Cat Pens from Years Gone By

30 December 2012
All well at the cat pens, Harry enjoying playing in the cat tunnels, Molly much more confident, ginger giant Tigger desperate for a cuddle, Fergus enjoying playing with the snake toy but poor Brian staying in bed – he is semi-feral, not very happy when we’re around! Looking back over 2012, there have been some very memorable cats. Most of all for me, Norman, because he arrived scared and distrustful, pretending to be aggressive but really just very nervous. Slowly he transformed until he was rubbing around our legs, and now has been happily homed for many months. Other favourites include Tizzy, a gorgeous tortoisehell who my friend Susan fell in love with (as did I of course!), beautiful and longhaired Emily and Mia, gorgeous girls, Alfie of the musical mieaw, and longhaired ginger Jamie who reminded me so much of my Mum’s cat Edgar. Todd and Stoker, black and mature gentlemen, also very memorable, Kiki of the most pale ginger and Fred and Felicity who arrived nervous but soon loved their cuddles. All the best to them all – and we’ll wait to see what 2013 brings!

Christmas Kitten

By Rachel H Grant

It was Christmas morning. An icing of fresh snow decorated the lawn. Olivia switched on the kettle, and sighed. Another Christmas Day on her own. At ninety years of age, what else could she expect? She had survived all her siblings. Empty shadows where a family once breathed.

The kettle boiled, the only noise in the silent house. Until the scratching started. It was coming from her front door.

Olivia looked out the window but could see nothing, only the unforgiving white of the snow, hiding all the sins of the earth. A stark white like her unmoving memories, sitting in her head demanding attention, figures of fantasy that would not let her go.

Curious, Olivia opened the front door. A black and white kitten was shivering on her doorstep, eyes imploring her to let him in. “And who are you?” she murmured, stepping aside as the kitten confidently walked in, immediately curling up by the gas fire.

“So now I have someone to share my turkey with!” laughed Olivia, with a new spring to her step.

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She never found the owner, despite advertising in the local press and at the vet. Soon, it was like Whisper had always been there. They became firm friends, the kitten the perfect companion for the old lady. Her happiness soared, and life became easier. For eight years they enjoyed the best things of life together, until Olivia eventually became ill and Whisper was rehomed through a local rescue charity. Olivia drifted in to her final sleep to blissful memories of her cat, the feline that rescued her heart.

**

It was their first Christmas in the new house, the one bequeathed to the family by their great great aunt who they had never met. They had relocated to the UK from Canada to take up residence, a new life for them all.

Christmas morning dawned bright and clear, only a touch of frost on the lawn. “Daddy! Daddy!” cried Mark. “I can’t find William!”

They hunted for their black and white kitten, but could not find him. “He’s got out of the house,” said Dad unhappily. “I’m sure he will find his way home.”

But he never did. The children missed their kitten terribly, so eventually Dad came home with a new one, a ginger and white feline fantasy, the perfect Christmas card kitten. But there was still a hole in their family where William had once been.

One day Dad found a box of photos in a cupboard, all the memories of his great aunt. The family sat down together, and slowly looked through them, eager to learn about the life of this woman who had left them so much.

“Daddy! Look!” cried Mark. He was holding a photo of a black and white kitten. “It’s William!”

Dad looked at the photo. It did look like William. He turned the photo over.

“The cat that saved my life,” was scrawled on the back.

There were more photos, every one looking more and more like William.

Mark began to cry. “He left us to help our great aunt!”

Dad did not reply. There were no words.

In a house many miles away, a black and white cat stared out the window and dreamt of days gone by. He had known many people, holes in his heart. He jumped down and found his favourite bed. And in his sleep, he was not alone.

Christmas Cat Naps

December Cat Fact:

“Kittens sleep a lot because their bodies release a growth hormone only when they are asleep. Adult cats don’t release any particular key hormones during sleep. They just snooze all day because they can!! In fact cats sleep so much that by the time a cat is 9 years old it will only have been awake for 3 years of its life!”
[from: www.cats.org.uk/belfast/feature-pages/interesting-cat-facts]

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Winter Wishes at the Pens

9 December 2012
Cat pens update: Todd has gone to a what will hopefully be a forever home, I wish him well; Angel and Piper have gone to a foster home. New cat Tigger a handsome and large ginger boy, friendly and curious. Felicity and Fred much happier receiving attention, Felicity now giving headbutts – and all despite still receiving ear drops twice a day! Milly shy but happy, and Fudge enjoying her warm bed. Harry desperate to play – and also I suspect to generally escape! Aaron, resident feral, around and eager for his breakfast.

December Days Gone By

2 December 2012
Cat pens update: new arrival Molly very shy but friendly, a beautiful grey and white girl. Todd is reserved, had a long cuddle with him today, will miss him but so pleased this elderly soul has found a home! Harry full of beans, desperate to play. Poor Felicity and Fred, both now receiving eardrops for mites and cringing when we go in to see them in anticipation! Fudge as lovely as ever, and Angel and Piper snuggling together in their warm bed. Poor Aaron, the local feral cat we feed, was round early for his breakfast, gave him an extra large helping due to the cold weather.smudge3