16 January 2018 to DE
Since Christmas I haven’t been able to think or do very much other than sorting this place out and preparing a home for two cats. We go to see them tomorrow and hopefully bring them back with us. It’s 50 mile drive there and I’m hoping the snow will keep off until we get back.
17th January 2018 to JJ
It was a nightmare journey across the fens to the village slightly north west of Spalding…….
But we got there eventually and the two cats took to David very quickly. I stayed in the background so he could get on with it and I was making a fuss of Dilly, a cocker spaniel. Told her I’d smuggle her home with me.
Even though they look so different, the cats are brother and sister, from the same litter, with the tabby taking after the mother and presumably the black and white one taking after the father. They are eight months old at the end of this month.
They come from a good home, with the woman having been involved in animal charity work for some years. She was very anxious that they should go to a home together.
The tabby is already called Tabitha and we’ll continue to call her that, Tabs for short. The black and white has been called Mickey but, because he looks like he’s wearing a dinner jacket, we’re going to call him Tuxedo, Tux for short.
They seem to have settled down in the cat room [formerly known as the dressing room/guest room/overflow office]. Initially Tabs found herself a place to hide on the bottom shelf of the shelf unit but finally ventured out and made herself at home on top of the cat tree, looking out of the window.
Tux settled under the chair in front of the heater, which is on, but eventually ventured out to the base of the cat tree.
David brought a webcam back with him from NZ and he’s fixed it up using wifi, so he can watch what they’re doing. And he’s already taken several photos which will, no doubt, be proudly sent to you and his mother.
It’s been a long busy day. I’m off to bed.
17 January 2018 from DE
Why two cats? And why a hundred mile round trip?
19 January 2018 to DE
David has been indoctrinating me for the past ten years about cats but last year he started assuring me that two cats would be a much better than one. Hmm.
His argument is that they are company for each other and they play together, so lessening the need for attention all the time.
Initially David wanted two young females but the most important fact was that they should already know each other and therefore help each other to settle in. It would be a nightmare if we got two cats which didn’t like each other.
We were up against a deadline because David starts the new job on 1st February and we wanted to be able to settle them in by then. David is the expert and I have a lot to learn before I’m left in sole charge.
It was a question of finding suitable cats asap and whilst there were some individual kittens closer, practically all of the pairs were some distance away. And we wanted moggies, not pedigrees.
So we went to see these two, a male and a female, brother and sister, same litter although they look nothing like each other. The female takes after the mother and is a tabby, the male presumably takes after the father and is black with a white bib. They will be eight months old in two days time.
The female was already called Tabitha, which we like and the male was called Mickey but we’re calling him Tuxedo cos it looks as though he’s wearing a dinner jacket. Tabs and Tux for short.
The mother was a pregnant stray which arrived on the door step of Jo, near Spalding. She chose a good home because Jo works for an animal charity and is a cat person.
Once the kittens were old enough, Jo found homes for them, individually, but in both cases the people turned around a couple of months later and said they didn’t want them. So Jo took them back but she can’t keep them because she has two quite older cats plus a lovely cocker spaniel named Dilly, who was a rescue dog who arrived at the animal centre.
I sat and kept the dog company whilst David got to know the cats. I’d have been happy to smuggle the dog home with me. She was pretty and very affectionate.
Jo said that as soon as she opened the door to David she knew he was the right person to take them. She was very anxious that they’d be going to their ‘forever’ home. And she said she’d never seen the cats take to someone so quickly. So that was it. Mission accomplished.
After a fraught journey to collect them, the cats have been here 48 hours now. They were confined to the guest bedroom until midday today. They had a large cat tree and a couple of toys but they’d been making bids for freedom every time the door was opened.
They’re still not allowed in our bedroom but they got into the office this afternoon. David fixed up a webcam and they were sat outside the office door, patiently waiting to be allowed in, but I don’t think they’re so interested in the contents of the room. [Ed’s note: Ha! Little did I know!]
I’ve just order a second cat tree, to go in the bay window so they can get up and watch the world go by.
Tabby has been microchipped, vaccinated and spayed but not Tux. So they both go for a health check on Tuesday and Tux is going to get neutered, chipped and vaccinated. We’re not looking forward to enticing them back into the carriers because the journey home on Wednesday wasn’t good and they didn’t like it. But that was well over an hour and the vet is walking distance from here, though we’ll go by car.
They are affectionate cats and it is good to see David’s happiness at having cats again after an absence of ten years.
Susan – who is apparently now a cat owner. How did that happen?
21 January 2018 to DE
I have never been scrutinised so much as I was today when preparing chicken for roasting. Apparently cats can do the half starved look as well as dogs.
22 January 2018, from Tilly, DE’s dog
I sincerely hope you are now settling down in your new home and that your new mum and dad are spoiling you rotten. It is a shame that at this time you are not allowed into the bedroom, but if you play your cards right perhaps your new mum and dad will relent.
I have it on good authority that you will be receiving a brand new scratching post which will be so much fun to play with, much better than the boring game of running your claws down the leg of the sofa. I wish you both well on Tuesday when you go for your health check up, and especially to you Tux, who unfortunately will lose your manhood.
It will make your eyes smart a bit, but in a few weeks I know you will find in your heart a touch of forgiveness to Susan and David, who I promise will not laugh when you come out of surgery missing some vital parts.
My mum and dad, David and Jo also had me neutered when I was very young, and although I was very cross at the time, I got to sleep on the bed and have lots of special treats.
Please stay in touch and let me know what life is like in your part of the world.
P.S. Make sure your mum does not go off driving around the fens any more.
Lots of love Tilly. Xxxxx woof woof.”
25 January 2018 from Tabs to Tilly
It’s so nice to hear from you. We are settling in nicely and gradually training our new human pets. We like this house, there’s all sorts of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
I can type this because I’ve been sitting on the female human’s lap and watching what she’s been doing.
She’s provided me with a lovely comfortable office chair but sometimes she seems to think she should be the one sitting in it. When she was out today David, the male human, pointed his phone at us and took a photo of both Tux and me trying to fit on the chair at the same time.
We managed to wheedle our way into the bedroom a couple of days ago and spent a lot of time exploring all the boxes under the bed and generally sniffing around. And last night was our first night actually sleeping on the bed with the humans. They behaved pretty well.
Poor Tux got snipped on Tuesday and was a bit dopey for a while (sisters are allowed to say that about brothers) but he was back to himself the next day. He’s just been for his check up and everything is fine but he didn’t like wearing the collar which was meant to stop him scratching himself.
When we got here there was a tall cat tree in our room. As I’m the adventurous one I immediately got on the highest level, where I could look down on Tux and the humans. And I could see interesting things out of the window. And use it as a stepping stone onto the shelves near the window. Tux just got under the chair and stayed there for ages
But since they allowed us and the tree downstairs, we’re not really using it. The thing is, the cat tree is creamy coloured, against a magnolia wall, so we don’t really notice it. So Susan, the female human, keeps looking at it, trying to work out how to brighten it up. She’s bought something called a staple gun today and is going to attach various hanging toys and coloured ribbons and even cover some of the ledges in a different colour.
They bought another cat tree, not so tall, and we love to be on that one, in the bay window of the office, watching the world go by. Sometimes we’re both on it at the same time, me on the level higher than Tux of course.
But those scratching posts – well – we’re not at all interested even though they sprayed cat nip on them. So they’ve had to buy other things for scratching, some horizontal ones.
The male human, David, is funny. He sits on the floor, scratching them with his nails whilst we watch him. But I’ve learnt that if I do the same thing, I get praised and given a treat. Tux doesn’t seem to need to scratch as much as I do so he doesn’t get the treats.
Susan says we have to earn our keep and has given us a job description. Have you got one of those, Tilly?
The main thing seems to be that we have to make sure she doesn’t spend hours at the computer without moving. Well, we’ve been practising and getting really good at it.
Sometimes we make a noise and she comes to investigate or we go really quiet and she wants to know what we’re up to. She says we’re worse than her brother. Apparently he’s mischief on two legs and we’re mischief on eight legs. I don’t know what she means.
Sometimes she goes all round the house looking for us and we’re actually on the cat tree behind her chair. Or on the window sill behind the curtains.
We can hear the smallest sound from the kitchen, no matter where we are in the house, and race to get there, sitting perfectly still with upturned faces and our most cute expectant expressions. But they don’t seem to have got the idea that it’s bad manners for them to have something to eat without giving us something as well.
We have mad half hours, generally after we’ve been fed, when we race around, room to room, up and down stairs, and play fight and generally go a little crazy. We make the humans laugh but Susan says our energy is exhausting to watch. What does she expect? We’re only eight months.
I love the cuddles and sitting on the laps and being stroked. David says I’ve got the loudest purr he’s ever heard. Tux is a little more reserved but he still likes the stroking. I can tell he’s happy too.
Susan was concerned because they hadn’t bought us a bed but we don’t need beds like dogs do. We go to sleep wherever we feel like it, which can sometimes be inconvenient for the humans.
We haven’t met the other human yet, Susan’s brother. Apparently he’s getting the sun somewhere, but I’m sure we’ll make him welcome when he comes back.
Well, I’d better go and see what the humans are doing and remind them it must be getting near our dinner time.
Love from Tabs and Tux (and squeaks cos we don’t miaow much yet)
ps Susan keeps reminding David about putting all the photos of us on something called an online gallery but he’s been very busy. As soon as he does, I’ll send you the link so you can see how smart Tux is and how pretty I am.
29 January to JJ
[In reply to a question from JJ] I don’t know if the kittens are driving me mad but it certainly seems to be a madhouse now, especially when they’re indulging in play time. They move so fast David and I tend to yell ‘coming through’ to warn each other. Exocet missiles!
They are a lot of fun and I think I’ve laughed more in the last 12 days than I’ve done for a very long time.
The important thing is to remember to make sure that, when we come or go or there is a knock at the door, they are not in the office when the front door is opened.
[We live on the very busy main road into town, in an early Edwardian house with no front garden and the front door opening straight from the pavement into the front room, our office.]
30 January 2018 from JJ
Pleased to hear all is well with you and the pussycats. Crunch time will come when David starts work and you are left to their little mercies. Have fun.
Next: February 2018