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