Exactly 1 year ago today I adopted a black and white cat named Moo.
I’d been cat sitting for a friend a few weeks prior and had been seriously contemplating a pet for maybe around 6 months, but a pair of huskies named Derek and Finley are not really the animals that suit my lifestyle at this stage of my life. I went on t’interweb and found a local cat shelter. I visited Moo and we seemed to get on, so a week or so later after the RSPCA inspection of my house, he came to live with me.
I’d set up a cage in the living room for him to live in temporarily while he got used to his new surroundings. Within minutes of arriving he was looking at me as if to say “Right, you need to let me out now”! The first thing he did was go to scratch the back of the sofa, but he was instantly happy and instantly at home.
There were times in the first few weeks that I wondered if I’d done the right thing. I still think to this day that he’d like to be an outdoor cat. The shelter had no idea of his background but his reaction to birds out the window suggests that there’s some natural instincts he’d still like to use. Unfortunately I live very close to a very fast road, so it’s not really safe for him.
Moo doesn’t sleep in my bedroom, not least because he can’t stay still for very long and insists on purring in my face while I’m asleep. He meets me in the morning at the games room door. One morning a few weeks after he came to live with me he wasn’t there. He’d shut himself in another room he shouldn’t have been in and was so relieved when I let him out.
The first night I left him on his own I got in and he looked at me with disdain on his face as if to say “Right, well, breakfast first and then we need to discuss this”!
I jokingly say that he and I have a relationship of mutual tolerance. He’s not a very tactile cat – he likes tickles on his own terms and he’ll sit next to me on the sofa but he very rarely chooses to sit on me like cats I’ve had in the past. However, I think we actually are mates. When he meets people he doesn’t recognise he looks at me to make sure it’s OK and he seems more confident with them when I’m in the room too. He does also seem to have concern when I’m feeling a bit down.
I think it’s a bit unfair to get children pets to teach them about responsibility and loss, as if it’s OK that if it doesn’t work out with an animal. Having Moo around has given me extra responsibility though. I try to get up earlier so we can play with toys before work and I try to make plans so he doesn’t get left on his own for too long. I was thinking this morning that I can’t remember what it was like to not have a cat around.
When he came to live with me my biggest worry was that I’d let him down. A year in, I don’t think I’ve done that!
In the land of idiot boys
There lives a cat, a phenomenal cat
Who loved to wallow all day
Phenomenal Cat by The Kinks