I think the heading is fairly easy to understand, cats (along with all animals) do not belong in dishwashers. Nor do they belong in any of the following other places: cupboards, in toilets, in bins, behind washing machines and occasionally, in bookcases. This memo has clearly skipped our house and indeed, our two, still kind of new, cats. Yes, cats in the plural. After Tink died, we were heartbroken and spent the week after saying goodbye in a house that was too quiet, too tidy and too lacking in fur and whiskers. Coming home to an empty house was very sad and strange; I’ve only just stopped looking for her every time I come home from work and walk up the steps to the front door. We lasted a week before going to a cat rescue place in Bradford and making the decision to adopt a pair of cats, preferably a sibling pair, preferably girls. Of course, the cat gods laughed in our faces and gave us a non-sibling, different age pair of boys.
We were faced with the tough challenge of not falling in love with every single cat in the rescue and I had to tell myself several times that we couldn’t take them all home with us. Some of them made it clear that they didn’t want to be anywhere near us, even for a minute and some were so timid and scared that we didn’t stress them further and let them be in their pens. Husband, being far more pragmatic and sensible than I, kept his cool and didn’t resort to cooing at every single moggy on the lot; I have enough coo for the both of us. And then, we met them. The Boys, as they have become known, in all their stripey, chatty, gorgeous glory. Yoda (I didn’t pick his name…but he has kept it) was a 6 month old white/tabby kitten with huge ears, massive pleading eyes and the pinkest nose I’ve seen in a long time. He was, and still is, a cat that doesn’t know anything but how to cuddle and play and be ridiculously cute most of the time. Handsome Bob (or Hans as he was known back then) is a 3 year old, ex-street cat. A big, broad and unbelievably solid tabby cat, he let us know that he was ours from about 5 minutes of meeting him; he was right. Yoda and Bob had formed quite a bond while they were sharing a pen but even so, the shelter team were quite surprised when we said we wanted to adopt them as a pair. Our instinct was right and they came home to us on September 10th.
It’s been an interesting experience, learning their foibles, what they like and dislike, how far they can go before telling us they’ve had enough and need a bit of space. Bob, despite his tough reputation and apparently tiger heritage, is the biggest softy going. He throws his whole weight into you when bumping our legs, jamming his head under our chins when he wants a cuddle and falling asleep in his favourite place which happens to be as close to Husband as it’s possible to be. He purrs so loudly and with such vigour that it makes him cough and he cares not a jot for table manners, repeatedly deciding he needs to be on the table when we eat. He also hates being picked up which makes dinner time interesting for him – jumps, gets picked up, squeaks in displeasure as he’s relocated to the floor; repeat as often as he can get away with. Big and loving sums him up very well.
Yoda is, like most babies, utterly hilarious and frustrating in equal measure. He throws himself around the house, splatting against the french windows that serve as our back door, like some cartoon version of himself. He pounces and torments Bob in equal measure and Bob responds by smacking him soundly across the whiskers. Given the choice, Yoda would sleep on my head all night…something that is on hold until he stops farting every other hour. Like lots of rescue cats, we just don’t know what he was exposed to before having his shots, so the virus that he’s dealing with at the moment which is causing all the farting may take some time to work itself out. He is happiest when he’s eating or sleeping, he loves being cradled in our arms or laps, relishes having his tummy stroked and purrs like a chainsaw. He is, in short, fabulous. They have both acquired many variations on their names already; YodaPants, StinkyPants, Yodayoda, Bobski, Mr Bob, Bobs, Bobinski. Neither of them know their name, no matter the variant.
I’ll admit I struggled when they first came to us. They are so very different to Tink, so very much set with their own personalities and quirks and I tried to make them be like her, with no success and many tears on my part. I miss her every day, I miss her smell, her familiar voice and weight when she was well. I miss how she would announce herself every time she walked into a room and how she would greet me first thing in the morning and when I walked in after work. I’m getting more used to the boys being in our lives and making their marks, getting used to their cries in the morning when they tell me to hurry up with breakfast and when they see me come home. They’ve only been with us a short time, Tink was with us for 4 1/2 years so it will take time for me especially to get used to them. That doesn’t mean I’m not incredibly fond of them, nor do I regret adopting them, just that Tink was one in a billion. She chose us. They chose us. I hope they like it with us.