My mum’s cat

This is Poppy. She is beautiful and she has a lovely disposition. Like her owner, really! She is 14 years old. She is tiny in stature and weighs almost nothing. She seems a little frail. She has always had a heart murmur and a ‘dodgy hip’. Because of this, sometimes, when she sits down, especially to wash, she looks like an exhausted contortionist. Everything is in the wrong place, as if she is filled with beans instead of bones. Poppy likes to head-butt, and will stand on her hind legs and grab your hand if she requires attention. She is social and can chat for England. There are no awkward pawses (sorry, I just had to!) when Poppy is in the room.

This week Poppy and my mum had a major life change and have relocated from the house mum has lived in for 50 years to the south coast to live with my sister and her partner.

Apart from all of the usual concerns about such a venture and personal emotions to deal with, my mum was terribly worried about Poppy. The long journey was the first issue, but longer term she stressed about how Poppy would adapt to a new home, having also lived in the same house since we took her and her brother as rescue kittens. Then there was the fact that my sister and her partner already have two felines, both considerably younger, and Poppy has been an ‘only cat’ for a few years now. How would they get along? Would there be hissing and spitting (cats, not family feuding), bodily injury (still cats), would they hide (could be cats or humans), run away (again, cats or humans) or would it (fingers crossed real tight) in time, just work out? Somehow?

Monday was moving day. Imagine all the usual stresses and practicalities of a move to deal with rather than me having to type them; we all know what it is like. And anyway, this is about Poppy! She spent the first night in my mum’s new bedroom and the following morning she stepped out and explored a bit. She ate, drank, christened the litter tray (in every manner) and then explored some more, without cajoling or an escort. Poppy just got on with it. She has adapted, in astonishing time. Today she and Sossage (another rescue cat) have made friends enough to lie on a rug in the sun together. The princess in the high tower (Sandi, cat number 3) is yet to be won over but it’s early days.

Aren’t animals amazing? They give us so much. I know we look after them, pay the vet bills and open the tuna tin, but they reward us much more. By adapting so well, and being so completely just plain super, my mum’s cat has lifted a worry and helped to make a major transition so very much easier. I would like to give Poppy a round of applaws!!!

P.S. I will also be reading this to Riley, my cat, who spent the best part of a week in the wardrobe when we had to stay at my mum’s for a while last year. He has much to learn!