My life in cats

Today we are hoping to welcome our new kitten to fill the large hole left by our beloved Timmy who passed away 9 weeks ago. I can’t say replace him as he can’t be replaced. His ashes sit on the hearth in a beautiful box with his name engraved. I wanted to bury the ashes, but Emily wouldn’t let us, so there he sits in one of his many favourite sleeping spots, with his plaque.

My Mum said last week that she had lived in her house for 50 years; which means that the first cats they had would have been 50 as well. The cats preceded me by 2 years and I grew up with two tabbies called Sandy and Dusty.

Sandy was quite a character and had several mishaps including getting her paw caught in a trap, falling out of a second floor window, setting fire to her tail in the gas fire and falling down the toilet! She used to sleep in the airing cupboard too, I can remember as a small child reaching for a towel and finding a cat instead! Both cats slept in a basket on top of the huge boiler in the downstairs toilet. I don’t remember much more about Sandy as she rapidly used up her 9 lives and died of a heart attack aged 10.

That left us with Dusty who was a more sedate puss and was happy to curl up in front of the fire, on a knee or in someone’s bed. As she was older than me I don’t really remember much about her until she got older and grumpier and spent most of the time asleep in a chair. She developed Pleurisy and Epilepsy, the latter requiring medication, which we gave her in marmite! In spite of this she lived to be 18 and died peacefully on Christmas Eve, not a great start to that years festivities.

I don’t have any pictures of either of these cats, cameras then were for holidays only!!

Despite my Dad throwing all the cat food in the bin, by New Years day we had 2 more cats (luckily being Christmas he was able to retrieve the food tins from the bin). These were Penny and Minnie. Penny was tabby and Minnie was tabby and white.

Sadly Penny was only with us about 8 months as she followed my brother for the school bus and got knocked down. I was at home as I was going to a hospital appointment.

Following Penny we got Sox. She had been born in some woods and it had taken a while to catch her, they had the mother cat too. Sox was a tabby with white feet, wonder how she got her name! Minnie and Sox didn’t really get on, but tolerated each other. Minnie would sit up on a chair and swipe at Sox as she went past. Minnie also liked to sit up on a stool in the kitchen and watch what was going on, we christened her the inspector.

All our cats were fed on tinned food and full fat milk. Milk is definitely not given to cats now. I have a scar on my finger from opening a cat food tin, but don’t think that cans are any safer now! I guess that’s why they started cat food pouches to be safer and more expensive! We fed the cats under the kitchen table next to the radiator so the milk regularly went off in the dish (yuck!), the cats didn’t seem to mind.

Minnie developed Leukemia when she was 10 and started having Chemotherapy. It was my job to take her for diagnosis and treatment. I can remember everyone asking if the Chemo would make her fur fall out? Sadly she ran away from home and missed some of her treatment. After hunting high and low for her and putting up posters it appeared she had moved in with some neighbours! Sadly the illness got too much and she died whilst I was on holiday in Wales, are you sensing a pattern here with losing my cats?

Minnie

Sox meanwhile was more robust, though not always the friendliest of cats. She had a favourite toy that was actually a spring out of an old pound coin holder. We have no idea how she came about it, but she would carry it around and push it under the furniture for us to get out again and again and again! She liked ping pong balls too, but again they disappeared under furniture or behind the fridge.

Sox
Sox

During Sox’s life I lived away from home several times and moved back again several times, but home was always where the cat was, even if I didn’t get the warmest of welcomes. It was my brother she would look for and follow anywhere and spent hours curled up on his bed with him. Even after he left home she worshipped him when he came to visit.

Eventually I did leave home and left my parents in Sox’s capable paws. Sox lived a long and happy life to the age of 18. By this time I had my own cat Timmy, but still enjoyed seeing Sox on visits home. It was sad to see her getting frail towards the end, but she didn’t suffer.

Timmy came to live with us in 2000 aged about 9 months. He was a nervous boy, but had climbed up the glass of his pen to see us and won our hearts there and then. He had been with an old lady who couldn’t look after him any more, then he went to a home with young children and they didn’t like him because he was too timid. he was perfect for us and we were able to give him the time and space he needed to settle in.

Timmy’s favourite game was chasing a foil ball up and down the stairs, Rob and I spent many hours sat at opposite ends of the staircase throwing the foil! For his real party trick, we could sit on our bed, throw the ball over the bannister and Timmy would fetch it back!!

Affection was always on Timmy’s terms and he was not a knee cat, unless you were trying to do something else!! Rob and I could be sat on the sofa and Timmy would plonk himself between us! now Emily does that instead.

We were told Timmy didn’t like children. He would have been too nervous at first, but by the time Emily came along he was more chilled and as Emily (and Timmy) got older, he would do anything she wanted. We were quite amazed as he never did anything we wanted him to do.

I always called Timmy my beautiful boy, he had an adorable face and would sometimes pose for a camera, we have hundreds of pictures of him doing all sorts of things.

You can read more of his story here
http://www.craftyjanes.co.uk/2019/07/31/my-beautiful-boy/

Timmy dressed up by Emily in one of my baby dresses!!
Covered up by Emily in case he was cold!
Pro photo
And baby bears bed was just right!
Oh such a hard life!
Going on holiday!
Dead fishes!
Favourite picture

We always thought that having 2 cats live to be 18 was good going, but despite several health scares Timmy kept going and made it to 20! He died a couple of days before we went on holiday, and the day I had a hospital appointment, it’s that pattern again. My Dad died the day we were going to Euro Disney ( I have a dread of booking holidays and going away now!) Not only cats we have rather a history of major events happening at holiday time, it’s a wonder we want to go anywhere.

So after 9 long weeks of catlessness and several visits to Kitty cafe for our cat fix, we are now ready to welcome our new cat. He is a kitten just 8 weeks old, I haven’t had such a young kitten before. We have seen him growing and getting ready to leave his Mum. We pick him up today and our new adventure will begin, with lots of photos I am sure! Here is one to start;

New cat probably to be called Oreo.

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