A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Saturday, 28 May 2016

National Hug Your Cat Day 2016


Hug your cat day, kitten, kitty, catostropic, adopt a petI didn't grow up with a pet.

We had a rabbit for a year or so, but after some skin pin-prick allergy tests when I was about eight, it turned out that I was allergic to the floppy-eared creature. While out on my swing one warm sunny day, I noticed that the bunny was no longer in residence in his hutch inside the greenhouse.

Questioning my mother on the subject, she admitted that the rabbit had died and she hadn't wanted to upset me. I suspect the truth was probably more brutal, and that 'Rupert' succumbed to a fox with hungry cubs after successfully digging a hole from the greenhouse in a bid for freedom once too often. My mother is silent on the topic to this day.

I pestered for a Labrador puppy after that. Naturally, this fell on very deaf ears. 

Fast forward twenty-five years or so and twin daughters, Olivia and Sophia nagged for a pet of their own. I suspect that one daughter's first words might not have been your usual, 'dadadada,' but 'dat,' instead - this translated into cat. She was utterly fixated on any feline and just as soon as she learned to walk, any utterance of the word, 'dat,' meant that she had spotted some unsuspecting fluff-ball in the distance and was about to do a runner. If the cat was daft enough to hang around, she would have loved it to death given a couple of minutes in its company.

After several years of nagging, I finally caved. The girls were almost seven and there was room for one more something to love in our lives.

I made a couple of calls to a local cat charity and we endured a scary home visit to assess our suitability as cat owners. I already had twins and no one had done any checks then. Perhaps if they had, they'd have realised how woefully unprepared I was to take on the role of mum to not one, but two small babies, never mind a cat. We were approved as potential adoptive parents and asked for our preferences on kitten type. I'd always had a thing for tabbies, but as the kitten was a gift for our daughters' 7th birthdays, the choice was theirs to make.

One Saturday in July we set off to choose our kitten. Seven adorable faces stared back at us from the confines of their makeshift home. Number eight hid in a corner, nuzzling into an old jumper and pretending to be asleep. This one had attitude and hissed as she was removed from the security of her hiding place. 'Ah, this one's feral,' said the helpful lady from the adoption centre. 'She might not be suitable for re-homing with a family.' Obviously, this was the one our daughters wanted despite the splayed claws and feisty temperament.

After much love and perseverance, the kitten was deemed OK for re-homing with a family. Several weeks later we returned to take our tortie-tabbie, feral rescue baby home. We bundled the latest addition into her cat basket and once at home, she explored tentatively, before finding her paws and claiming the house for herself.

Cute.

Yes.

Well to look at anyway.

Her many talents included...

1. Curtain shredding.

2. Carpet destroying.

3. A knack for getting into spaces she couldn't reverse out of (cue: spice and wine rack dismantling during the first week).

4. Eater of bugs - flies, spiders, wasps. You name it. She's probably eaten it.

5. Phenomenal toe-biter.
  
6. Flinging herself around the house at great speed.
  
For those first few weeks I wondered what the heck we had done? Others might rave about the joys of cat ownership, but I wasn't feeling it.

And then, came a breakthrough. Exhausted after a full day of exploring, shredding and eating things she shouldn't, the kitten clambered up on the sofa, nestled down in my arms and promptly fell asleep. She looked so cute that I hadn't the heart to move her. Apologies for the pic quality - this is pre-digital era and my daughter has chopped the original picture to fit into her kitten photo album.

Kitten, adopt a cat, Kitty, catostropic

Finally, I got it.

This tiny bundle of fluffy gorgeousness had finally deemed us worthy of her company and felt safe enough to trust us. I may have sobbed with relief.

And so, as she turns 15 next week, it's hard to sum up the previous years with our gorgeous 'Kitty' (the girls got to name her too!). She dishes out unconditional love and the very best hugs. Knows when someone's having a bad day and does her best to make amends. She fills the house with laughter and dishes out playful swipes and bites when anyone's pushing their luck. She has my husband firmly wrapped around her four tiny white paws and also has her own Twitter account @catostropic

Crazy? Moi?

Probably.

4th June also happens to be National Hug Your Cat Day... as if any excuse were needed.



Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

3 comments :

  1. Hi Izzie, all children should grow up with a pet of some sort, it teaches them so much. I was always a rabbit lover, and have had a couple of beautiful house/garden rabbits and was heart broken when they died.

    Cats are something I never saw us having, but we have our two patrolling the log piles out back and they too have gone from being hissy and spitty to enjoying a rub. They aren't really the huggy type, so I won't risk that, but I'll be sure to give them an extra tickle and a treat on June 4th!

    They say that cats choose their owners and I think they're right.

    xx

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  2. I've been doing non stop calls this past week or so arranging for my Mum to visit with her dog from the US plus we're hoping to get a puppy this summer. My twins also want a cat in the mix as soon as possible. I grew up with cats and dogs so can't wait for them to have the same.

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  3. Ah, we've always loved your cat, us readers and she's truly made it - even with her own Twitter account! xx

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