I posted a while ago about Black Cat Appreciation Day. I got it in the neck from one of my girls because she is not black, she is what is known as a Smokey Tortie. If you are not a cat lover, (a) you won’t understand what I mean and (b) move away from the blog now. Move to a cat free zone until my next post.

If you are, a cat lover read on…

The first cat who owned me was black, with a white locket. He was my best friend, and my only true love. Seriously. When he died, I missed him dreadfully and I went to Battersea Home for Dogs and Cats as soon as possible after he died (the prescribed wisdom is, leave it six weeks before getting another cat, to allow the scent to diminish) to get another cat. Not to replace him. That wasn’t possible. I could never replace my little T. (Actually, Titan wasn’t a small cat. Not fat, but quite big.)

I knew, despite the fact that I really love black cats (and dogs), I needed a different colour. I could not have a rival for my Titan. With the help of Nic and Kate, I ended up with two sisters, one was black and white, the other was the smokey tortie, Telesto.

There is a story to be told about my little Teleto, but it is incomplete. Incomplete because I don’t know it all and she, and her sister, Oceana, can’t tell it. I can surmise, and my friend, a spiritual medium, Anne Germain, tells me what she has been told, but I can’t prove it, so won’t say it here.

When I brought these girlies home, Telesto settled herself in very quickly. She cuddled and snuggled. What she didn’t do was sit on laps. That was ok, not all cats do laps. Oceana hid for a week before she came near anyone. Now, she will fight her way onto my lap. Little Telesto, it took her eight years before she would sit on my lap, or on top of me when I am lying down in bed. Even now, it’s quite fleeting, she still prefers, to lie by my side. Glued almost. Her preferred position is as close to me as she can be, particularly when I am sitting or lying in bed. The cat terms of engagement change in other rooms.

This is hard for us humans to understand, but it’s all about territory. I thought, when I bought my girls an activity tree that is about 6’ high, so taller than me, that they would all immediately think (a) this was manna from heaven and (b) they would stop scratching other things that I did not want them to scratch. Wrong.

First thing, my little girls, the younger pair of sisters, almost immediately made the activity tree their own. The other two rarely went near it. In fact, I have never, to this day, seen Oceana on it.

The thing is about cats (and dogs, and humans) is that when they’ve been badly treated, they need time to heal, and trust other humans. And sometimes they never build enough trust. The only thing you can do with cats is to let them take their own sweet time.

© Susan Shirley 2019


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