Nah – not me. Cats are for pussies. I still walk it like I talk it, Comrades.
Ah – lookey here: it’s only Murphie, the simply adorable kitten.
So yeah, Saturday morning and @AnnaJCowen and I headed off to Colchester Cat Rescue to hopefully find a new friend. The sanctuary on the edge of Ardleigh is simply an ace place. The original owner has recently passed away, leaving a legacy of looking after, and hopefully re-homing, the lost cats of Colchester.
We were rightfully vetted in every sense, with postcode checks, a comprehensive questionnaire (why do you want a cat – um, cos they iz funny?) and then a pairing up policy that was just perfect for our needs.
We were introduced to half a dozen of the little darlings. It’s not a beauty contest, as I reminded @AnnaJCowen, with memories of our own Colchester blind date from over two decades ago.
It would have been easier if we were given no choice, rather than be love torn between two cats in particular. Big Boy Jerry was a right bruiser. A white beast that roams his territory, taking no crap from other neighboring cats. But with the (lovely) unwelcome guest still occasionally sniffing around, Jerry would have kicked off the Wivenhoe Cat Wars.
Which left us falling instantly for Murphie, the black and white little lost kitten. She was altogether a very different story – an unloved cat that has no confidence, having had a horrendous start to her short life so far.
Thrown over the Cat Rescue fence in a carrier with a ‘look after this cat’ note (ffs) – Murphie shied away from us as we ventured into her pen and cautiously approached.
She is the kind of cat that is difficult to re-home, simply because she is unable to give much attention back. It was for this very reason that we asked if we could try and help her out.
Not technically a kitten at just under three years old, little Murphie still has a lot to learn. She is quite a challenge to try and regain her trust in humans. Thankfully we have the time and home space to try and help her out.
True to form, the early hours were indeed tough. Murphie stayed in her cat carrier for just under ten hours, only poking her nose out late in the evening for a brief stretch.
We closed the door in her safe room overnight, confident that we had taken every precaution to limit any possible trouble spots and areas of safety concern. Come Sunday morning and we had lost little Murphie.
I looked around the room, but there was no sign. My mind raced through all forms of fanciful theories – escaping through the letterbox? Cat kidnap? Spontaneous combustion?
It seems that we had overlooked the small matter of the unblocked fireplace.
A rather panicky Sunday morning followed, trying to tempt Murphie down and prevent her from climbing any further. Some very kind help and advice via twitter, and shortly after lunch, she came sniffing down for some food.
Tremendous progress has been over the past forty-eight hours since. Murphie is out of her safe room, and happy to explore the rest of the house. She has become trustful of us, even advancing to jumping up to sit on our lap – which is all rather handy when you have eight hours of cricket a day to watch for the next six weeks.
The pattern of sleeping during the day, and being active early evening fits in perfectly with my working from home routine. I can ramble on to her, with a half-crooked ear taking it all in, before rolling over and begging for a belly stroke – Murphie, not me.
And so a blog all about kittens, you say? Remind me – why did I think going down the dog route was the way ahead when planning the Great Escape?