You may remember I lost my beloved kitty (and friend) last year. I still miss her like crazy but 18 years in another creature's company is a long time...
We talked about getting another cat but neither of us were in a hurry. We talked about what kind of cat we would like - I was certain I didn't want a long haired cat (all that extra grooming/matted fur and uber fur balls etc - no thanks). We both really liked the idea of a tabby cat. We talked about how nice it would be to have a female and maybe let her have some kittens (which we would keep or re home with family) so that the Little Man could witness the wonder of birth. Although we both knew that there were plenty of cats out there needing homes already and adding more kitten to the pool was not the most responsible thing we could do.
Most of all we were adamant that we were not 'replacing' Ron but adding to our family and as such we would all go to the rescue centre/Cats Protection League together to choose...
Well that's what we intended to do. However fate decided differently.
On the morning of January 14th a friend posted on Facebook that she had found 2 tiny kittens in a bag abandoned on the side of the road. She couldn't keep them herself so put out an appeal for someone who could home and care for them. Well I couldn't just ignore it. 6 hours later (after kittens had been checked over by vet and vet had approved of new carers) one teeny, tiny, extremely vocal bundle of fur was riding home in a borrowed cat box...
Isn't he adorable?
The vet said both kittens were malnourished and needed a lot of care as they were, technically, too young to be away from their mother (she guessed at around 7 weeks) but their overall health was good. Our kitten has a crooked tail where it had been broken at some point in his short life, but it doesn't seem to bother him. What they both needed more than anything else was warmth, love and to feel safe again.
He didn't waste any time making himself at home...
I love his unusual fur - at first glance he is a black and white moggy but a closer look at his fur shows that there is a good peppering of lighter brown fur and longer white hairs in his coat (what did I say about NOT wanting a long haired cat . . .? ) It makes him look a bit dusty - hence the name Dusty Jake or DJ for short.
He is very playful - as you would expect with a kitten at this age - and is still learning to control his claws!
He has developed a habit of running up my legs and back to perch on my shoulder. It's very cute but also very painful so we are trying to curb that one (any suggestions on kitten training gratefully received!) He has virtually destroyed this old waste paper basket. The day we got him, Little Man gave up his Gruffalo toy to keep DJ company so he didn't miss his kitten sibling. Gruffalo is the perfect size for kitten to practise his pouncing and clawing techniques. Needless to say poor Gruffalo may have preferred a life of calm quiet oblivion in the bottom of the toy box! (as for me, well the scratches on my hands/arms/legs/belly/back/face will heal. In time . . .)
He has become my little buddy - I think he thinks I'm his mummy - and follows me around everywhere. His favourite place to be is perched on my shoulder or draped around my neck. That will be interesting once he grows into his (huge) paws! He has also developed a fascination with my sewing machine! He is also happy to pose for photographs and has already modelled for one of my tutorials.
Gazing wistfully outside - I can't wait until the weather warms up a bit and we can spend some time in the garden.
After a less than brilliant start to life, DJ has well and truly settled in to life on Mount Pleasant.
And we are more than happy to have him here.
If you can give a cat a loving home please contact your local Cat's Protection League or vet who can give you details of animal shelters/rescue centres who are desperately looking for homes for abandoned animals.
And if you find yourself in a position with an animal you can no longer care for/provide a home for please PLEASE contact your vet or animal shelter to re-home them. There is no excuse for simply abandoning an animal - young or old. DJ and his sibling were fortunate to be found when they were, having spent the coldest night of the year outside they were lucky to be alive. I expect there are hundreds more who aren't so lucky.