I've had cats in my life and home since I was a teenager. My first cat was a black 'moggy' I called Ziggy who lived to a good old age. Oh, if only we had the luxury of digital photography back then! She arrived with my mum one night as a surprise. I think the thinking behind it was that my mother was trying to tame a troubled teen (our family split when I was 12). We thought or were told that it was a male and so I wanted to name the cat Sid after Sid Vicious but mum didn't agree..so then I suggested Ziggy (Stardust) was this was acceptable. Since he turned out to be a she, it was just as well that the name Sid was rejected. She would do this lovely happy trilling greeting sound as I walked up the pathway from the school bus. Most afternoons I came home to an empty cottage because my mum worked shifts so Ziggy was my great pal.
Mum (sensibly) wanted her neutered but I fought against it - 'Mum, you can't not let her have babies. It's not fair, she is a woman and it's her right, its what she was meant to do". I got my way and she had a litter of 3. Two were black like her and 1 was grey. She got pregnant again before she could be spayed and she then had 5 in that litter - all black. I took her on the bus to be spayed soon after!
When I left home Ziggy stayed with my mum who eventually moved to Wales with a new husband. Ziggy lived happily there with a huge orchard and gardens to roam in. She was curled up on the doorstep one morning aged about 19, having died peacefully in her sleep.
Willow stayed on happily and was very much the area boss cat. He would keep the local mouse & rat population in check and lived to 17+ years of age. He was put to rest when his kidneys failed. It was so sad to see him lose his once shiny and robust condition. After holding him in his last moments in the coming days I discovered he'd made himself comfortable in several other homes in the street where he had also been given other names!
She came home having been spayed without a funnel collar but within a short time, she was biting at the stitches so I went to pick one up. But how to fit it on her?
My husband and I gloved up ready to be bitten and scratched and we got it on her OK. Strangely though as she recovered, she also decided she liked it living here after all and one night, having had the stitches and funnel removed, I was in bed for sleep when she jumped up and came toward my face. I lay completely still, daring not even to breathe as she tucked her head into my neck. To my absolute surprise and joy, she started purring and suckling and kneading in the crook of my neck and from that moment on we never looked back. I loved, loved, loved my nightly suckle session with her and our days were full of fun and love. She liked to rearrange the house bringing things from room to room.
At four years old she got run over by a passing police car. This totally broke my heart because Lily had become my absolute world. Her loss simply broke me. She was buried with her favourite toys and wrapped in her favourite snuggle sack in the garden of my father in law's house in Sparsholt under a lilac bush.
I wonder however why the vet who had performed the neuter in the days before he was handed to me did not notice this massive problem? Surely he can't have failed to notice the state of this cat's mouth or its smell and recognised it for what it was??? I think perhaps he did and was told by the breeder who owned him to leave it. But did he say he would inform the new owner? How can the vet not treat such a poorly animal?
The breeder was more than happy to get rid of this animal without incurring more cost to himself that the neuter having made as much money as possible from him.
Not only would he have earned stud fees he would also have sired a great many litters for his own queens. Now all he got was a neuter (to prevent me using him for breeding) and given away to the first mug that came along. I dread to think of the life and state of living Theo had had.
Anyway, I had a huge bill, which took over 2 years to clear, but the result was that Theo did improve and no longer smelled and was no longer nearly as sick. The missing teeth proved no hardship and he had no problems at all tucking into dry food munching it easily. He remained always a very, very cuddly chap wanting nothing more than love and a lap which now he got in abundance.
He also featured in a documentary film I was a part of called Subbuteopia and from that, he also gained fans in Italy and beyond. You can see a teaser clip where Theo is on my lap as I knit here: Subbuteopia Trailer
Ari had never experienced life with a cat before meeting with Lily and Theo. While she was nervous of Lily, Theo changed her attitude to cats transforming her view completely, so much so that now Ari and Calum have their own cat who like my dear old ginger tom is also named Filbert.
|Theo - the cuddler|
|Theo with his microwave cat Ari gave him|
|Theo with his favourite human!|
|Filbert 2nd with Calum|