This is Henry as he was when I first met him, about 9 weeks old and rescued off the streets where he had been dodging the traffic. Referred to by my slightly scandalised son as ‘The Cat My Mother Stole’!
It all started with a phone call from my sister. Now my sister is profoundly deaf, and sixteen years ago we had to keep in touch by letter, but there was a telephone service called Type Talk. This involved a third party who would type what I said to my sister via a minicom, and relay her replies verbally to me. Effective, but difficult for me because good manners kept making me want to involve the nice lady in our conversations, so we rarely used it.
(I’d better say at this point that we had a dog, a much loved and enormous Lurcher, and he and the rest of the family pretty well had our small cottage at bursting point so although I had occasionally expressed a yearning for a cat, Tim had said firmly’Not while Spike’s around’.)
So I didn’t know what to do when I heard the story of the kitten that my sister was harbouring, much to the fury of her own two cats. A friend of hers living in Norwich had spend several days rescuing and returning this little tabby kitten to his owners, but every morning when they went to work he was shut outside on the street, where he scurried around under the cars, and scavenged for food. Eventually she was so worried and upset instead of taking him home and telling off the owners she scooped him up and took him inside, where she also had two angry cats! which is why a scheme was hatched to tell a soft-hearted catless cat lover all about it! I didn’t know what to do. Tim was working away and uncontactable. I really wanted to ask the nice lady relaying all this via Type Talk what she would do! In the end I said I go to my sister’s…. just to see…
I called in to my Mum to tell her about it. She said, ‘Go and ask Janet next door if you can borrow her cat carrier, because you’re not coming home without it, are you?’
And so to cut a long story short, that’s what happened. There was no way I could go and just ‘see’ a kitten. Especially a little bag of bones with bat ears, enormous eyes, a big pink ‘Miouw’ and a gigantic purr.
The next day I took my ‘free’ kitten for a check up at the vets. He was undernourished, with worms and fleas and needed injections and all manner of expensive treatment. Not so free after all! He was estimated to be about eight or nine weeks old so he was given the honoury birthday of July 4th as a memorable date.
And Tim? Well, I couldn’t contact him before he came home so I decided I’d get him at the door as he came in and explain it all to him before he saw how adorable the kitten was…except I got held up…and arrived home to find his car in the drive…and went in…to find Tim sitting in his chair looking resigned with a contented little tabby kitten purring furiously on his lap doing his own PR!
So OK, I suppose I was the receiver of stolen goods, but you’d have done the same wouldn’t you?
I think the last sixteen years have been pretty good for our Henry…
Apart from having his nose put out of joint by the introduction of a small, opinionated puppy nearly two years ago, who also has a birtthday, today!
All things considered, Henry has been pretty patient with Mr H, only bopping him round the ears about once a day, around breakfast time usually. Higgins tends to forget his proper place in the queue.
If you haven’t been around to follow Higgins’ antics, just look for ‘Puppy Tales’ on the side bar to find out his adventures. Henry has kept rather in the background on Planet Penny, so this post is rather more about him.
But I’ll leave you with a picture of the Birthday Dog…all grown up!