I can always remember having a pet. My earliest memory is going to pick up our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, Dodger when I was 3 and him rather excitedly nibbling my chubby fingers with his deceptively sharp puppy teeth. I took it personally and we took a while to get over that first meeting, well, it seemed like a long time to a 3 year old me, I most likely forgot about it by the time we got him in car to go home because “OMG PUPPY PUPPY PUPPY!”
He was such a dude, with his comical, overly expressive ginger eyebrows and completely laid back, “No worries, I’m just gonna lay here while you clip dozens of bows onto my gloriously long ears, you strange child,” personality. He was my mate, my first pet and I really loved that dog, even if he did get dog food on his ears and it was a bit gross.
When we had Noah, we were living in a flat so we weren’t allowed pets cos of silly rules and stuff, but once we moved into a house with a proper garden when he was 1, I was all over getting a dog. Until a lost-looking little tortoiseshell kitten appeared in the garden, rubbed against my leg and casually wandered into the house as if she already lived here. And she never left. I felt a bit uneasy, what were we supposed to do? Was this OK? I asked around if anyone knew where she came from, I put a note up in the corner shop down the road, but no one knew anything about her. It took about 6 months until she really felt like our cat and that we hadn’t just committed a heinous crime of catnap, so much so that we didn’t get to give her a proper name, she’s always just been known as “Kitty”.
We didn’t plan to get a cat, we didn’t chose her from a litter, but for some reason, she chose us to be her family and we didn’t know it at the time, but she completed our little family. Noah’s first memories will hopefully be like mine, of this little furry creature friend, who likes to appear all tough and independent but has a penchant for curling up on his pillow next to him while he sleeps. He constantly sneaks her too many cat biscuits and she’s never happier than trying to sabotage him playing football in the garden by pouncing on the ball and trying to kill it.
Being an insatiable bird hunter, we’ve had a few horrible scares with Kitty, most notably the swan-dive-out-of 30-foot-tree fiasco of 2012 where we thought we were going to lose her. On the rush to the vets, cradling a very sad, floppy cat, we didn’t know what the outcome would be. Broken bones, surely? Would it be too much for her, would we have to have her put to sleep? It was terrible waiting to hear the vet’s diagnosis, but at least one less worry was that we had cat insurance to deal with the costs as apparently cats don’t really think about how much money you’ve got in the bank before attempting to take flight after a pigeon at a great height.
Luckily and rather remarkably she hadn’t broken anything, she just had a tiny seizure from the shock of the fall and needed to be kept in overnight for observations. But it certainly confirmed that the monthly direct debits where worth they’re weight in gold and that we truly couldn’t imagine being without her.
Do you insure your pets?