Living with Cats

Our first puss, the esteemed Teddy, came into our family by subterfuge. Daddy said “NO cats”, so it was necessary to give the cat to mummy for her birthday. How could daddy turf him out then?

Of course, Teddy did the right thing, he jumped straight up on daddy’s lap and looked deep into his eyes and his place in our home was assured for the next eighteen years. Teddy ruled with an iron paw. No invasion went un-rebuffed and he was a regular at the vet with abscesses from the bites of other cats. Only one thing truly terrified him. Kittens. Which is how Kitty Cockroach managed to come to stay. Sadly he disappeared in December 2002, but he paved the way for Miss Mouse who arrived earlier that year and refused to leave. She is now the senior puss in the house, but true to her name, seldom throws her weight around. So for a while we had three cats in the house, all gingerly waltzing around each other and all much loved. Over the years since, the number seems never to have diminished, but grown.

Jamdrop was a gorgeous yellow kitten who was with us only three weeks before he had a nasty run-in with stray dogs and now rests peacefully under the large fan palm in the corner of the garden. Mozzie was a beautiful grey and white tabby with blue eyes who found his way home from at least 2km away, over busy roads, drains and past stray dogs. Sadly he met an early end, maybe kidney failure or perhaps a snake bite, but he rests beside Teddy under the layer tree.

Teddy approved the residence of Miss Duster, a beautiful calico kitten with a fluffy duster tail. He was very frail, but she was kind to him and he said OK, she could stay. She still prances around being the diva and keeps her tail beautifully. Miss Yellow sort of grew into that name because she was the neighbours cat, but she didn’t leave when they did. When it was clear she was always in our place she went to the vet for ‘the snip’, and we discovered she’d already been done. After she was opened up. Poor girl. She always stays outside, unless it looks like a storm, then she’s in and behind the TV before you can say anything. Afterwards, she heads straight back out again. Charlie (with his Charlie Chaplin moustache) has at least two families we think. He just marched in one day and said ‘I’m home’ and comes and goes as he pleases. He’s one of the most non aggressive cats I’ve ever seen, though he keeps his spirits up by annoying the girls. He’s all bluff and bluster. (A minor update – he’s not ALL bluff and bluster, just most of the time. He bit me because he was cross at Miss Duster and I was closer. That needed a course of antibiotics for a badly swollen arm. :-()

Perhaps even less aggressive is Kitty (Chow Kit, where he nearly ended up at the market). He is beautifully unmarked, simply by ensuring he watches, never gets involved, in any fight. A loving grey and white tabby with a huge purr, we couldn’t possibly send him away. Counting… … Miss Mouse (1) Miss Duster (2) Miss Yellow (3) Charlie (4) Kitty (5). The confirmed cat refuser said OK to all of them and even makes sure they are all fed before they go out for the night. 🙂

Somewhere around the time Kitty arrived, we started getting visits by two rather grubby looking tom cats. One decided he would look after us and was here more than he wasn’t. The other chap was a vicious, nasty piece of work who would attack the defender, before we shipped him off to live elsewhere. Mister Yellow/Scarface would fight back with great enthusiasm though sadly he fought with the outside of his head, not the brain inside which earned him the name Scarface. He was a mess, often suffering from abscesses, with horrible open wounds mostly round his head and neck and sometimes limping. But he was smart enough to never attack any of the permanent residents so we didn’t have the heart to chase him away. He got his own bowl too and his regular food. As we couldn’t treat him for his wounds because he was pretty feral and not always around, we didn’t think he’d last long, but he did. He was here for nearly two years before he became thinner and thinner and just disappeared one day about a month ago.

So. Five cats. Enough. No. Somehow word has got around and in marched Miss Puss (she’s not ours, we aren’t giving her a name. No we are not.). Pregnant and looking like she belongs to someone. She’s a lovely natured puss and well kept, knows what cat biscuits and canned food are all about. The kittens are due in a couple of weeks and I don’t think I’m going to have much luck finding her family, though I’m sort of trying.

So any takers for a kitten or two or three in about 2-3 months time. Please.

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