I have always loved cats. At school, my friends used to tell me that I would be a crazy cat lady one day. To be honest, I hoped I would be! That being said, I had to wait quite a long time to get my cats. My boyfriend and didn’t want to adopt any animals while we were living in rental accommodation. Yet eventually, a job change and a move north meant we could afford a house. I wasted no time in contacting Cats Protection to see if there were any cats requiring a home in the area.
At first, I looked at their website and filled in their online enquiry form about the current cats up for adoption. After enquiring about two different cats and being told they were both reserved, I received a phone call from an absolutely lovely lady who was the local rehoming officer. She asked me to describe the type of cats we are looking for and she will get back to us as soon as any similar cats come in.
My boyfriend and I had already discussed what we were looking for, but perhaps not agreed on it. He had grown up with a very sweet natured female cat and was hoping to adopt another female with a similar personality. In contrast, I had grown up with a charming, greedy black cat with a larger than life personality. I absolutely adored him and wanted another male black cat. However, I did not want to wait forever for the perfect cat to appear so I told them to let me know if a black cat or a sweet natured female cat came in. I also asked them to let me know if a pair of cats who got on well together became available.
To my surprise, the next day I received another phone call to let me know that one of the fosterers had a pair of cats in their care. One of them was a very small black and white female called Socks. She was approximately two years old, only weighed 2.6 kg and had recently had a litter of kittens. We were told that she was very playful and was bouncing off the walls at her fosterer’s house! The cat she was paired with was Charlie, a tabby and white male cat. He was around 6 years old and was a much larger cat than Socks. In fact, he weighed over 6 kg! The fosterer didn’t know too much more about them yet as they hadn’t been at the rescue for long. She thought they had only ever lived indoors but they would cope fine with going outdoors if that’s what we wanted. They had both just been neutered and micro-chipped and were undergoing blood tests to check for diseases. They also had to have worming and flea treatment due to the condition they were in. I was incredibly excited and also very nervous to meet them! I booked a viewing for the next evening.
Unfortunately (or fortunately for me!), I had not realised that the next evening was the England World Cup game. So my slightly sulky boyfriend and I were met with no traffic at all on our journey to the cat shelter. I consoled him with the fact that if we were quick, we might catch the last ten minutes of the game. I’m not sure whether this helped. We stopped off at the supermarket to buy a packet of treats to help the cats warm to us. I was very nervous, wondering if the cats wouldn’t like us. Maybe we’d have to make this journey several times until we found the right cat. Or what if I didn’t like them and would have to tell the shelter?
We arrived and were greeted by a friendly lady and her cats. She was obviously passionate about cats and it struck me how lucky these cats were to be rescued by her! She showed us through to another room where she kept the foster cats. I took one look at Socks and fell in love. She was very underweight and almost didn’t look like a cat she was so scrawny. She was also very intelligent and inquisitive. The fosterer told us that Socks knew her name. As we were walking in, she was destroying a feather toy with bits flying everywhere. She saw us and came charging over, running around us excitedly and jumping up for treats. I wanted to take her home there and then, she was so lovely.
In contrast, Charlie was sat slumped gloomily on a sunning shelf. He was absolutely huge, though I wondered whether tiny Socks made him look even bigger. He was watching us with an expression as if to say, “think you’re good enough for me, do you?”. He had a chunk missing out of his ear and his gentleman’s region was still all intact, something I hadn’t seen on a pet cat before. However, as soon as he heard the rustle of the treat bag, his demeanour totally changed to a “well, why didn’t you say you had treats” expression. He shot off the shelf and came running up to my boyfriend, who proceeded to give him a ‘mega-fuss’.
A ‘mega-fuss’ is the term I use to describe the way my boyfriend fusses cats. In the past, we have been round to friends’ houses with cats where we have been told their cat wouldn’t hurt a fly, only for it to then receive the fuss of its life from him and try to bite him within five minutes. As I watched him fuss Charlie, I felt myself inadvertently gulp and take a step backwards. I think I saw the fosterer do the same thing, though I could see she had a look in her eyes willing Charlie to behave himself and not blow his chance. To my astonishment, Charlie slightly opened his mouth and let out a thunderous, bellowing purr. My boyfriend looked at me, “we’ll take them”.
As we left, the fosterer told us the next steps were for us to have a home visit from one of her colleagues to check our house was suitable for a cat. We also needed to wait for the results of the blood tests and for their vaccination appointment to take place. However, if all got completed on time, we could pick them up four days later in the afternoon (the time of the World cup Final). My boyfriend agreed through gritted teeth how great that sounded.
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