Monday, 5 October 2015

The Cat That Wasn't Our Cat...

Murphy Cat
Our cat Murphy 1995 -2015 

In January this year, Murphy the family cat passed away. He was 20 years old and I'd lived with him longer than both husband and children. He was family and when he died we mourned him as a family member, lost and irreplaceable. The TeenTwins commemorated Murphy's life with black cat tattoos and for months afterward every so often I would think I'd caught a glimpse of padding across the floor out of the corner of my eye.

And then one day, five months later, I didn't just see him in the corner of my eye. He was there, as calm as you like and solidly real, on the kitchen step, sat, expectant.

Jellybean the cat
Not our cat

It wasn't Murphy cat. Of course it wasn't Murphy. After my heart had stopped trying to wrangle it's way out of my ears and I could breathe again, I realised that.

It was a cat. It was a black cat. It just wasn't our cat. We didn't have a cat anymore. We didn't want another cat.

But this cat was hungry, very hungry. I still had cat food in the cupboard I hadn't yet got round to throwing away even if there was no need to have it anymore. So I fed the cat. The cat was happy about that. He ate everything ravenously, and then went back to wherever he had come from.

But the next day he came back, and the day after and the day after and every day after that. And he started to make himself at home.

Jellybean the cat

We realised that wherever he went to when he went, it wasn't a home so The Man and Boy visited every house for streets around asking if anyone had lost their black cat. We trawled lost cat posts on the internet, and took him to the vets to check if he was chipped. He wasn't, but he was definitely a he (and still had all the appropriate equipment to prove it), and he wasn't yet a year old.

The cat wasn't our cat but having taken him to the vets we left him to have all the requisite injections and operations *cough* a young cat needs. The vet required him to be chipped and the cat needed a name, so someone *stares at family* said Jellybean. Nobody knows why. Everybody blames each other but Jellybean, officially, he became.

He didn't seem to mind though...

Jellybean the cat

He didn't seem to mind at all and began to make himself very much at home.

The cat that wasn't our cat, but was now called Jellybean developed an allergic reaction to one of the vet's injections and started to worry and scratch at a patch of his back until it was sore and weeping. The vet recommended he be kept indoors and the wound covered over to give it chance to heal, but gave no clue how to achieve that.

We tried bandages, and plasters, and dressings and none of them worked, or stayed on long enough to. So I made the cat a vest from a pair of the Teen's leggings, and then I dressed the cat in the vest.

The cat was a little unsure about the vest but that just could have been because the vest was pink and sequinned. Three weeks, and three different pairs of leggings cat vests later, his wounds are healing nicely, his hair regrowing and I think, secretly, he likes them. He doesn't seem to mind the daily ritual of being undressed, treated and redressed either, or at least I still have all my skin and limbs attached

Cat fashion

Meanwhile, somehow, over the past few months the cat that wasn't our cat has become very much our cat, a part of the family, and if sometimes, by accident, we call him Murphy it's only because old habits are hard to break...

Jellybean the cat
They call me Bean, Jelly Bean.

1 comment :

  1. This is such a lovely post. We also have a cat who is not ours - she came to visit, liked what she found and now pretty much lives with us. They say cats choose their owners, so we feel quite honoured. Hope Jellybean continues to give your family lots of happiness :-)


Thank you very much for commenting, if you want to chat some more find me on Twitter or Facebook :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...