Happy Birthday Bobby – our cat turns 11

I have noticed that I haven’t written about our Bobby for a while and this month our cat turns 11 years old – which in human years is somewhere near 60. This means she is now older than us!

Bobby looking up - copyright Helen White
Bobby looking up – copyright Helen White

To be honest we are not entirely sure when her exact birthday is, because we adopted her in October 2005, when she was about 12 weeks old. So we assume her birthday was sometime in early August. Bobby was found as a tiny kitten in a bin fending for herself. She was taken in by the people who found her and then passed on to the local Cats Protection branch. At the time I was responsible for their website and was uploading photos of her and Harry – the other cat we also adopted (but with a heavy heart returned to his fosterer, because he bullied Bobby – find out more about this here). When we saw her adorable little face we knew we had to adopt her – and it wasn’t difficult to persuade my husband.

©Helen White 2005/6
©Helen White 2005/6

When we met her for the first time she was very skinny, she had an eye infection and she didn’t look very healthy, but she sought us out and curled up in our laps. And that was it – we were in love and since then made sure she not only regained her health but also stayed safe.

The day we met Bobby - copyright Helen White
The day we met Bobby – copyright Helen White

We live on a very busy road and have seen many cats run over by cars, which is why we decided to get her used to a harness and lead. We also secured our garden as much as possible with netting on the side bordering our next door neighbour and “Prick A Strip” on our wall.

Bobby in bay window in our conservatory - copyright Helen White
Bobby on the bay window in our conservatory – copyright Helen White

Although cats can still get in if they really want to –mostly keen tom cats – Bobby never really attempted to get out. Maybe it’s because she’s too lazy, too chunky or she’s simply not that bothered and quite happy staying in her own territory. When she wants to go out into our front garden we keep an eye on her and she wears her harness. As soon as we see that she wants to go for a wander we clip her on to her retractable lead and walk her in the neighbourhood. Most people react with surprise, but also think that it’s a good idea. It’s certainly a great conversation opener. Many people also know our cat by name as we are the only ones walking a cat.

When she was younger we also used to walk her in the local forest, but these days it’s hard to persuade her.

Me walking Bobby - close up - copyright Paul White
Me walking Bobby – close up – copyright Paul White

One of the great things about our cat is that she is a rubbish hunter. Apart from the occasional snail or worm riding on her back she has never ever brought home a bird or mouse. The birds laugh at her. While she has the instinct she has no clue what to do with the prey. She once managed to bring down a pigeon, but then looked at it with disgust and let go of it. I have to say I am very grateful that she can’t hunt. No unwanted gifts for us.

Bobby and Paul in the forest - © Helen White 2010
Bobby and Paul in the forest – © Helen White 2010

Our Bobby is not only my muse, she also helps me take breaks for a cuddle and like most cats she has a very good sense when things are wrong or when I am poorly. When I have bad migraine episodes she snuggles up to me in bed and stays with me for most of the time. She also was there for me when my mum died 10 years ago and when I miscarried 3 years ago.

copyright Helen White
copyright Helen White

I know our time with Bobby is very precious and we want to make each day with her count. While cats can get relatively old, they unfortunately tend not to survive us humans. I often wish we could adopt another kitten, but Bobby prefers to be the only cat in our home and centre of our attention. It wouldn’t be fair on her and we don’t know how she would react to a kitten. All we know is that she doesn’t like male cats!

copyright Paul White
copyright Paul White

I have described our cat’s cute and not so cute habits in a different post here. One of her quirks is that she wants to be stroked while she eats. As she got older this has certainly not changed. While it is cute, it can also be frustrating at 4 am! With age she has slowed down a little, she is still playful, but runs out of steam quickly. She sleeps a lot, as cats do. However she also has got cuddlier with age. Bobby was always a chatty cat – she has an incredible range of chirruping sounds and meows to convey what she wants or to just greet us or tell us something. Her chattiness has also increased with age, which I love. Like most cat owners I love talking to our moggie, cuddling her and burying my nose into her lovely smelling fur.

copyright Paul White
copyright Paul White

Bobby has a lovely personality and is a gentle cat who loves us. I think she appreciates that we spoil her a lot and that she never had to go into cattery when we went on holiday. We rarely go, and when we do it’s no longer than 10 days as we miss her too much (and tend to cuddle cats we find on our holidays to make up for it). My parents-in-law take care of her when we are away. The great thing about Bobby is that she doesn’t hold a grudge and she is quite chilled out.  She gets spooked by motor cycles, ambulances and the ice cream van, but watches fireworks at New Year’s Eve

 

Bobby August 2016
Bobby August 2016

 

Here’s to our gorgeous Bobby. Happy Birthday – we love you loads.

Bobby snoozing
Bobby snoozing

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3 Responses

  1. Claire Barker
    | Reply

    Belated Happy Birthday Bobby, she sounds like an absolute delight 🙂

  2. Helen White
    | Reply

    Thank you Claire. We love her too bits – even if she wakes us at 4 am !

  3. […] Otherwise I had to deal with some personal things and my ongoing chronic pain issues. I actually published an article in the Huffington Post about this very topic and it was well received. On the bright side – our cat Bobby is still enjoying her life with us and with age has become cuddlier. She now even occasionally sits on our lap, but only when we are covered with my husband’s super special outdoors trousers (they are well padded out and she seems to just love the texture of them). Bobby remains my little muse and I am so grateful she’s with us. She turned 11 last year and you can find my tribute to her in this post. […]

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