“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.”
― Jean Cocteau
Shortly after Es had moved over to the UK, we wanted a kitty of our own to complete our family. I was nervous about asking the question, as my let agreement was very specific ‘no pets’. So I ventured a query to my lovely landlord…with a pretty please. I expected to wait a while. I got a response within a few hours, “of course”. Well! the very next day we were on our way to see kittens, like two excited children. We had chosen his name a long time ago, whilst I was still in America, he would be ‘Catticus’, named after Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockinbird. An amusing play on words, or so we thought. I don’t care whether you think so or not.
Those early days Es was not allowed to work. Neither was he allowed to drive, I couldn’t find anyone who would insure him as a named driver on my insurance. Living in a small two bed cottage in a quiet village, he was going slightly stir crazy. So collecting a little black and white ball of fluff was a godsend on a number of levels. Es and Catty played and played and played and pretty much spent most waking moments together. Needless to say, that cat, our cat, quickly became Esra’s cat, and I didn’t get a look-in. That made me sulk.
A cat person, I have always had cats, since bringing home a little coffee and cream coloured fluff ball from a friends farm when I was about 12, I have rarely been without a feline friend. Therefore it was tough for me to accept being shunned by my son, who loved his dad more than me!
I was very reluctant to get another cat on a number of levels, but mostly because cats are really solitary creatures, they’re not dogs, they do much better on their own. Catty was a spoiled child, used to all of our attention, I feared that a brother would have him running away or pissing in corners of rooms or some other such display of utter horror and disdain.
Then. A lady I followed on Instagram posted some photos of kittens. I loved the picture and commented “I want him!”. The next day when I logged on there was a response…”you can have him, they’re free to a good home” eeek!!
I spent weeks telling myself “no”, for all the logical reasons I have just written above. But then again, it was never logical to fall in love with a guy you’ve never seen and lives 5000 miles away, so, I guess I could never be a Vulcan as logic is not my strong point.
“Just get him”, Es said. So after a few weeks I messaged her and asked if they were still available. Thinking that if they were all gone it was not meant to be. She replied within a couple of hours, yes they were. I’m coming over. Once I make up my mind, then everything needs to happen NOW! I drove to Bournemouth and was presented with 6 gorgeous black and white fluffy kittens. They were in a household full of children and were all so chilled and well adjusted. I really struggled to pick one. Then the littlest girl came over with a kitten lying sleepily on his back in her arms and that was it. I want that one! I wanted a baby, something that’s fussy and purring and fluffy and loves me and…basically I wanted a living teddy bear.
When I brought him home, Es didn’t know I had him. I just brought a cardboard box into the house and pulled out a black and white fur ball. Which, by the way, had the lungs of Pavarotti and had yelled, at the top of them, the entire 1 1/2 hour drive home.
Esra is such a softie when it comes to animals and he just melted. Catty, predictably hissed, spat and hated this interloper.
Catty spent the next couple of days like a teenage goth. Hating the world, hating us, hiding away from everyone, if he could have slammed his bedroom door he would have. He hissed every time the kitten got close, but the kitten didn’t care, he just kept trying to play with Catty.
We were told he was a she, so we named her Betty Boo. After about 4 days I just knew that she wasn’t a she, there is something subtly different about male and female cats and I suspected she was a he. I lifted his tail to check and there you go, Betty Boo became Boo Radley, in keeping with his big brother.
The first time we left them alone together we spent the day biting our nails. I was convinced that Catty would kill the kitten. Boo was so small, and his big brother hated him so much. I didn’t voice this to Es, but as it happens he spent the day thinking the exact same thing. I figured that there were tiny places in the house which Boo liked to hide where Catty couldn’t get his (now) fat arse. So I hoped that if he had felt threatened he would hide.
In actual fact, when we got back, some progress had been made on the ‘relations’ front and they were getting along, of sorts. The kitten was relentless, he would not take no for an answer and I think Catty eventually just gave up hating him because it was too hard.
They are now however, totally inseparable. Catty will call the kitten out to play in the garden all the time, he will wander the new house trilling for him until Boo appears, he will bring him half dead mice to play with, and if they get away from him, he will catch them and bring them back. They sleep together and they wash each other, they are both adorable.
Catty is like his dad, a born athlete (sarcasm). Boo on the other hand has been running up trees like they are horizontal since we moved here. He careers around the lawn jumping and pouncing at fallen leaves. He is relentless in his pursuit of a butterfly and regularly hides in the bushes and pounces on Catticus as he saunters past. His favourite tactic for avoiding Catticus’ attacks is just to do a front roll, literally, a rolly-poly, it is the funniest thing I have ever seen! he sleeps with his feet splayed behind him and is afraid of absolutely NOTHING. He will chase and attack the vacuum cleaner and completely ignores the hairdryer, whilst Esras cat runs away like a little girl.
At the moment Catticus is much bigger than Boo and simply lays on him in fights and pins him down. Esra has decided that the next bar fight he gets into he will employ the same tactic, as he also is a little more…how can I say this delicately? just a little MORE than he used to be.
I suppose the whole point of the post is this. I got what I wanted. That kitten is my shadow, he follows me everywhere, I will wake at 3am with him sat on my chest staring at me. He head bumps me, washes me, talks…oh boy can he talk, we always know what he’s up to because he is giving us a blow by blow account of what he’s up to as he’s doing it. He is always hungry, despite being wormed numerous times and will eat anything you give him and will push you out of the way to get to your plate, even if you are still eating. He’s always happy to see you and as I write he is currently sat on my feet snoring. I adore him, very, very much. I’ll be honest, when I brought him home I wasn’t so sure, but now? I’m head over heels in love, yes we are still talking about the kitten and not Es.
Es calls him names. He calls him ugly, a retard, a whiny baby, stupid, werewolf (to be fair he does have a look about him) and any other derogatory name you can think of. We all know that name calling is born out of jealousy, so I forgive him for the things he says, I would be jealous too if my cat were the ugliest of the two.