7 days into the last month of the year and I’m feeling quite reflective. The last 12 months have been such a whirlwind.
We’ve seen SO many changes in our boys… they’ve learnt to eat solid food, crawl, walk, run, talk! My babies are now walking, talking little people. They will be 21 months old next week; creeping ever closer to their 2nd birthday.
We’ve attended a million and one weddings, parties, festivals, family events… every weekend has been ripe and full of good things.
Never let it be said that having babies puts a stop to having fun! I wrote an open letter in response to someone who said just that, quite recently. It was a well known TV doctor, who said ‘Thinking you can jostle a baby, a job and still enjoy a social life is to be seriously misinformed’.
I totally disagree. And told her as much.
We have always had a hectic social life and this only seems to have been enhanced by the arrival of The Twinkles. This year, particularly, has been one of our busiest yet.
We had the boys’ naming day back in May and I still haven’t finished the post I started — it’s been simmering for nearly 7 months now!! As things have calmed down for a couple of weeks, I’m going to sit down and finish my diary entry, before we enter yet another month.
Whilst we’ve experienced lots of fun and happiness this year it has been tinged with sadness too. We lost our darling Widger in the summer. For anyone that knows me well, they’ll tell you that my cats are as much loved and cherished as my human babies. I absolutely love them.
They have been by my side through the best and worst of times. Losing Widget was heartbreaking.
Kiri — as we all have— has pined for him. She’s been lonely and has definitely missed the company of a feline friend. Dickie and I have spoken regularly, as to whether we should get another cat. Such a hard decision as Kiri is now 15.
It’s been a tricky conclusion to come to. When we first introduced Widge into our home, Kiri hated him. A tiny, sweet, fluffy kitten; so small he could sit on a tea-plate. And she was incensed that we had brought him into her territory.
It took about 8 weeks (at least!) for her to accept him. But accept him she did. And more accurately, as the years rolled on, she grew to love him. He was her best friend and companion.
So yesterday we picked up a new housemate for Kiri — a fully grown, adult male Bengal. He’s not a replacement for Widget. Couldn’t possibly be. But we decided that, if we are lucky enough to have our eldest, furry-faced child for another 1, 3, 5 or more years, we didn’t want her to be alone.
Our newest member of the family is a rescue cat.
Something that I always said I wanted but was too nervous to go and walk around pen after pen of unwanted, abandoned animals. I am such a lover of all creatures — great and small — not just the fluffy, cute ones but the big, creepy, odd, ugly ones… I love them all!
The thought of seeing row after row of pleading eyes, desperate for you to take them home was not a pleasant thought and, for that reason, we’ve always bought our animals, first hand, from a reputable breeder.
I know that my beautiful boy and I would both find the animal sanctuary experience harrowing, so it was with much relief that we found out it’s not always like that. More often than not, they will arrange for you to visit a neglected animal at a foster carer’s home and it’s not always necessary to take a trip to the rescue shelter.
We have been vetted ourselves — our family situation has been thoroughly checked — and we had a home visit to make sure we were suitable to adopt an animal. I had initially enquired about another Bengal cat, that they had in their care, but was quickly told that she would need a home with no other animals — or children — as she was very highly strung.
However, the lady said that they did have another Bengal up for adoption, if we were interested?
He had belonged to a woman who also had a female Bengal. After a few years she lost interest in the female, who was left to basically fend for herself. The neighbours were feeding her and she spent most of her time with them. They moved and took her with them.
The owner then got a Ragdoll cat and lost interest in the male Bengal. This summer he took himself off and found a family living a few roads down who started feeding and caring for him. At that time he was quite thin and had an infected wound on his hind leg. They took him to the vet and had that treated and he was happy to spend the summer living in the shed in their back garden and being fed by them. The kind lady who was looking after him, used to go and sit with him in the garden and make a fuss of him, but she had 4 male cats of her own and they wouldn’t let him in the house.
When the weather got colder, she decided that something needed to be done, so she made some enquiries about the owner as although she had advertised him as being found, no one had come forward. She was told that he had now been shut out of the house whilst the Ragdoll was a house cat. He only had access to the garage and the owner wasn’t even providing food or water for him. That’s when the lady called the rescue centre and the cat was taken into care.
He is called Marlowe.
When she said his name I was absolutely stunned! We lived in Marlow for nearly 8 years!! A sign that he was meant for us? We think so.
So yesterday we bundled into the car and made the 2 hour drive, down to Basingstoke, to visit Marlowe. Needless to say, we took one look at him and decided we would love to give him a new home. Of course we would.
So here he is.
Our newest furry-faced child. Neglected and unloved, we will change all that and give him the home that he deserves.
I’m nervous for the first meeting between him and Kiri and know that it won’t be plain sailing at first. No cat ever has welcomed another into it’s home with open
arms paws… they’re just not wired that way!
I can see weeks — possibly months — of tension and upset, ahead of us, but I think it will be worth it.
When things have settled down — which I’m sure they will — Kiri will have a companion, to see out the rest of her days with. And Marlowe will have a forever home.
With humans who will love and care for him.