#catlove 😻

Last night was the first time in six years that we spent time in our home without our cats. They’ve been taken to stay with a friend, ahead of work beginning on our floors.
I can only try to describe how odd and still the house felt without them. I was able to sit in the yellow chair without being miaowed at to move. Able to put fresh laundry down and know that no animal would use the piles as a new bed or plaything. We could have slept with the bedroom door open even, but we didn’t out of habit.
I woke up at about five to feed Nives and listened for the scratching at the door. One of my cats, Jango, always seems to sense when we wake and starts scratching to be let in at that time. I listened, but nothing came. It was at this moment that I realised how much these two animals contribute to our family. Everything just felt different without them.
I got Jango six years ago from a friend from work. I initially wanted a tom, which is why she has a boy’s name. I met her when she was only a few weeks old. She climbed onto my lap, along with her other brothers and sisters, but didn’t stick around. She climbed down and made a sort of shuffle for the open door. An adventurer, I thought.
How wrong I was. Yes, she is brave - she’s chased a fox through the park when she was only six months old - but she is more likely to be found napping than adventuring these days. We’ve had to force her out of the house at times, in the hope she will regain her love for leaping around and lose some weight, but she just sits on the windowsill staring accusingly at us until we let her back in.
Knolly came a year after Jango. I was worried about her weight gain and foolishly put it down to loneliness. We got him from a mad old French woman who lived in Streatham. She already had seven cats and one had unexpectedly had a litter. She greeted me wearing a kaftan and showed me her cats and their little purpose-built shed cat houses in her garden. I bought Danny with me a second time. I said “it’s just to look”, as he was not keen on a second cat.
But then Knolly played with his shoelace and he fell in love. At eight weeks old we took this lovable kitten to our home and subjected him to a lifetime of bullying from Jango. He seems oblivious to it, only wanting to play and cuddle constantly. Five years on and we still think of him as a kitten.
Our relationship with our pets is a funny one isn’t it? They give us so much love, their whole lifetime of love, and often it is only when they are gone that we realise how much richer our lives were because of them.
They can also show you sides of people that you were previously unaware of. My nono loved his ginger cat so much that they became a gang of two. When he died, the cat looked for him everywhere, breaking our hearts all over again. When Jutko, the ginger cat, died we felt the loss of my nono as well as of our wonderful feline friend.
Our relationship with our cats has changed as we incorporated Nives into our unit. She has practised stroking them and Jango will come and nap beside her (supervised). Knolly is still keeping his distance, but I know that as she grows older these three will be the closest of friends.