As our cat trotted out of the lounge room earlier, I watched her go and said to my partner, “I wonder if the people she used to live with ever think about her and wonder what happened to her.” You see, she’s 14 but she’s lived with us for only 13 years.
Many years ago we lived in a place that had a garage that was full of the landlord’s stuff. The door was always down but it had an open window on the side.
We had planted lots of herbs, including catnip, and one morning we came out to discover the catnip had been rolled in and flattened. A few days later, we spotted a cat running from underneath the car, back to the garage, where she jumped through the open window and disappeared inside.
We investigated and discovered she had made herself a safe, cosy home in a bin full of hessian sacks. She was friendly, she looked healthy and she was wearing a pink collar.
We left her alone. For all we knew, she was just visiting temporarily and would soon wander home. But bit by bit she started to spend more time under the car, and running off less. She was clearly sussing us out. One day I went to hang the washing out and she followed me to the clothesline and rubbed against my legs. She had decided she liked us and that we were the ones she now wanted to live with!
We immediately adopted her and named her Cool, and 6 months later we had her desexed. It’s the vet who told us she was probably 18 months old at the time and that, judging by her uterus, she’d probably had 2 litters. She’s now 14 and she’s a bit slower, a bit lazier (if that’s possible!), less playful, and a lot hungrier! She’s also taken to meowing randomly. A thing she never did. The only sounds she ever made were purring and snoring! And she’s got a ring of grey fur on her tail.
She has always been very affectionate, and a lap hog. She would sleep on me for hours at a time – and I’d let her. Then she’d sleep all night curled into my body. She doesn’t do that so much nowadays. Whoever she spent her first year with treated her well. Because she appeared to have been well-loved, it’s a mystery why she moved into our garage and got herself a new home. Maybe the people she’d lived with moved, or maybe she left them?
So I just wanted to put it out there to her previous house-sharers, whoever and wherever they are, that she has been very well loved, very well fed, very well looked after and absolutely adored. She gets groomed on-demand, she visits the vet as necessary, she has always had a cat-door so she comes and goes as she pleases. She spends time inside and out – her choice, and every bit of furniture, floor space, clothing, is hers. She furred up one of my jumpers so badly on the first wear, that it became hers. In the last book I wrote, I included her as the protagonist’s cat.
She did very well for herself, but my partner and I always say that we got the best of the deal because she’s sweet and funny and her very presence makes our lives happier.