by Diane & Dave
Mia came to us as a stray. My postwoman friend had seen her on her delivery round, and known her from a kitten, then when she was only a few months old she was thrown out because she happened to scratch the furniture one day.
She stayed in the area - a couple of streets away, and a couple of people were occasionally feeding her but no-one would adopt her. Then one of the families who fed her most regularly got a dog, and Mia was terrified and so would not go to the garden for food so often.
My friend could not take her in as she already has a very territorial cat who will not tolerate any other animal in the house. However she carried dried cat food with her when she was delivering the mail, and would feed Mia whenever she saw her.
Every week my friend would tell us these little sob stories of how this pretty little cat had no home, how she was pregnant, and then how the foxes had taken her babies. Then one day she told us how she had seen her, stranded terrified in someone's birdhouse, with about 7 of the local toms waiting for her.
We were gradually being worn down! Eventually, just before Christmas one year, my friend said that the pretty little cat was looking a bit ropey, and in desperate need of a home. We couldn't bear to listen to any more tales of woe, so my friend got her cat basket and went to where she regularly saw the cat, and caught her.
When we first saw her it was love at first sight, there in the cat carrier was a pitiful little black and white fluffball, about 18 months old, emitting little high pitched squeaks, her eyes huge and black with fear. As soon as we got her into the house she lost no time in jumping on everyone's knee for a few seconds, then set about investigating her new home.
I had determined after our last cat died that any new cats would sleep in the kitchen. That lasted an hour! The first night she set up such a howling that we couldn't bear it so we caved in and let her come upstairs. After keeping her indoors for two weeks, we decided to let her into the garden wearing a cat harness, just in case she tried to run away. We needn't have worried, as soon as we took her outside, she wriggled out of my arms and shot straight back indoors again.
This happened again and again for the next few days, until she felt brave enough to sit just outside the back door. It was as if, now she had got a home she wouldn't be letting it go!
We've now had Mia for three years, and her personality is developing all the time. It took her over twelve months to actually curl up on our laps, and even then it was only if there was a newspaper on the lap in question. Now she will sit and pester us to make a lap for her. She normally only stays for 10-20 minutes, then she suddenly leaps off and goes off to sleep on top of the dvd player or on the window sill. She's never far away from us - she follows us everywhere when we leave the room. If we are in the garage she'll just curl up asleep on a motorbike until we go back down the house.
When we go out, we can almost always guarantee that she will be waiting by the gate for us to come back - when pulling up onto the drive we see a little pair of eyes peering under the gate. Also if one of us goes out, after a couple of hours she will go up by the gate and wait for them for them until the one who is still at home calls her - then she comes back down the house, doing her lop-sided run, tail stuck up in the air, galloping down the path.
One funny habit she has, which everyone finds amusing, is that when we brush her on the back yard, she puts her chin right down on the floor, her back end up in the air, and she shuffles herself along by her front paws, rubbing her chin & chest along the floor, purring away! She only ever does it when being brushed or stroked whilst outside. Strange creature!
If she goes out, we always know when she comes back in as it sounds as if she hits the cat flat at a hundred miles an hour. My husband always says she comes in as if her tail is on fire!
She is now very talkative. It's quite sweet when in bed fast asleep to be woken by a furry tail in your face followed by a wet nose nudging your cheek, all the while hearing little chirrups, purrs and squeaks. Once she is sure that you're wide awake she will curl up and go to sleep. She didn't purr at all for the first twelve months that we had her; then she started making tiny little purrs, and now she purrs so loudly sometimes that it almost sounds like she's humming.
She spends hours sitting on the windowsill looking out, chittering at any birds that dare come onto the lawn. If the venetian blinds are down (there are four at the window)she will sit and paw the slats until one of us gets up and opens one of the blinds. More often than not she will wait until we sit back down and then start bashing the next blind, and so on until they are all open. One day I was upstairs and I heard the neighbour's grandchildren shouting "Nanny, nanny, look at the cat! she's climbing through the blinds". I came downstairs to see a big fluffy bottom and tail sticking out halfway up the blinds, her front end hanging through, looking out of the window. We have now had to buy a complete blind to use for spare slats so we can replace all the ones she keeps breaking!
Even though she is braver now that when we first had her, she's still reluctant to investigate if it sounds like something is tapping the cat flap - she'll suddenly sit up, and keep looking at us then looking at the door, until we get up and go to see what the noise is. Then she follows right behind, sometimes even getting between our feet - though she hangs right back when we open the door.
Though we'd like another cat, we don't think that Mia would adapt to one now. And she had such a hard life to start with that we don't want to give her any more upset and upheaval. As you can tell, we are totally besotted by our furry purry moggie! She's worth more to us than the rarest pedigree.
Diane & Dave