You know how it is. You’ve said to yourself that you’re not going to get anymore cats and you stick to your resolve for at least 5 seconds when suddenly a cat lands on your doorstep again.

Ellie_TimmyYou shrug your shoulders resignedly, and say to yourself (and anyone else who will listen – but who take no notice because they know you better than you know yourself): ‘one more won’t hurt. I’ll let him stay here a week or so then I’ll rehome him.’ Yeah, right! Just who are we kidding here?!

So when a phone message in early October revealed that a female kitten was about to be ‘disposed’ of if I didn’t take her, I didn’t hesitate to accept her. 

As soon as she had been let out of the carrying basket, she ran up to me with her little tail erect like a pencil with the question mark curl at the tip, her little face full of hope and expectancy. This beautiful little cat had been the subject of terrible cruelty. She was almost 10 weeks old and this was to be her fourth home. She had been kicked and beaten and put down a toilet.

Her markings were incredible. She was mainly white with 3 black linking circles over her shoulders and five black linking circles across the middle of her back. Her tail and head were black; in fact her face was almost identical to the ‘Felix’ cat. She was a really pretty little cat and how anyone could mistreat her was beyond me. All the ‘boys’ loved her, right from the start. Fearing they would give her a hard time as they did with Ricky I kept a watchful eye on everyone’s movements, but typical female, she had them eating out of her paws in no time at all.

I took her to the vet the day after I got her to make sure she was ok and to have her first injection. Having told the vet of the cruelty she’d endured, he let her snuggle up under his chin and she milked it for all it was worth. He had fallen in love with her  – everyone who ever met Ellie fell in love with her.

About a week after she came to us, she was very ill – the vet said if I hadn’t taken her when I did, she could have died. All that she did for about five days was to lie in a cat bed by the fire sleeping. She didn’t eat, drink, use the litter tray or play. It was awful to see her like that. Kittens are bouncy, playful, and mischievous – that’s their job! To bring joy and wreak havoc is part of their job description! She laid down alongside Garfield in the front room one afternoon and he washed her from head to tail. It was quite moving to watch because he was so gentle with her and she just lay there and let him wash her.

Garfield obviously had the healing touch because she perked up shortly after that and within a day or so, she was back to being her usual bouncy, dynamic self.

Ellie jumped all over the ‘boys’ and usually they let her unless they wanted to eat or sleep. She was no respecter of etiquette. If a tail was flicking, no matter who the owner was, she would leap on it and play with it. She jumped on Charlie as he walked by and wrestled with him – and he let her do it! Gone was the stern ‘Miss Jean Brodie’ schoolmarm that he affected when he disciplined Billy, Timmy and Joey. Occasionally, he would flip her over and let her know who was boss, but I suspected most of the time it would be Ellie.

She often lay in wait behind things ready to jump out or pounce on the unsuspecting passer-by. I had spent many happy hours watching her antics and laughed out loud at some of the shenanigans they all got up to. Who needs TV when you have cats and kittens to entertain you?

She used to lie in wait on a dining chair waiting for one of the ‘boys’ to walk by, ready to pounce onto an unsuspecting back, rather like a stuntman would leap from a bridge onto a passing train. Usually it was Timmy, who, for some unfathomable reason, would always walk UNDER her chair despite there being plenty of room to walk around it. Then she would launch herself off the chair onto Timmy’s back and hitch a lift to the kitchen, which was only a matter of a few feet away. She’d spend ages waiting for someone to give her a lift, though, and as soon as she arrived in the kitchen, she would get off the obliging cat’s back at her dish and resume her meal as if she had just hailed a taxi to take her to her favourite restaurant. In time,Timmy would automatically stop by her dish but some of the others would take a detour around the dining room first with Ellie perched on their backs like Annie Oakley.

Sam often chased her, with Billy and Timmy in hot pursuit, followed by Charlie bringing up the rear.  It was a bit like Keystone Cops with a flash of black/white, flash of black, flash of ginger/white, flash of ginger, flash of ginger and white – then it would reverse as they all ran back the other way and they would be all be chased by Ellie! I used to be in hysterics as they ran around the house in the same order and then in reverse order back again.

Ellie brought a lot of joy although I had forgotten how much hard work went with Ellie checks out her new bedhaving a kitten. How time-consuming it was, emptying the litter tray and feeding her more frequently because she was so tiny. I had intended to foster her for a month or so to get her used to other cats and to know that not all humans are cruel. But she settled in immediately with the ‘boys’, they loved her – not one of them hissed or spat at her, which they did with poor Ricky when he first came. So I decided to keep her – and I didn’t regret my decision. Seven cats! One for every day of the week!     

    

 

 

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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