I never used to like cats.
If I’m honest, I hated them.
I think it probably stems from our childhood cat, Jip, who was a right little cowbag. She was scratchy, bitey and one day just disappeared, never to be seen again. From that point on, I was a dog lover, especially after my parents bought home Kai and Freddie.
Then I moved out and had kids, and realized how much I missed having a pet – something a bit fluffy to cuddle and love. I also realized just how important it was for the kids to have a pet and to grow up with animals. However, living in a rented property and being far too lazy to walk a dog and take on that responsibility, we ended up with our first cat, Bobby, We adopted him from a friend of a friend, who was moving house. Bobby stayed with us for two years until one day, he went out and never came back. We were upset, of course, but if I’m honest, I’d not really bonded with him because he spent more time outside roaming the streets than he did in with us, reinforcing just why I didn’t like cats very much.
A few months later though, we visited the RSPCA centre and fell in love with a tiny little black and white lady, called Daisy. After some discussion, we decided to adopt her, and within a couple of weeks, she had made herself at home with us. She was never the most affectionate of cats, but she was an absolute sweetheart. Whilst she was never one to come and cuddle up on our lap, she was always there – on the windowsill, on the back of the sofa, or mooching about. Shortly after moving to Wales, we decided to adopt another cat. Ellie, a 5-month-old kitten came bouncing into our life, bursting with energy and demanding love and fuss. She’d curl up behind my head at night, one paw on my head to make sure I was still there. One day, she went out as usual and didn’t come home for two days. I was heartbroken, thinking we had lost her, and it was then that I realized how much I adored our two little ladies.
Ellie and Daisy tolerated each other. Ellie was possibly a little bit too playful for Daisy, who was a lot older than her, and I think she got on her nerves. There was never any aggression, just the odd warning hiss from Daze. They lived quite comfortable alongside each other until just after Easter this year.
Daisy woke up one morning and was sick a couple of times. She’d had a different cat food the day before, so we assumed it was something in there that had upset her tummy, so swapped back to her normal one. The next morning when we found her surrounded by blood on the landing. It was clear at that point that we had a very poorly lady. We made a vet appointment for that evening, but as the day wore on, it dawned on us that we wouldn’t be bringing her home. As soon as everyone was home from work and school, we rushed her to the vets where they confirmed what we already knew – she was dying, and the kindest thing would be to have her put to sleep.
We decided to let the kids be in there when she had the injection and let them say goodbye as she went. Although they were upset, as were we, we haven’t regretted that decision. Alex struggled for a couple of weeks, getting upset a lot, and Benjamin screamed every time Ellie went upstairs in case she was poorly, but after a while, they were able to talk about her without getting upset.
We had decided to hold off getting another cat for a while until one of my friends in Birmingham put on Facebook that he was looking for someone to adopt his dad’s cat. His dad was moving into a care home and needed someone to look after his beloved cat, Tigger. As soon as I saw her little face pop up on the screen, I fell in love with her. It took a little bit of planning, but a few weeks later, on the way home from my brother’s wedding, we picked up Tigger (or Tiggy, as we call her!) for her new life in Wales.
She fitted into our lives perfectly. Despite her age – she’s 8ish – she has plenty of energy and her and Ellie very rapidly became best friends. They chase each other around the house, get under our feet and drive us mad, but we wouldn’t be without them for anything now. They’re a massive part of our lives, turning me into a bit of a crazy cat lady now! We would do anything to protect them, and that included taking out Petplan Pet Insurance so that if either of them became ill, they are covered. It’s one service we are hoping that we never have to use, but it’s certainly reassuring to know it’s there.
*This post is in collaboration with Petplan but all words and thoughts are my own.