When I was growing up we had such an animal menagerie. There was the black stray cat Tibbs who came in the night and left a year later. The almost feral cat Bobbins who was born on a farm and lived to 19 but hated people. We had hamsters, a rescue Yorkshire Terrier that had been abandoned by its owners after a holiday. Various birds and recuperating wildlife because my Dad was a conservationist.
But my favourites were our family Springer Spaniel Corrie and my ginger cat Biscuit. See a pattern? I knew no matter where I ended up as an adult or who with, owning another female Springer and male ginger cat would always be part of the plan. It never even occurred to me that my partner might not like animals because really, as if I could love someone who didn’t like pets 😉
Fast forward all these years later and within 6 months of moving into our first owned home together, we added Maddie. Pete had grown up with a Cavalier King Charles so was also fond of the Spaniel family in general but had never had cats and came from a family of general cat dislikers. We felt so settled with a dog, she fitted into our lives with ease and we love her so much.
I started to wonder whether I really did need a cat. Maddie had been such an unexpectedly well-behaved puppy, never chewing, toilet trained within days. Surely that only meant that it would be the kitten that brought chaos to our lives. Pete made a big point of saying “when you get your cat” whenever I’d bring it up, unwilling to acknowledge it. I saw a future where we’d fall out and he and Maddie would take sides and Boo and I would be on the other.
And then last year something in me just snapped and I realised it was time to get the cat before Maddie got too much older. I wanted them to be young together, even though that likely means we’ll lose them both around the same time but let’s not even dwell on that point for more than a second. And so Boo arrived and we fell in love with him. He’s so funny and cheeky but just about the most loving cat in the entire world. Dare I say it, but I’m quite certain that Pete loves him more than me now having been fully converted.
So with all that love in the room comes the inevitable moment where you have to let them out into the world. A world where we have a resident cat killer who has done unspeakable things to over 150 cats. Where there are cars and trains and people who either want to lure him in to keep him or people who would do harm (why DO people hate cats so much?!) I grew up more or less in the countryside so it just didn’t feel as scary with our previous kittens.
We spent all weekend in the garden and he was happy coming and going and is now fully adjusted to using cat flap. I’d be happy to get him to a point where he goes out all day and just stays in overnight but who knows if that’s even possible. We just have to let him go and hope that he’ll be ok and will be around for many years to come, giving us lots of love.
I know exactly how you feel. My cat is my baby and I have all the same fears when she goes outside. I especially hate it when she crosses the road which is completely irrational, I know! She’s 14 soon and I’m getting worse as she gets older – maybe it’s fear of the inevitable. Boo is simply gorgeous. xx
Oh Cheryl, it’s so hard isn’t it! She’s done well so far though to get to 14!! I hope you have many more years with her, they’re such gorgeous creatures Xx
Don’t let him go!! I have a house cat who is so happy and so loved.
She happily watches the world go by and is happy and content in the home. She eats a raw diet and shows all the hunting instincts without ever having to bring in a “catch”!
Ahh we have a couple of house cats that live on our road too! But with a dog as well, we spend so much time with all our doors open that it would be impossible to stop him from going outside. He is happy inside up to a point but he spends most of his time sitting on the windowsill staring outside. So far so good, I think we just have to take a leap of faith X
Such lovely photos! Boo is a gorgeous cat and I love how he snuggles with Maddie. Ours have lived together nearly three years now, but didn’t grow up together, and today was the first time I have seen Toto and Tarquin (pug and cat) sharing a bed together – it made my heart melt!!
Tarquin and his brother were house cats for a year when we first had them because of where we lived, then in our next house we let them out, which they adored but both would always come in at bedtime and we would shut them in. When we moved to Yorkshire I stopped shutting them in at night, because that way we don’t need a litter tray (lazy I know, but those things are horrid), but both would usually be in from late evening to early the next morning. Except Julian started hanging out with the neighbour and her 6 other cats more and more, and then she started feeding him, and now he lives with her and I cannot persuade him home. Breaks my heart, but he is happy so I do just have to let go. Sadly it’s not just people out there wanting to do them harm you have to worry about, the crazy cat lady can steal your cat with love too! 🙁 I guess cats are just more independent and you have to let them do their thing. xx
Awwww bless Julian!! I’d be devas/.tated if Boo found a new home but so long as I knew he was safe and loved it would be slightly more bearable I suppose. He seems to love coming and going at the moment and it does make me happier that he’s now venturing out. I’m hoping that we can get him into a pattern of coming in at nighttime too, that’s the recommendation from the local groups trying to protect cats from the lunatic, almost like a cat curfew Xx
This lunatic sounds dreadful!! x
What a beautiful boy. I know exactly how you feel. I have a ginger tom myself, and he is my baby really. I agonise over what might happen to him since we moved a few months ago, and I only let him in to our enclosed back garden rather than out the front. He is completely smothered by me but he seems to like it! He’s around 10 and a rescue cat I got 3 years ago.
How terrifying to have someone so evil like that in your area. I hope whoever that evil person is, is caught and heavily prosecuted very soon. Things like that completely scare me.
My cat gives cuddles just like your Boo in the photo above! I hope you have lots of happy years together.
Ahh thank you so much Melissa! I do have a soft spot for ginger males that’s for sure. They are such loving cats Xx