When we announced our intention to go away travelling the question we got asked most was: “what about Oliver?” Quite often this was said with a hint of alarm in the speakers voice.
So who is Oliver?
This is Oliver:
We first laid eyes on him in 2009. We had finally moved into a place that would let us keep a cat so we went off to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in search of our new pal. I was determined I wanted a female tortoiseshell cat.
We took a day off work on a Friday and went to see what was there. Little did I realise that you could take home your new friend the same day (subject to satisfactory checks) and as we were going away the next day for the night we were not in a position to take a cat home that day. That meant we were not able to look at any of the ones who were ready for homing as potentially they could go to a home sooner than if we were to pick them.
Ros, the lady who works there, went to look out the back to see which cats there were waiting to be rehomed later in the week. They have to keep any strays that come in for 7 days to allow their owners time to come find them, which means they don’t go on view in the rehoming centre until the 7 days have elapsed.
So off she went with the criteria of finding us a friendly short haired cat, preferably tortoiseshell.
She came back through and told us “there is only 1 cat who would be suitable for you. Would you like to come see it, or would you like to come back next week?” Upon learning the cat was in fact a tabby I was torn, do I stick to my guns or do I give this cat a chance? We decided to go and say hello just in case.
It was love at first sight! At least, it was for us. Oliver (or Fleetwood as he was temporarily called by Battersea in honour of one of the rehomers having been to a Fleetwood Mac concert the night before) gave us a sniff and then curled up again to go back to sleep.
We arranged to collect him the following week after his 7 day stay had elapsed. We left with a warning that his original owners could still show up so not to get our hopes up too much.
Fortunately for us he was not claimed and he came home with us the following week. He spent the first evening hidden under the sofa. I went out to play netball while Alan stayed at home. When I came back from netball (with a newly broken finger, ouch!) Oliver was just emerging from under the sofa and my appearance caused him to dash back under it again. There he stayed.
The next morning as I ate my breakfast he crawled out from under the sofa and curled up next to me, just nestling ever so slightly against my leg.
Then we went out to work and it was our friends birthday ceilidh (traditional Scottish dancing, masses of fun, I highly recommend it!) that evening. I was having a miserable time at the ceilidh as my finger was throbbing and I was wary of joining in and getting my hand bashed and hurting it further. Reluctantly I headed home on my own, leaving Alan to enjoy the rest of the evening with our friends.
I got in, sat down to watch some TV and Oliver jumped up on the sofa, climbed onto my lap and then lay his whole body along my torso so his bottom was resting on my lap and his face was snuggled against mine. And then he started purring. Turns out we had rehomed the soppiest cat I have ever had the pleasure to meet! As time has worn on he has got soppier and soppier. He loves cuddles, lap time and just being around you in general.
So, what about Oliver? Have we been mean and sent him back to Battersea?
Of course not! He has moved in with my parents along with us and he will stay here and be incredibly well looked after/spoilt rotten in our absence. He has already settled in well and seems to loving all the extra attention he is receiving. And when we get home next year and get ourselves somewhere to live we will be taking him home again with us. I do, of course, feel incredibly guilty about leaving him and will miss him terribly, but at least I can go away safe in the knowledge he will be well looked after and will be here waiting for us when we get back.
P.s. This is was meant to be a short post, but seems to have turned into an ode of affection about my cat!