I’m sitting in the junk room late on Sunday evening. Spotify is playing a quiet playlist in the background, and I’m sitting at the desk tapping away at the keyboard. I am not alone.
Behind me, curled up in a cat bed we bought many moons ago, is a little black cat. He grew up in the wild and was rescued from a life living on his wits by a phone call to the RSCPA from the owners of a house his family had been visiting to scavenge food. He was an outsider in the group – a young kitten when first caught.
That happened in May this year. After being cared for, chipped, and operated on to make sure he could cause no further cats to come into this world, he was assessed for adoption. To begin with they thought he might not be suitable to re-home, given his reclusive nature, but the girl feeding him saw something in him – a shy, but friendly personality.
We contacted the RSPCA in early December, and learned that nobody had ever visited him, or even shown any interest in him. I suppose for most people he was going to be too much work to even contemplate.
I suppose it was fate really.
Many years ago – after wanting a cat her entire life – my other half lived in the first apartment that allowed her to have a pet, and bought a cat. A cat from the animal hospital that had survived a horrific early life. So we had been here before. That cat (Simpson) spent his first days hiding under beds, but lived to a grand old age – old enough to meet our children and put up with being loved just a bit too much by them on occasion.
So yes. Yesterday afternoon a cat-box arrived in the back of my other-half’s car, with a blanket draped over it, making meowing sounds. After spending the morning cleaning the house from top to toe, I hastily re-arranged the junk room. A quiet, safe room of sorts for the little black cat to live in for the first few days – a place to find his feet.
We’re calling him Kaspar, after the cat in a book by Michael Morpurgo.
I’ve spent several hours sitting on the floor near his bed today. He looks out at me with the biggest yellow eyes. After quite some coaxing earlier he crept out for something to eat, and carefully watched me inbetween mouthfuls. We have been taking turns to spend time with him – no more than two of us in the room at any one time.
Introducing George – our 8 year old ginger cat – has gone well so far. The first meeting was interesting – George was carried in (he puts up with being picked up for a minute or two), and placed on the floor near the door. It took him a few moments to spot the yellow eyes looking out of the cat bed – when he did, he slowly inflated himself to twice his normal size, and hissed. It was all we could do to leave him alone – to let them sort it out between themselves. The stand-off lasted a few seconds before we called time on it – not before Karpar ventured out of the bed towards George though. We thought this might happen.
Before being incarcerated at the cat rescue centre, Kaspar had only known a life with other cats. Even while at the centre, he was often used as a buddy for other cats. If we can get George used to him – bit by bit – he’ll be a tremendous partner in crime. I think it might be a long road though.