Saturday 9 August 2014

World Cat Day

The 8th of August is Word Cat Day (every year!) so in special honour here are some of the felines that I have known and loved.

When I first moved in with my husband there were two cats in residence; Molly and Tillie (always called Gizzie - see below). Molly probably was as old as Casper is now; although she was very like him to look at she was nothing like him in personality. She shared the house with us but wasn't much of a people cat, probably more so with me because she hadn't known me all her life. I'd buy a lot of toys and then play on my own because she'd lose interest. She was quite a mouse chaser but not much of a mouse catcher, several occasions of mice trapped under furniture by the cat after she dropped them! My proudest moment was, when I first met Molly she didn't know how to wash her face, she was taken from her mum before she learnt. I taught her. First I'd wet my finger and wash her face, then I'd wet her paw and wipe it on her face, and eventually she got the idea and washed her own face. Proud cat-mother moment! Molly had a long, and I hope happy, life with us.

Tillie, as she was named, was always called Gizzie due to her slightly unfortunate resemblance to a gremlin. Pure bred Persian she had a lot of problems in life. Properly long haired (not slightly fluffy like Molly and now Casper) she would suffer terribly if she got fleas, or even a bit muddy... not helped by the fact she despised being brushed. Several times things got so bad she had to be completely clipped. She was fairly bad tempered and not a little crazy. At the time an old lady lived in the house that backed on to our garden on the corner, and she would feed Gizzie treats and let her into her house; until Gizzie decided to move to a new home. We never knew what happened to Gizzie as the old lady died... but we never saw Gizzie again. I did once have a wild-goose chase after a random Peersian when I as visiting Lewisham hospital, probably too many years later for it to even be Gizzie!

Molly and Gizzie sharing the window sill

Leo and Plumpkin
Plumpkin (Plumpie for short) and Leo belong to my brother-in-law and his wife. They are brothers (as you can see). I've only really met them once, and not for long as they aren't very fond of strangers! A handsome pair, I'm sure you'll agree.

Pacey and Minnie belong to my cousin. I'd heard a lot of stories about them before I actually met them. Pacey is quite a big boy and Minnie lives up to her name being much daintier. I'm sure that Pacey would like to think that he is in charge, but it is pretty clear that Minnie is the one in charge (as girl cats so often are!).

Pacey loves having visitors come to visit and laps up the extra attention, Minnie pretends that she can take it or leave it - but I think likes the fuss too. Now they have the extra fun of my cousin's two children to play with as well... who are now of an age cats can feel safe from tail pulls and similar!


Cat-5 (aka Merlin) is one of the many neighbourhood cats. He's called Cat-5 as the first thing we knew about him was he lived at Nr 5 down the street. The first time I met Merlin I was sitting on the sofa reading, looked up and found a white cat standing in the lobby staring at me as if he owned the place. He seems to have grown out of visiting other people's houses now! Next door to Merlin lives Betty; she is a fluffy Tuxedo who has a hypnotic effect on Casper when he sees her in the garden (unlike any of the other cats, who, without exception, annoy him). Betty is Merlin's neighbour at Nr 7. The first time we met Betty (the first few times) was when she was very young (Molly was sill with us) and she had a real urge to fish in our pond. I had to keep removing her physically (much to Molly's irritation, how dare I touch another cat!). Happily now a grande-dame of the cat world she too has grown out of such bad habits. Other cats that pass through are nicknamed based on their colouring - Shadow and Tuxedo. I saw them both on Friday. Shadow shot across the main road (I had a conversation through the hedge about how he wasn't to do that please) and Tuxedo came down his front path to see if I was anyone interesting (I had a conversation through the hedge about how it would be best if he stayed in his garden). Talking to cats would have been less crazy if several people hadn't passed me whilst this was happening!

So my boy Tinker (RIP) and Casper. Bought home from the Cat Protection League at twelve weeks old. Perfectly house trained adorable little black brothers. Tinker, heart-breakingly, died after an allergic reaction to a packet of food two years ago.
Sleeping quietly (the only thing that happened quietly!)
Brother in... tails?!
Aviva Insurance competition projecting images on the South Bank
A tribute to Tinker
Casper is adorable, cute, funny, and lord of the house. He is a very spoiled feline - what he wants he usually gets. He is huge fun to be around though. He plays games (from chasing the laser dot to playing fetch with his rubber balls), he sometimes cuddles (Husband more than me) and has a whole range of peccadilloes that make him quite unique. He learned early (his name was Squeak when we adopted him) that talking was a good way to communicate with people. He does it often and usually loudly... we have learned to recognize the different noises and whether they are greetings, rude, polite or demands!

Casper has a Facebook page, a Tumblr account and a Twitter account operated for him by me. Black cats are adopted less than other colours and Casper and I are passionate to get the word out about what a bundle of furry fun a black cat is and to help all his furry kin find their forever homes.

Casper and I hope you enjoyed meeting these cats - if you are cat people (or any pet people!) go tell yours how special they are; because they all are, aren't they?!