Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Cats & kittens

I mentioned in my last post that I'd had an article accepted by 'Your Cat'. It's the story of how my two Burmese cats went missing when we moved house 6 years ago, and writing it was quite an emotional task as it brought back memories of that difficult time. It ended 50% happy, by the way: we were reunited by Charlie, but sadly not with his brother Oscar.

Charlie is now over 14 and looking his age. He doesn't want much out of life apart from his meals, and to lie in one of three favourite places: on my lap (preferably while I'm at the computer - he's with me now!), on a blanket on top of the radiator in the kitchen, or under the radiator in the lounge. He does occasionally take to his proper bed, too, as long as it's next to the radiator! In the summer, though, he will still meander outside and find a sunny spot to doze in, and might even be encouraged by his much younger, half-Burmese friend Billy from next-door-but-one, to run around and play a bit!

So it's a pleasure that my youngest daughter and son-in-law now have two cute kittens: Fred and Wilma. Seeing them scampering around, playing with their toys and jumping over each other has brought back memories of Charlie and Oscar at that age. They grow up so quickly!

Fred and Wilma, being brother and sister, were taken to the vet last week for surgery to prevent any unfortunate episodes of incest. Wilma returned home in the obligatory head-collar to stop her pulling out her stitches - and I laughed out loud when my daughter described how she was running around the house trying to knock the collar off, while Fred kept going up to her and licking her head!

I felt quite sad to realise we're unlikely to see Charlie frolicking around like that any more these days ... but the other night he did prove there's life in the old cat yet, and that he can still surprise me. I walked into the bathroom, turned on the light and nearly jumped out of my skin. The toilet lid and seat were up (yes, I live with a man!!) and there was Charlie, perched precariously with all four paws on the rim, head right down, lapping water from the bowl! He's lucky he didn't overbalance and fall in, especially when I shrieked in surprise!

I immediately checked his drinking bowl - full of water. I have no idea why he suddenly decided it'd be a better idea to drink from the toilet, and to my knowledge he's never done it before (or since) - although we did used to have a Springer spaniel who made a habit of it! It's a dog thing!
Perhaps Charlie had a sudden memory (as we all do) of his younger days, watching Sophie-dog do just that, and wanted to give it a try. Or perhaps he's just getting old and silly, like his 'mum and dad'!

He's still good company and it's nice now, too, to see Noah toddling around after him, and then sitting down and very gently patting or stroking him. So good for children to learn, early on, to be kind to animals. I'll let you know when the piece in 'Your Cat' is published.


  1. What a lovely post.
    So sad that you never found Oscar.
    I had to laugh about Charlie drinking out of the loo - my cats didn't do that, but they used to drink the water in the bird bath and my springers do as well, yet if their water indoors isn't changed about a hundred times a day they refuse to drink it :-)
    I so agree about children and animals - I love seeing them together. Never ceases to amaze me how good animals are with tiny children and how those children soon learn to respect and love them.
    Look forward to reading your article in Your Cat :-)

  2. Don't you just love cats! I have two and they are my babies! They're brother and sister too. Sorry that Ocscar didn't come home - I had a lump in my throat when I read that.

    Julie xx

  3. Thanks, Teresa; Thanks Julie.
    Yes, the sadness about Oscar has never gone away. We've always hoped someone found him and decided to give him a good home.
    I wish I'd had my camera on me when I caught Charlie perched on the loo!