We have always been a cat household. We currently have three. Two of them right now are racing around the house with collars on their necks after having both been neutered.
They are Korat kittens, sisters now around seven months old. Small, grey things with green eyes, bought last summer from a breeder in the back streets of Portsmouth.
Korat’s are Thai cats, named because of the region of Thailand they hail from. In Thailand they are known as the “good luck cats,” and were up until recently only given as presents, not available to buy. As a breed, they only began to appear in the USA in the 1950’s.
We got them because in 2009 we inherited a Korat, Anya, from The Scribblers’ niece. She had found the little cat cowering in her garden and adopted her, but after a few years had moved to a flat where she could not keep pets. So Anya came to us.
She was such a character that we fell in love with her. Korats are affectionate and crave company and attention. She was a lap cat. Rarely outside, and when she had to dash out in inclement weather, was back though the cat flap in a frenzied rush.
So when she died last summer (there were tears shed) it was decided that Korats it had to be to replace her, even though they would cost. So in came Ava and Mabel.
The other cat is Wizzy, an old fighter, mouser and birder, an outdoor gunslinger. Sheer black in colour, for years he would disappear into the night on another mysterious errand.
Often he would return with a mouse or a bird. He would have mad runs of conquests, and then nothing for months.
Wiz is getting on a bit now, some 13 years old (so according to conventional wisdom he is about 75 in human years). The old fella is creaking a bit – there are fewer excursions, and those leaps onto the table or sofa now are more like awkward clambers, and occasionally he simply doesn’t make it.
Actually when we got Wizzy, he came with his twin broker Wilbur. But Wilbur very quickly decided he didn’t want us, and adopted the woman across the road. We still see him occasionally, loping about.
When the kittens first arrived, we kept them away from Wizzy for a week or so, to get them used to the house and prevent him eating them, or something. He knew something was up, what with the closed doors and litter trays.
Mabel and Ava
We worried a bit about how an old ‘un like him would react to two mad kids racing about the house, both female.
At first when they were allowed into the rest of the house, he seemed curious, if bemused. The bolder one, Ava, kept attacking him at every opportunity. He would bat her off with a swish of his paw, sending her spinning. But she kept coming back for more.
Mabel, the quieter on, he took to more rapidly – perhaps because he was not being assaulted every few seconds. Washing and nuzzling her often as they lay together.
Now he simply puts up with them, watching idly as they have their sudden mad dashes around the house. Fending them off when they get too lively.
Occasionally when Ava especially gets too keen, he will pin her down with both paws, until she whimpers and lets go. You can’t always tell if it is play fighting.
As pedigree cats and un-neutered kittens they have not been let out since they arrived, so it’s litter trays and extreme care with doors. And now collars, to stop them licking their scars. The collars come off this week, thankfully , and then – ooer – it could be the great outdoors. Which will be a major relief.
Interestingly, since the operations, whereas they used to be desperate to go out, the two are more placid, less curious. And much more affectionate.
The outdoors awaits.