Look, right, I promise I won’t turn into one of those people who thinks everything their pet does is adorable and newsworthy, but humour me just this once: we’ve got a cat!
We’d been wanting one for ages, but as you can probably guess from the way I‘m always banging on about animal rights etc, I don’t believe in keeping cats locked indoors. And, because we lived on the third floor with no access to a garden or a yard, an indoor cat is the only type we can have. Also, I would only contemplate getting a rescued cat. Tricky situation. What we needed to find was a rescued cat who for whatever reason (medical, upbringing, whatever) could only live indoors: we get a cat, the cat gets a home, everyone’s a winner. Easier said than done.
After an adoption process almost as complex and thorough as adopting a human child, involving three visits to three different cat shelters, a home visit from a Cats Protection League inspector to assess our suitability, blood tests and sanity tests (the cat, not us), a lot of driving, a lot of phone calls, and a lot of bureaucracy with vets, lettings agents and the CPL themselves, we finally got our cat.
We went to the CPL’s National Cat Centre in Chelwood Gate, and window-shopped. There was only one cat who ticked all the boxes, and we fell for it immediately: a little black-and-white 5-year-old she-cat with unusual squiggles on her paws. We cracked up laughing when we first saw her, because she’s got this funny, flat, puffed-up face. It’s never going to stop being amusing. As soon as the attendant opened her pen so we could meet her, she was climbing up on us, clawing at our clothes, bold as you like. We reserved her pending tests, and they delivered her to us last Wednesday.
They’d given her a temporary name, Minky (presumably she‘d had at least one other name before that), but we didn’t like that so we’ve called her Siouxsie. Not because she looks like a Siouxsie, particularly, but because we just thought it would be really cool to have a cat called Siouxsie.
She’s made herself at home here incredibly quickly, strutting around like she owns the place. And I dunno, having a cat wandering about makes this place feel more like a home for us too. It’s good company for me when I’m sat at home all day.
She’s very affectionate (I’d have been perfectly happy with a grumpy old cat that just sat on a window sill all day and ignored me, but she isn’t like that at all), following us around everywhere we go and crawling all over us, and she’s very ‘vocal’.
In fact, she’s a bit too bold. The first night she was here, we were too soft with her, and let her sleep in the same room as us. At 6am, when she’d decided we’d been asleep long enough and wanted some attention, she jumped on the bed, climbed up onto my head and started nibbling at my hair. Which was a cute little habit until she actually chewed through one of my hair-spikes, leaving it two-thirds of its original length. Serious, man, I’m not kidding. SHE ATE MY HAIRDO. I had to cut the other one down to size to match. So, next time you see me and you’re wondering why my spikes are so short, you’ll know the reason. I needed a trim anyway, but that isn’t what we had in mind…
The ‘sanity’ tests make sense now. In the cat centre she’d been exhibiting that strange repetitive pacing behaviour you see from polar bears in bad zoos, so they thought she might be mental. Thankfully the pacing has subsided since she’s got a bigger domain to prowl, but she’s still a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic. She’s still quite kittenish, chasing around the room after her catnip-infused mice toys and a pink ball with a bell in it.
The good thing is she’s pretty well house-trained, but she doesn’t show a lot of interest in the bed we bought for her, or the scratching post. Her attitude is “I’ll sleep where I want to sleep, and scratch what I want to scratch, thank you very much.”
And don’t I just know it. She’s got a kidney condition, you see, which means she has to have special ‘renal’ food pellets, and a tablet once a day. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to feed a pill to a cat, but it’s a fucking nightmare. You can’t just mash it up in their food or sneak it inside a lump of meat like you can with a dog. One of us has to hold her down and prise her mouth open, and the other one has to shoot the pill down her gullet with a plunger. We’re both covered in scratches and Elastoplast. I hope she’s going to get used to it and chillax a bit, but in the meantime I’m buying some protective gardening gloves.
I feel like I ought to give a shout-out to the Cat Protection people, in case anyone else is thinking of adopting a cat, cos they’re very helpful and they do wonderful work. Here they are: http://www.cats.org.uk
Anyway, photos of Siouxsie’s first day in her new home:
Thank God for that, I thought this was going to be the announcement of a child. "Siouxsie" is a perfectly acceptable name for a kitten. I can imagine someone yelling "Oh, for Fuck's sake, Siouxsie's crapped on the post again!"
Posts: 15858 | From: this corner of the bar you can only see half of the big screen | Registered: Aug 2003
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I agree with TVMP (except for the bit about the g/f).
Cats are wonderful companions and it sounds like you have got yourself a good one. I'm happy for her because I know she's found herself a great home.
As Lyra said, the bed thing is normal. The best you can hope for is that one day you walk in the room and find her curled up asleep in it. That's when you know she has accepted it. But don't expect her to spend the night in it; it will be for napping during the day. Make sure you put it in a warm place, in a spot of sunshine or near a radiator. They like being warm.
And yes, I can completely sympathise with you about the pill. My cat had a thyroid condition and I had to make a choice between giving her a pill a day for the rest of her life, or spending close to $2000 for a procedure to cure her. I chose the latter.
Don't forget to get her a Catbook page on FB.
Posts: 18278 | From: the cattery | Registered: May 2002
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Aww fantastic cat name SR. Get her on Catbook and she can become friends with our cats, Giddy & Kipper.
On the Cats Protection front, we didn't have anywhere near as much trouble as what it sounds like you had. Ours are indoor-only cats too and although we would love them to be able to go outside, as long as you let them have the run of the place and play with them regularly, they can get just as much exercise and do all the things they do naturally.
Posts: 4359 | From: Mekonta | Registered: Jul 2005
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FF, Hobbes often spends the night on the bed. And the day...
The way I always get him to eat pills is, break them into 2 or 3 pieces, then hide each inside a piece of Quorn. He loves Quorn so much he gobbles it down without question. Cheese also works for this.
Posts: 2387 | From: Arcadia | Registered: Aug 2006
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