A Feline Affair

And I will name him Sparky

Have you had any pets in your life? If so, do you migrate towards just one type of animal (just cats, etc), or have you had a menagerie over time? What’s your best story about a pet you’ve had?

As a child I used to have a rather strong fear of dogs due to a German Sheppard attack me when I was two years old, I wasn’t hurt thanks to the hideous duffel coat my Mother used to make me wear which was very thick, so when I was growing up we had pet cats. We were bequeathed a black tom cat (imaginatively called Thomas), from our neighbour who was moving to a block of flats where pets weren’t allowed. He was a very odd cat and had very striking green eyes, later in life I discovered that our neighbour had actually found him as a kitten in a bush somewhere so I am guessing he may have been a feral cat. Unfortunately the poor cat got run over which was very sad. Later we got another cat called Jess who died when I was 14, again possibly run over as she was found on the grass verge by the road near us, but in the same week both of her litter sisters died so it may have been a hereditary illness. The first weekend we had Jess she disappeared and the whole house was in a state of panic. I went around the area looking for her to no avail, for some bizarre reason my sister decided to throw an icky fit at me and hurled the biscuit tin in my general direction, I ducked and it nosily clattered to the floor spilling the contents everywhere. The loud bang had a significant effect though, as Jess shot out from the small gap between the washing machine and the oven! Quite how she got there we will never know, but that is where she had been all afternoon.
Later on when I was 12, my parents decided to buy me a puppy for my birthday as I had overcome my fear of dogs and wanted a pet dog. After a false start trying to get a Scottish Terrier (the puppy we wanted contracted the Parvo virus and died at 7 weeks old), we settled on a West Highland Terrier and I named him Vila (long story). He was my faithful companion for 13 and a half years until he contracted throat Cancer and had to be put to sleep. One of my favourite stories about my dogs (I have since had three more) stems from him It was late one night after work and I let him out to have his pre-bedtime pee and I made myself a cup of tea and called him back in before going to bed. Normally about half way through the night he would jump on my bed and snooze, so when I woke up in the night for some reason I was unsurprised to find him on my bed. Being groggy and glassesless I just noted the curled up white figure and started to stroke his short smooth hair (he had just been trimmed) and was about to drift off when Vila did something he shouldn’t do. No, no pee or poo the bed, or make free with my leg. No, ‘Vila’ started to purr…. In a classic sitcom moment of a few moments for the penny to drop I sat up, wide awake now and there on my bed was the cat from across the road giving me a “You’ve stopped stroking me and I didn’t say you could” look. At this moment the dog decides to wander in and clocks the cat.. so poor old Smudge got chased out the house by Vila. He must have sneaked in while I was making my cup of tea…

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