Back in February, we decided to adopt a rescue cat – after all, every writer needs a cat to help them procrastinate. Two months down the line, I thought I’d tell you about our experience!
We went to the cattery one Sunday afternoon, excited about the possibility of finding a cat. We originally wanted a kitten, but none of the catteries we phoned had any. This one said they had cats about ten months old, if we were interested, so we decided to take a look.
I know there are a lot of abandoned cats (and dogs) but it broke my heart to see all those cats there. There were about five to six per room, and about ten rooms, and some of them were truly wild. I couldn’t see any hope for them finding new homes. Even the one they suggested to us was scared of us and wouldn’t let us touch it, it wouldn’t even come near us.
We’ve had a cat before, quite a few years ago, but she lived outside in the garden and was very independent, only coming home when it was time to eat or sleep. This time, we needed a cat that would stay indoors, as we now live in an apartment on the second floor.
A bit disappointed, we discussed whether we could cope with a cat that would probably take ages to trust us, if ever. Then the woman asked if we’d consider a female (we’d told her we wanted a male). At this point, we agreed to take a look, and she introduced us to a cute little blue tabby who immediately settled in my son’s arms like she’d been there forever.
She was about a year old, and had been found a couple of weeks earlier abandoned on the streets of Milan, before coming to the cattery. She had a problem with her eye – she has a third eyelid that doesn’t retract, so she can’t see properly from her right eye and it only remains half open. But looking at her purring in my son’s arms, we knew she was the one!
She didn’t have a name, so we could choose one for her! My son decided on Pan, which is short for Pannekoek, a Dutch scientist, apparently. (I’ve never heard of him either!) I say it’s short for Pandora, or Panakin Skywalker as she’s now known!!
We spent the Monday and Tuesday cat shopping, buying everything we would need for the new family member (and spent a fortune!). On Wednesday morning, we went to pick Pan up in her new carrier. She didn’t like going in it, but eventually we were in the car and on our way home.
We took her to a quiet corner, opened the carrier, and let her come out in her own time. We thought it would take ages, but after a couple of minutes she was already sniffing around our feet! She wasn’t interested in food at all, but was happy to explore her new home and sit on our laps.
The first three days were tough, I’ll admit. Getting used to a new routine, making sure we kept things out of her way so she couldn’t get hurt or eat something she shouldn’t, and having a new pet to take care of after so many years without one was hard work and tiring. And she had an awful habit of trying to bolt out of the front door whenever anyone opened it, which was quite stressing. But she fitted in right away, as if she was meant to be with us!
She was very skinny to begin with, and had an infection in her eyes and a urinary infection. So the next week we went back to the cattery to see the vet and get some medicines. She hated going back to the cattery, and when we got back home I noticed she didn’t try to escape any more! She obviously realised where she was well off!
Pan on her first day with us!
Two months later, it’s as if Pan’s been here forever! She’s put on weight, and her urinary infection has cleared up, although she still has problems with her eyes. I think she’s allergic, as she tends to sneeze if she sniffs around too much. I didn’t know cats had such big bogies, or that they could sneeze out so much snot! We’ll never forget the day she sneezed near the TV…
She loves her cuddles, and if she can’t sit on our laps, she’ll sit as close as possible to us with her head or a paw touching us. She usually sleeps with my son at night, but she gets up as soon as she hears me in the morning, and likes to greet everyone as they make an appearance.
She also loves her food! We’re convinced she’s part dog, as she wolfs down every meal like she hasn’t eaten in a week. I thought cats were meant to be refined, delicate creatures, who eat slowly and leave most of it so they can snack during the day. Not our Pan!
Sometimes I look at her and wonder what her life was like before. She’s terrified of loud noises, but is house trained and toilet trained, so she must have had a home before living on the streets. In those moments when she’s on my lap, snoring softly in a deep sleep (yes, she snores!), I think how lucky she’s been to find us. And how lucky we are too. She’s enriched our lives in a way I never thought possible – she makes us laugh, she gets up to all sorts of mischief, she trips us up, she gets very demanding when it’s her dinner time, but we can’t imagine life without her now.
You can read more about Pan’s antics on my Facebook page or Instagram!