cat. I badgered, I whined, I moaned and even turned on the waterworks. Through a lot of blackmail on my mums friends part (telling me the kitten would have to be put down if it couldn't be homed) I was in such a state my mum didn't have much of an option and I ended up with a cat of my very own. I named her Poppy. She was a teeny tiny tabby cat and she was nothing like thunderpuss.
Poppy didn't want to play, she didn't want to cuddle, she wasn't allowed to sleep on my bed and she definitely didn't want to follow me anywhere.
My Mum and Dad deciding that a 9yr old can be pretty hyperactive made the rule that if Poppy was in her basket then that was her "place" and you had to leave her alone.
Well you know what Poppy did, she stayed in her damn basket almost every single day.
There was no bonding or fun to be had she just slept and stared at me and the string I was dangling with complete derision.
Never one to play
Don't get me wrong I do love Poppy but she was never the pet I wanted she was far too independent and never wanted anything other than feeding and I wasn't even allowed to feed her.
She's old now and since her joints don't work well and she's a little blind; she's becoming fussier but still has an attitude if you try to cuddle with her.
After Poppy I kept bringing a wide assortment of cats & kittens home, I maintained very loudly that they didn't have homes but my mum and dad always returned them to the
Even when we were on holiday in foreign countries I kept bringing cats home. In Greece the hotel owners cat had a kitten which I called Uzo (after the drink) and I loved this kitten. I fed her pork scratchings and she was so smart she used to put her paw on one side so it stood up then gnaw at it. I even used to sneak down into the laundry room just to play with her.
My mum was horrified that I was going to catch rabies or fleas from her but seemed unable (or I was just too damn clever) to stop me. On our last night Uzo (also very clever) snuck into the hotel, aided by her partner in crime (me). Together we curled up in an armchair in the lobby and fell asleep. My mum finally gave in and said Uzo could stay on my knee until it was time to go home - but that if she messed herself that would all be on me. Uzo quietly purred the next two hours away on my lap and it was the happiest two hours of any holiday.Ever.
When I first "got with" D when I was 17 he had a cat called Blue. Blue was a straggly stinky stray who would come stay in their home when it was cold. Blue loved me, as soon as I sat down he would drag his stinky hide over, plonk himself on my knee and proceed to drool all over my leg. He was a sweet cat who always wanted to keep warm and be safe with you but absolutely reeked of damp places.
Ick, cat spit
Sadly, years later we heard that Blue had contracted some infection which had caused a hole to grow in his side and before they could get him to a vet he wandered off to the park, burrowed himself away and died.
Fudge was a kitten I adopted for D, he had never had a kitten and I was determined he should experience the thrills of the tiny scampering clown. Fudge was CRAZY. As soon as D left the house she would proceed to leap onto my HEAD and then dash around the house like a mad thing.
Fudge was pretty clever though, one day I had made a huge stack of tuna sandwiches for us and placed them on the coffee table. Fudge promptly made her attempts to get on said table but was told sternly "No she wasn't to go on the coffee table." So the little Einstein climbed up onto the sofa instead and launching her tiny body through the air across the table she used her back paw to knock one of the sandwiches on the floor, never once touching the forbidden table. We were so impressed by her ingenuity so we gave her the sandwich, she deserved it.
I know my hair looks on fire but I can't draw or colour, okay
Fudge's story ends quite quickly, I got into some 'bad trouble' with a guy (one of D's ex-friends) and I ended up reporting him to the police (I'm sure you can read between the lines here). His mother then STOLE OUR CAT rang up the adoption centre and said we'd abandoned it and that she would take care of it. They CHANGED THE DETAILS without even calling us and she got our cat. The law, despite this obviously being a "revenge" thing wouldn't protect us, and that's how we lost Fudge.
Okay even I'm starting to wonder why we kept having cats after this point.
Piper & Storm
Now these were special cats. We adopted them from the shelter (just like fudge) but they were both older cats. I'd batted my eyelashes at D when I saw them since he'd strictly said we could only have ONE cat but I managed to convince him they'd be worth it. When we were "caging" them up ready for transport we could only move one cat out of the hut at a time. The moment we took Piper out, Storm started making such a fuss, fretting that we were leaving her behind and D would have had no choice in the matter if he hadn't already caved in.
My story of Piper will be brief. She was a BIG bully always tormenting her sister and she had a love for unlocking the window, climbing the roof, playing in the chimney and coming back covered in soot. (I was constantly bathing her - something neither of us enjoyed)
Piper seemed to grow an extra set of legs and claws at bathtime
She would also walk to the nearby pub and charm the patrons into giving her some grub. She'd even accompany us to the local shop walking at our side. Unfortunately one night she had 'let herself out again' and never returned. I spent hours trying to find her in the streets but I had no luck. For all I know she still prowls the chimney's and pubs of that area.
Storm was a pretty special cat and I LOVED her. She was very frightened and timid, always hiding. With a lot of time and effort I finally had her brave enough to be held, to play and sit in the living room. We got into a wonderful routine, D would go to work at 4am, then Storm and I would go back to bed together and I'd wake a few hours later with her little body under the duvet curled next to mine. We'd eat breakfast together, sit on the sofa together I'd clean while she supervised and she'd play while I supervised, she was my little shadow. When we lost our home and had to give her up it was the hardest day of my life. I couldn't stop crying and couldn't get enough air in to talk to anyone. When she was collected by the rescue home I just sat on the stairs and wept. She had been desperately trying to break out of the box to stay with me and it broke my heart.
Years later I heard about Storm on the radio, she'd been adopted to a loving home, and one night some thugs had shot her with an air rifle as she prowled in her garden, she lost a leg but survived. I HATE myself for ever letting her go.
Puddings wasn't ours but she sure thought she was supposed to be. When we were dating D and I lived 3 miles apart. One night D was walking me home so I could grab my work stuff and then kip at his. It was a dark and windy night when we came across 'Puddings' sitting outside someone's house. Again me being me, encouraged the cat to come have a cuddle and after that point puddings stayed by our side - whoops. D invented the name Puddings (cause he's my partner in crime) and this sweet little cat made the three mile journey with us through the forest and across main roads. She followed the light of our phones (I carried her across the busy road.) We got to my house and she sat down with D while I left a note and grabbed my stuff.
As soon as I came back out she chirped at me and then set off to lead us back the way we came. She was plain simply amazing and made it the most entertaining journey we'd ever had. (Even better than the time the police pulled over because they thought D was abducting me into the woods and I had to show them the DvD I was carrying to prove we were only going to his house and he was just carrying me on his shoulder for a laugh)
Before we got to D's we had to cross a field. D was telling me how I had to stop calling puddings and egging her on to follow us now, and I was trying to explain to D how she was homeless and should obviously come live with us. We made the rule if we didn't encourage puddings and she followed us home anyway we would keep her overnight and then figure something out the next day. So we walked in silence. Poor sweet puddings so eager to walk with me ran up (it's dark,she's black) and I stood on her.
I guess you can figure she didn't follow us home and I cried about how I'd hurt her all because D said I could't look at her any more.
Roarke, Kitalpha & Evie
These are our current cats and they are wonderful. It took a while for my heart to heal after Storm but it's hard not to adore these three little monkeys. I rescued them from a Drug Den, we went in with a team of "professionals" scooped them up and brought them home.
They were the sweetest little critters and would scale your body to get near your face (although Roarke was so laid back he just slept his freedom away in his carrier (or maybe he was stoned.) They were only a few weeks old when I got them so I had to show them how to use a litter tray, eat properly etc and they really do think I'm 'mum.'
See back to nice normal photos no more terrible drawings for you!
I've already mentioned Roarke a bit before so I'll only highlight, he is soft as mush, he will keep himself to himself until the girls are outside and then he lets his macho side down and just wants cuddles and play fighting. He runs VERY fast (when he can be bothered), loves playing with water and doesn't like going outside,he is truly the alpha male in the household - D included.( I'm the alpha female though so it's all good if I tell the girls off he reinforces it with a couple of nips)
Evie is a handful she's our "bi-polar" cat and swings between cuddles and love to growling and massively overly dramatic sighs. So eager to please Evie has mastered "Sit," "fetch" and "up" all quite by accident. She won't leave you alone though and it can get a little irritating. She loves to chatter with the hamster and her favourite trick is to wake me in the morning by burrowing her head next to mine - then headbutting me in the eye - yeah she's just swell.
Kitalpha has become, whether by my intention or her own personality a little shadow and very like Storm. She responds to specific tunes when whistled, follows me everywhere while trying to have conversations with me. She loves to go out and hunt, curl up beside me, and is always trying to lead me to bed for massive cuddles under the covers. And she'll follow any piece of string that I dangle - TAKE THAT POPPY!
Well that pretty much sums up my life in cats, there was an awful lot more of them than I realised when I started - sorry about that. I can't imagine not having a little furry friend to come home to or to snuggle up with when your feeling sad. As aforementioned I can't draw, you can take you your annoyance at D while looking at an awesome drawing of a tree HERE