Once upon a time, there was a little cat called George. Whilst I refer to him, for sake of argument, as a cat, anyone who has met him will not dispute that he is at least 50% human. He has more character than any other animal that I have met.
In my last blog post, I promised that my next post would be a little more light-hearted. Since, thanks to my husband’s YouTube antics, George already has a social media presence, I thought I might tell his story here (and also reveal my true colours as a crazy cat lady). Something a little different – enjoy!
“Hello. I’m George, can we be friends?”
This is George the day that I bought him home. I was 15 years old and lived on a farm at the time. It was five years since our last cat had died and I had petitioned my parents for a new cat, but to no avail. One of my friends’ cats had a litter and she offered me a kitten. I asked my mum and she said no, so naturally I asked my dad, who said yes,
“Mummy’s already said ‘no’.” I said to him and he smiled at me,
“I’ll talk to her.” he said, and weeks later I brought George home; he was small enough to sit on the palm of my hand. His little claws were like needles and he liked to climb up legs.
He slept a lot. We had a dog, but George either teased her or ignored her.
The summer I got George was also the summer that I got my first computer, an Apple Mac with a webcam. This, of course, lead to numerous cat selfies.
The first time I put George out for the night, I was so anxious! I worried about the roads and how the farm cats would react to him. I needn’t have worried. He was an explorer cat from the very beginning.
Sometimes he was too adventurous and needed rescuing. The farm cats accepted him into the fold and he spent a lot of time with them. He learned his name very early on so if I wanted to call him home I stood at the back door and shouted his name and he would return within five minutes. Sometimes I would go and seek him out, exploring the barns and climbing into the stacks of bales to find him. Once, George refused to come home because he was having so much fun with his friends. My dad climbed to the very top of a stack of round bales, put George down the front of his zipped-up coat, climbed down the bale stack and carried George home to me. George never had a collar when we lived on the farm, collars and cats who climb don’t tend to mix, but there were no ginger cats on the farm so everyone on the farm knew who George was.
Although he loved exploring, he also loved being in the house.
“I’m gonna trip you up. I’ve been waiting here for HOURS!”
This is a Christmas cat. Spot the Lindt bell! I’m obviously biased, but isn’t he just the most beautiful cat ever?
This basket was on top of a cupboard. The first time he managed to hide himself away up here it took me ages to find him. It soon became one of his favourite sleeping spots.
In fact, George just liked wicker baskets quite a lot…
In the summer, he liked the greenhouse the best.
Yes, sometimes George sleeps on his face. It’s very strange. I don’t know how he manages to breathe…
And sometimes he pretends that he is a prawn.
When George was four years old, I went away to university. He was not very happy about this:
He then fell asleep deliberately. Before this, he’d been jumping into every single empty bag as I tried to pack. A hindrance? George? Surely not!
If ever I came home and brought some university work with me, he liked to get involved. He tends to do the same these days when I am writing.
Whilst I was at university, my family left the farm. Luckily, my brother and his then fiancée (now his wife!) gave George a home. He lived with them in their village and made new friends. I hated being so far away from him but whenever I visited my brother, I always got such a warm welcome from Georgie.
Being apart from George meant that I was determined to befriend any ginger cat that crossed my path. This is a friend that I made in Essex:
Last January, my husband and I moved out of our pokey little flat in Southampton and into a house. My brother asked if I wanted George back. My heart sank – we had just signed ourselves into a minimum term of a year in a ‘no pets’ contract for our rented house. I told my brother that I’d speak to the landlord, who very kindly agreed that George could move in!
Do not underestimate how happy this made me.
It was a new experience for my husband, who had never had a pet as a child.
My husband works from home, so it’s nice for both him and George to have each other’s company during the day.
“Oh, you wanted to do some work? I don’t care.”
I learned to knit last year and my first project was a West Ham scarf for my husband. After this, I used the left over yarn to make a tiny scarf for George.
(like I said, I’m evidently a crazy cat lady!!)
He’s not so keen on this heatwave that we’re experiencing in the UK at the moment, but I consider providing shade for the cat to be a good use of my time:
And he likes our garden furniture:
“When’s dinner? Is it now?”
Or perhaps he’s singing ‘Empty chairs at empty tables’ from Les Miserables?
It’s not been totally plain sailing, we live in a neighbourhood with a lot of cats and George tends to be quite territorial. He doesn’t get on with the cat next door at all and we have had to take him to the vets quite a few times because there is a cat nearby who bites the top of his front legs when they fight. George hates going in the car and sitting in his basket in the waiting room, but he doesn’t mind the nice vet that looks after him. He also has a cat sitter who looks after him when we go away and she absolutely adores him! She says he is her favourite cat that she has ever looked after.
Anyway, George is nine years old now and undoubtedly the best thing since sliced bread. He’s also probably the most photographed cat in Hampshire!