Here in our family we love our furry family members every bit as much as we love each other. It took a long time for us to add some animals to our family as my son was allergic to all things furry. But when two little kittens wandered into our garden, all of that changed. They were lonely as their owner had cancer and had to be away a lot of the time and they needed a bit of love. The more exposure that Patrick had to these cats, the less severe the reaction. One of these kittens, Slippers, still comes and sleeps in our house at night but sadly the other got hit by a car and even now we still talk about her fondly and miss her lots.
All our pets are rescue cases in one form or another. It may have taken a bit of time for them to settle in but once they did, their true personalities came to light. And loveable they are, each in their own right and for different reasons. Let me introduce them to you all;
This is Nina. We call here the Lady of the house. She is the most gentle, loving cat that I have ever known. When she isn't sitting in the log basket beside the fire, she likes to sit on the top of the sofa behind me and stroke my hair with her paw. She is not demanding in any way and waits patiently until the others have had their fill before she eats herself.
We got her from the ISPCA with her sister Moe. They were found in a sealed box in the middle of the bog and left to die. It is just beyond my understanding how people can be so cruel. When they were found, they were brought to the rescue centre and lived there for a full year before because it's the kittens that are in demand but fully grown cats find it more difficult to get a home. I feel in love with Nina the minute that I saw her and I knew that I just had to bring her home. And then when I met Moe there was no way on earth that I could separate the two sisters and leave Moe there on her own.
On the day that we brought them home, the poor little things were so scared and uneasy that they hid behind the sofa and didn't come out for two whole weeks. I had to feed them there and leave a litter tray out for them.
Nina is still a little shy and doesn't like strangers in the house. But now she loves to be stroked and never objects to a great big cuddle from anybody.
She is also a brilliant alarm clock and this is no exaggeration! Eight o'clock every morning she climbs up on the extension roof and sits outside my daughter's bedroom window. She will cry as loudly as she can until somebody lets her in, usually me or my son. Now my daughter loves her bed on a school morning (she gets up earlier at the weekend with no problems what so ever!), and somehow Nina seems to sense this because she will sit at the end of Lucy's bed and cry like a really annoying alarm clock until she gets up. Nina will not come down the stairs for anybody but Lucy and then it is only when Lucy is dressed and ready for school!! How mad is that.
And this is Moe. She may be a small cat but she is still the boss of all the pets. That is my small sewing box that she is sitting on in the picture. It just shows how petite this little lady is.
She would not think twice about giving Slippers, one of the big boy cats, a box in the jaw if her attempts to give her a kiss on the nose, which is quite often. He must like strong women!
She wants to be fed first and she controls the cat flap. She will sit at the flap and not move to let the others in until she is ready to. And the strays are absolutely terrified of her and won't try to come near the house to steal food if Moe is around. She will just give them her most evil glare and they run a mile. She always stands her ground and would never come out of a fight with marks or scratches.
But saying all that, she is such an affectionate cat. She loves to sit on my lap and be stroked or brushed, purring all the while. She follows me everywhere with the dog in tow and the only time she leaves the garden is when I go out into the playground with the dog. Then she only sits on the fence post and watches and waits for our return.
Let me introduce you to Tabby. Apologies for the poor quality of this photo but he just doesn't stay around for long enough to get a proper one.
All I can say about Tabby is that he is a loveable rogue. He is the very gentle and loves affection. So much so that one home just isn't enough and currently has about three!
He first came to us when he was thrown out of a moving car on the road near our house. We took him in straight away and he soon became a valued family member. But he was always restless and loved to roam at night. Unfortunately this resulted in two terrible road accidents where both of his back legs were crushed. But he is a little fighter and the vet repaired them the best he could and it wasn't long before he was running, albeit a little on the wonky side, up and down the garden like a kitten with the kids. We sometimes call him the Terminator. Definitely a cat with nine lives!
He since has taken to an old farmer neighbour and has adopted him as his owner and only visits us every so often. It's like a royal visit when he does arrive because we all get so excited to seeing him and there generally is a queue to pet him and say hello.
And you've met Molly before. A better friend I could never have asked for. She is fun, energetic and always entertaining. And she would cheer me up on even the most difficult of days. She gets very upset when the kids are crying and also loves to be in the thick of it when there is fun to be had.
Like Moe, Molly likes to follow me everywhere. She is at my side no matter what I am doing or where I go. Sometimes she even tries to come into the bathroom when I'm on the toilet! Cheeky pup.
If I leave her for more than a couple of hours, she cries like a baby when I return, even if she is with the rest of the family. She jumps up on me to try and knock me down so that she can lick my ear which is her idea of a kiss. Gross I know!!
She cuddles into me on the sofa and couldn't lie any closer if she tried. She will jump up beside me when somebody moves to make a little space, even if it's only a tiny bit of room, she will make sure that she fits in somehow. The only thing that will move her off the sofa again, is if somebody lets a fart (never me of course, I'm far too ladylike for that). She will look at the offending person in disgust and run back to her bed.
Molly has such a strong character and more personality than I thought it possible for a dog to have. She loves to put on what we call the fragrant Chanel No. Poo but then gets annoyed when we call her a smelly dog while she has a cold wash in the garden with the hose.
I don't know how but she instinctively knows when it's time to pick up the kids from school and sits at the front door waiting for us to go. She sits in the car just like a person with one paw on the door and the other on her belly. So very funny to see. And sometimes she will sit in the kid's booster seats in the back and then refuse to move when the kids come!!
When we go for some exercise, she would prefer to swim rather than walk so we always pick a place that runs along a river, canal or lake.
She gets on brilliantly with Nina but is terrified of Moe. She will not pass through the kitchen door if Moe is around unless I am standing beside her. We call her the chicken dog...she is even afraid of the dark!! It is very funny to see her playing with Nina. She will run towards her like a lightening bolt hoping that a chase will ensue but Nina just looks at her and sits still. Molly puts on the brakes as fast as she can to stop her from crashing into Nina. And when she reaches the cat, Nina just gently licks Molly on the nose and rubs her face affectionately into her neck. It's just so sweet to see.
Our last pet is Slippers. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of him as he is very camera shy and runs a mile when he sees us coming with one. He is a lovely big, fluffy tortoise shell cat but unfortunately not a very affectionate one. He never bothers or would try to scratch anybody. He just lazily potters along at his own pace, wanting to do his own thing. Sometimes when he sees me on my own, he will roll on the ground at my feet as if to say, "rub my belly please". Then when he has had enough after about 30 seconds, he just gets up and walks away. "That's enough thank you. You're services in belly rubbing are no longer required".
Well if you're still here, that was my intro to the furry members of our family. But there's always room for more...
Do you have a pet? Do they have some funny habits? I'd love to know.