OK, I know that this isn’t Facebook but it is the internet (and we all know that pictures of cats are compulsory on the internet) so while we’re biding our time waiting for the elephant onslaught I thought I would share some pictures and stories of my cat (and a few of my dog too).
A few kilometers from the farm is a quirky little bar/restaurant/motel/campsite owned by a couple who originate from East Germany. No visit to that place is compete without a greeting from their friendly bar cat and just before Christmas I noticed that she was pregnant. I commented on this to the owner and then remarked toPiet how a cat would complete our family. However, we own 5 dogs and we both agreed that a cat would probably not be welcomed by them, nor could we expect her to have a very long life-span – dogs being notorious for their hatred of cats. Besides, Piet is a self-declared ‘non cat person’ – the only cat he had ever owned being a rescued serval kitten many years ago, but that is a different story . As far as we were concerned that was the end of that little dream of mine and subsequent events can be attributed a language breakdown.
Fast forward to mid-March. I was out of the country for the week when Piet received a phone call from the camp: “Your kitten is ready. Come and collect her now!” was the terse instruction. He was horrified but had the presence of mind to request a few day’s grace in which to consult with me. I had a vague recollection of the discussion about pregnant cats but none of promises to give one of the kittens a home. To avoid upsetting our neighbours we decided we would take her and install her in the office where she would have limited contact with our dogs, rats having taken up permanent residence in my filing cabinet.
At daybreak on the day after I returned to the farm I drove to the camp to collect our new office cat. This in itself turned into quite an exercise. Any ideas I had of an adorable, cuddly bundle of fun soon evaporated when I first encountered this growling, hissing, spitting, fiendish witch. Despite being born in the bar and having had almost constant contact with people this little kitten was wild, she was terrified of humans and behaved like a feral cat. The camp owner placed a pile of bones on the floor in the bar to entice her from behind the fridge, where she had retreated, loudly voicing her displeasure at our presence, while we removed ourselves to the other side of the counter to wait. Two hours (and three beers for the camp owner – I guess it goes with the job) later I was on my way home, somewhat battered and bloody, the cat thrashing about in her box, obviously very upset.
Sneaking her into the house past the dogs was no easy task but I managed and soon had her safely hidden in the walk-in cupboard that adjoins our bedroom – the plan being to keep her there overnight and then move her down to the office block the next day once she had settled.
Settled? Hah! Had I known how vicious and vexatious this cute looking (how deceptive appearances can be!) little ball of fur was going to be I would have taken the easy (cowards?) way out and used the relative safety of a phone call from thousands of kilometers away to tell the camp owners we would not be taking her. It took more than a week before I could even touch her without suffering serious bodily harm.
After 10 days it was time to start introducing her to the rest of the family and I decided Tikkie, being the smallest, would be the least likely to cause her any harm. He was delighted. She was not. He was unaware such swear words existed.
However, being the charming fellow that he is it only took Tikkie a couple of days to win her over – he is far more diplomatic than I am – and they have now become firm friends. They are inseparable and love each other dearly.
We don’t have a TV but watching their antics in the evenings provides us with all the entertainment we need:
Contrary to our predictions, the other dogs have (grudgingly) accepted her into the family and after the initial swearing – on her part – and snapping – on theirs – a sort of truce has been declared, even when there is food about:
All plans to have an office cat have gone out of the window. She has firmly wormed her way into our lives and apart from the odd trip down to the office to keep Tikkie company while I work she is now, very definitely, our house cat.