How we came to live with Mum and Dad
Good Meowning! We’re all pampered pusses these days, but this morning we thought we’d tell you about how we came to live with Mum and Dad.
It’s a tale of homelessness, intrigue (different names and identities) and violence (tail bashing), but it has a happy ending…
Eire, June 2007:
It’s cold! It’s wet! Where’s my mum? Mum? Mum?
What is this stuff that falls from the sky? Does it ever stop? I’m only six weeks old and I can’t remember anything else. Just wet and cold and being separated from my Mum and all my little brothers and sisters.
Everything is so much bigger than me and no-one wants to be friends. Other cats hiss at me and chase me away.
And the humans always seem to be after me as well. They are massive and clumsy, and I can hear them coming from a long way off – but there are sometimes lots of them and I can’t understand what they’re saying.
It’s very lonely out here. I ran away from the big houses and busy roads with all those chugging machines that tried to run after me. They were very fast, very big, very frightening.
All the other cats called me Paddy and they laughed at how small and skinny I am; mew-ha-ha! So I came out here, into the countryside, where only the cows keep me company. And I found my new home.
It’s a big red engine, and at night I can keep warm in there and eat whatever food I can catch. I like to sit on it and dream of my brothers and sisters, and my Mum…
What’s that? Oh, no, humans, where did they come from? Run, run…. run!! A cage, hiss, hiss! meow! They’ve got me… help!
Eire, June 2007:
Mew, mew! I’m only three weeks old. Mew! I don’t understand what’s happening?
Mum went away and I went for a walk, and now I can’t find anyone. I’m so small I could hide under a big leaf so no-one can see me.
But I’m very cold and I feel sleepy all the time. I’m very hungry as well; even the mice and other creatures are bigger than me. And I don’t know how to hunt like my Mum did.
The other cats call me Murphy and they all seem too busy to help me.
I think I’m just going to have a sleep here, in this long grass. Tired, so tired. Mew! Here comes one of those furless giants, I’m too tired to run, it’s coming for me. Mew!
It’s paws are soft and warm, it feels safe and I’m tired. Sleep, sleep…
Stoke Mandeville, May 2007:
The humans here are really nice, the ones in the blue uniforms. They give me scraps of food and sometimes even give me a stroke.
But it’s not like having a home. I used to have a big bed and warmth and lots and lots of food. Then, suddenly, I was abandoned, out on the streets. A house cat forced to brave the elements.
Well, I did lots of sun bathing at first, but then it rained a lot too and I got very wet. And I was very lonely. I’ve never been on my own before – and without the humans.
So I came to this place, loads of humans. All very busy and they won’t let me inside. There is a big sign that says ‘hospital’ – I don’t know what that means.
It’s hard on the streets though. I got in a fight with a feral cat the other day. A big Tom who said I was on his territory. He gave me a long scratch across my nose and tore out lots of my fur.
I caught a glimpse of myself in a window yesterday. My beautiful fur is all matted and messy, chunks ripped out of it. One ear is bright red and my nose looks horrible, with a big scar on it.
It’s always cold and I’m not good at hunting. I was a home cat for too long. I need to be loved and looked after. Me-ow!
There are those ladies now, on the lunch break. I think they would all make good Mums. I’ll go and say hello.
Whose that strange man with them? R-S-P-C-A? What does that mean? He’s coming to see me. This makes me nervous… I don’t like it, time to get out of here! Oh, no, another one, I’m trapped! Hissss, meow!!
Cat home, July 2007:
What a trip I had! The humans put me in a cage, in a car, in a boat, in a car and now I don’t know where I am.
But it doesn’t rain, because I’m inside. It’s a small cage, but it’s warm. And the furless ones give me food three times a day.
And I have a little friend. He’s come over from Ireland as well, and they call him Henry. He’s like my new brother now. We play fight and sleep together at night.
The humans call me Engine Joe; I think it has something to do with the red engine I was sitting on when they captured me. It all seems a long time ago now.
They pricked me with lots of needles and did all sorts of experiments with me. I felt like a Lab Rat – which is about as low as it gets for a cat, fur friends!
But they feed me too and give us all lots of cuddles. Did I say us all – yes! Meow! I didn’t mention all the others. There are loads and loads of cats here, big ones, small ones, all different colours but mainly kittens like Henry and I.
They are all in different cages and when we all cry together it can be very noisy! But no-one – not even the big cats – have a voice like mine! Meow!!
My favourite is a grumpy, big old white puss. They call him Mr Chips because he likes his food and is a little bit chubby! He, he… mind you, everyone is bigger than me. They say I’m a rather scrawny kitty, but I like to say lean!
Mr Chips has been here for longer than all the others, because he’s an adult cat and not a cute kitten. He lost half an ear because he had cancer and has a big, ugly scratch down his nose. But he’s a friendly old boy really, and he’s been telling Henry and I lots of cool stories.
Apparently there are humans out there who will look after you, feed you, let you sit on their laps and give you big beds to sleep on!
How cool would that be!? But probably not as cool as whacking Mr Chip’s tail, see he’s great really. Cool conversation and a big long tail for me to play with…
Every now and again some humans come along and stare at us all. Sometimes they take one or two or more kittens away with them. Mr Chips said they are the lucky ones, but some of the others are scared they are being taken away to be drowned in a bag. Apparently some nasty humans do that sort of thing. Doesn’t do to purr about it!
There are two of them here now, staring round the place. I’ll go and say hello. Henry is asleep again, he’s like a little ball of fluff.
Meow! Meow! Hello! Meow! Yeah, you like me, meow! I’m a purrrrr-fect puss!
Hey, watch this! Whack, whack… whack! I got Mr Chips’ tail… he, he!
Now, what’s happening. They’re moving our cage – and Mr C’s coming too… it’s our turn. What now…?
The Three Moggies, May 2012:
So that’s how we came to be found by Mum and Dad. They wanted two kittens, but after Oscar attacked Archie’s tail and Mum realised that he had been in the cat home the longest they decided to take him home too.
Of course, he was called Mr Chips then, but Mum didn’t like that name so he became Archie. And Oscar’s name changed from Engine Joe, but Henry kept his name because Mum had once had another cat called Henry. So he’s Henry the Second – and that’s why he thinks he’s the King around here.
Archie’s scratches all healed up and he was a big handsome beast again. And it was just as he told us – the humans gave us big beds, and lots of cuddles, and let us crawl all over them (metaphorically and physically!) and we got food whenever we screamed – and milk and chicken. And when it rains we get to come inside.
And they became Mum and Dad… purrrrr-fect!