This cheeky chappy first made an appearance in my life in August 1998. He belonged to a neighbour who lived in the flat downstairs. I was talking to another neighbour who lived on the same landing on the doorstep of their flat when another door opened and little black and white furry streak ran past me and along the landing. I picked it up and those big googly eyes stared back at me with a little curiosity but no fear. I handed him back to his owners reluctantly and thought no more about it.
A couple of days later I heard a knock on the door. It was the owner of the kitten who said they’d heard my sister and I were looking for another cat and would we be interested in taking him on. They’d recently had a baby (where have we heard this before?) which had a propensity for crawling into the litter tray, plus assorted other problems and they thought it best to find him another home (the kitten, not the baby in this case). I said unfortunately we already had five cats in a rather small flat so that wouldn’t be very practical.
Oscar, it seemed, had other ideas. A couple of days later I was hanging out the washing on the balcony when I heard tiny squeaks and one of our cats was staring at the downstairs balcony with much curiosity. I looked down to see this tiny kitten squeaking up at me to get my attention. He was shut outside on the balcony (which was open) and it was cold. He had his litter tray and no bed to sleep in. I was mortified. I went downstairs and knocked on the door and Oscar came to live in our (then) menagerie.
He drove me crazy for a while as I wasn’t used to a kitten around the house at that time – he climbed anything he could find, including the curtains and attempted to ride around on the back of all the existing cats. They were not amused. Neither was I. My sister fell in love with him and he with her and he stayed with us. Gradually the others learned to accept him.
He has turned into a much loved member of my feline household and is now living with me out in Wiltshire with my other three fur babies. He’s the elder statesman, being currently 17 years old. He’s a very polite and sensitive cat and will always sit to one side at feeding time with his tail curled around his paws, waiting for everyone else to finish at the bowls before taking his turn. Up until he developed a thyroid problem a year or so ago, he was very quiet and hardly said a word but now he’s making up for that and howls around the house frequently. He only used to do it when his thyroid levels were high but now seems to do it just for the sheer fun of hearing me shouting “SSSHHHH!!!” when he starts up at 6am.
He’s my third cat with thyroid issues and the second with an overactive thyroid. He doesn’t hunt any more and spends most of his time curled up in strange places around the house – like the sink in the bathroom (it fits him perfectly when he’s curled up) or the worktop in the bathroom. He’s even been known to curl up in the bath and go to sleep.
When the days are sunny, you can usually find him stretched out in the garden somewhere, either on one of the garden chairs (as shown in the photo above) or on the grass depending on where the sun is shining.
He really hates having his picture taken and can sense the camera from 100 feet, even if he’s fast asleep. He really is much more handsome than these pictures show! and despite some earlier difficulties, I do love him to pieces 🙂