Our Christmas was kind of quiet and normal until the day before New Year's Eve. I went down to the shed to switch the kiln on and I heard some distressed miaowing coming from behind the big tree in our back garden. Chris came down to see what I was crouching down talking to a tree for and out from behind the tree wandered a kitten. He had a collar on but he had no tag. I hadn't seen him around before but he was a friendly little thing and clearly someone's pet.
|Nigel on the day we found him|
Chris and I left him outside and went about our day but the kitten wouldn't leave the garden. So we went and knocked on a few neighbours' doors to see if they knew who he belonged to. The kitten trotted along with us and I kept calling him Nigel. You know how I like to name things. It was the first name that came into my head and he seemed to respond to it.
No joy. Nigel wandered back with us and we made some FOUND CAT notes to put through doors and some posters to put up around the place. I reported him found to the local animal shelters, tweeted about him and registered him on some lost and found pet websites.
Now, I'm very against feeding other people's pets because you don't know what dietary quirks they might have, plus it encourages them to return. (Chris has never wanted a cat. I knew this when I moved in with him and I had given up hope of ever having a furry purry of my own.) But yes, I decided to feed him because he seemed a bit peckish.
Chris said that Nigel could stay with us until we located his owner. I took Nigel to the vet to see if he was microchipped but nope, he wasn't. The vet reckoned Nigel is about a year old. She did the old flea-and-worm malarkey and gave me a bag of food for him.
|Top-of-the-stairs cat is watching you|
I couldn't understand how nobody was missing him. I'd put him on the re-homing list at The Blue Cross and Cats Protection and then last Friday I got a call from Nigel's owner's next door neighbour. He'd seen one of the posters we'd put up and he recognised Nigel as his neighbour's cat. Then he went on to tell me how Nigel's owner had died over Christmas and that Nigel and his sister had done a runner that day. Nigel wandered about a mile to end up in our garden. The neighbour said he couldn't take Nigel and asked me to look after him until I could re-home him. There had been no sign of Nigel's sister at all. It's all very sad.
I was all ready to hand Nigel over to the Blue Cross on the following Monday. Yes, I was upset but I never once asked Chris if we could keep Nigel because I knew how he felt about cats so imagine my surprise when Chris said he could stay! I was elated. I've been longing for a cat for ages now. When you've always had a cat about the place it is very odd to live in a house without one.
I called the shelters, took down posters and removed web notices and Nigel has been settling in ever since. He's sat next to me right now, purring away like he's happy or something.
He'll be off to the vet next month; he needs neutering, microchipping and vaccinating. I haven't broken this news to Nigel yet.
So my New Year has got off to a cat-filled start and I couldn't be happier about it. Chris seems to like Nigel and I absolutely love him and am very pleased that he has come to live with us.
I'll be back in a bit with some beads. Just got to clean and photograph them.
See you soon,