Sunday, 13 March 2011

My Cats

Double Trouble - Tandy & Tiggles
            Having animals is a commitment one shouldn’t make lightly.   You have to be prepared to be there for them from when you take them into your home and through to the end.   It’s a heartbreaking business, and after one such parting I told our vet, “Never again”, but two months later I was back with a new little kitten and he greeted me with the words, “Once an animal lover, always an animal lover.”
            I think I must be a sucker for punishment, but I love my animals (cats and dogs), and cats are such dignified, loving and often impossible creatures.   They own you, and not the other way around.   If you want to get along with cats then it’s important to remember that.
            Well, after losing my two Persians within a matter of months, I was persuaded to bring another little cat into the home.   In the effort to find a suitable kitten we ended up at the SPCA in Vereeniging.   There, instead of finding one kitten, I decided to take two so that they would be company for each other.   Two sisters; the one black and white (Tandy) and the other a silver-grey and white tabby (Tiggy/Tiggles).   Their mother was a Siamese of mixed breed, but the Siamese is very prominent in Tandy.   She has the pointed face, the body shape and the loud, “I insist on being heard” voice.   These two cats are as different as chalk and cheese and they sometimes have their spats, but you will very often find them curled up somewhere together.
            Tandy is the brazen one who commands attention and also demands it from strangers, but Tiggles is the little shadow that disappears when people arrive.   They are both extremely loving and want to be stroked and touched, but don’t try to hold them.   Even when they were still tiny kittens they didn’t like that.   It seems to frighten them even if I put my arms around them without touching them.   They will get up immediately and step out of the circle, but then again they will settle themselves on top of me when I’m in bed or watching TV.
            The next addition to the family was a white tom with a bushy grey tail and a few black spots here and there.   My females were all neutered, but that didn’t seem to bother him, and I always knew when he was around because the ladies would come screaming into the house on a high note of panic.   I used to chase him whenever I saw him and Vernon would put the hose on him if he happened to see him in the garden, but somehow nothing helped.   Snowy had chosen us, and there was nothing we could do to change that.   It was obvious to us that his owners must have dumped him and so he stayed, but first he had to be neutered.   I took him for all his injections and the vet judged his age to be around one year.   It took a little time for Snowy to adjust to becoming a house cat.   He also had to adjust to the fact that there would be
a steady amount of food coming his way twice a day.   He couldn’t stop eating at first, it was as if he was afraid the food would disappear, so he became extremely fat during those first few months, but then he settled down.   I also learned something with Snowy.   I was concerned that I wouldn’t love him because I didn’t have him from when he was a kitten, but I surprised myself.   I love him today just as much as I love the others.
            The last addition to our cat family is Muffy.   I named her ragamuffin when I first saw her because she looked like a dirty oil rag, and so she became Muffin (as it says on her card at the vet), but now it’s just Muffy.
Muffy - soon after arriving
            It was in May 2005 that Vernon went to the municipal dumps with our garden help, Abel, to get rid of garden rubbish, and there, amongst all the rubble, was this tiny little kitten in serious danger of being injured or killed by the huge bull dozers that were scraping up the rubbish to load on trucks.   She was not a feral cat, she was extremely tame, so we can only assume that
someone must have dumped her there.   It makes me want to weep to think that people can be so heartless.   They have cats but they don’t have them neutered and when the kittens come along they dump them if they can’t find a home for them.   Well, I didn’t want more cats, but the moment this little thing was placed in my hands she just landed straight in my heart, and she has given us so much joy that we just adore her.
Muffy - Settled in
            Muffy is our baby.   She went missing once when she was still a little kitten.   I immediately went into panic mode, but when I walked into our bedroom I saw this little bump in the centre of my bed and, when I lifted the duvet, there she was, our soft little ball of fur, sleepy-eyed and purring.   She had already put herself to bed.
            I admit that she is spoilt.   Besides her pellets she gets all the tasty little bits off our plates, and it’s a regular thing to jump up on to my lap at the breakfast table to drink a little bit of milk out of my saucer while we’re having our tea.   She is also the only one to get on my kitchen cupboards; not to steal food, but to look at what I’m doing.   She will sit there and watch me move about, and when I happen to pass her she will reach out and touch me as if to say, “I’m here.   Take notice of me.”   She can be jealous and bossy at times, but Tandy quickly puts her in her place.   She is also playful and loving, and she just loves to cuddle up close when it’s cold.
It's love
            My other cats didn’t want to know anything about Muffy when we introduced her into the family as a tiny little kitten.   They hissed at her and slapped her.   They didn’t want to be friends with Snowy either, and so a remarkable thing happened.   This tiny little Muffy ran up to this huge big male cat and threw herself down in front of him with her neck exposed, and my heart almost stopped beating.   I thought, “Uh-oh, here comes trouble,” but Snowy took one look and was smitten.   He started licking her, and right there a strong bond was formed that still exists today.
            My cats all have different natures, but they somehow all blend in to make a whole.   They are a family, and sometimes they can be really cranky, but each one is special in his or her own way.   I, of course, love each one of them for their own special qualities, and I receive a lot of love in return.   What more can one want from your animals?
Pearl (R.I.P)
Athena (R.I.P)
Gizmo (R.I.P)


  1. Oh what a lovely blog, I read it and thoroughly enjoyed all you wrote about your cats, knowing them made it easy for me to visualise their characters. I love my cats too. Just the other day I was thinking about Tinka and was actually missing her little talk, she always answered me when I called her and gave me a lot of love.

  2. I have to share this lady's love with 4 cats, so you can understand when I object to sharing my bed with them! Love you all Dear so please don't kick me out!!!

  3. This was a wonderful read - living with two cats, a dog, and a cockatiel I guess you can call me an animal lover. I could totally relate to the part about them having their own personalities and being grumpy. My big girl growls when she is not happy !!! Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Thanks for your comment, Jo. I find that with animals around I always have something to smile about, and I'm sure you find that too.