From Adorable Kittens To Wonderful Cats

This article was inspired by Ruth (Monty’s mom) who asked on another article if I missed the kittens who Walter and Jozef once were and the answer is, yes I do! But I love our cats as adults too and as the years go by I love them more than ever.

poster 1

We rescued Walter from a horrible home when he was 2 months old, we had to pay the people £5 to bring him away. The woman was wearing dirty clothes and then the man came downstairs equally as dirty and with a tiny kitten clinging onto his pullover for dear life. He was to be our Walter. Sadly we had to leave his sister, they wouldn’t part with her, maybe they were planning to breed kittens from her to sell.

Walter was shaking but we had to take him to the vets, he had fleas, worms, ear mites and a heart murmur. Ebony was 11 years old and hated him on sight. When he felt better from his vet treatment and good food and tlc he was a real pest to her. She only spoke to him in hisses.

So our solution was to find him a companion and this is how Jozef came into our family. We heard about a farm house with kittens needing homes. Jozef’s mother Mrs Champ had 7 kittens and no milk left to feed them. His 6 ginger brothers were spoken for and going that day too, they were really too young to leave their mother but she couldn’t cope, she was very young herself and all the kittens were already eating kitten food. His gran they called The Other One (strange name) had 4 kittens of her own and had been trying to help her daughter out but she wasn’t coping with 11 of course.

Mrs Champ had one more kitten at Christmas that year, they called him Noel and kept him, then thank goodness they saw sense and had all the cats, both male and female, neutered.

But back to the day we went to see them, Jozef toddled across to us, he was like a little house brick on legs lol. He definitely chose us. Walter leapt up in the air with happiness when we arrived back home with Jozef and wanted to play, poor Jo ran for cover. He said ‘Who is this madman, I haven’t even had time to unpack yet!’ But he soon settled in and they played together and Ebby was left in peace. Jo was so tiny he couldn’t even climb into the litter tray, we put a book next to it as a step up for him.

poster 2

Walter was hyperactive, he ran up the curtains and struck the wind chimes constantly. Poor Jo was jealous, we had to lift him up to have a go. But we did have fun, we invented all kinds of games, it was exhausting and we used to shut the boyz downstairs to sleep at night so that Ebony wasn’t bothered by them. We could see the relief on her face when we said goodnight to those little livewires.

Tamuri who was around a year old, lived next door, he loved to come and play with them. He loved Ebony too, he made himself quite at home and his family knew where to find him. Walter was almost twice the size of Jozef and went for neutering a long time before him, Jo still hasn’t caught up in size but isn’t shaped like a house brick any more.

Eventually Popsy came to live with us too, she loved Ebby and Jozef but mostly steered clear of Walter, as he grew up he became ‘the cat who walked alone’. Tamuri’s people emigrated and rehomed him. It broke our hearts as we loved him like our own. Sadly we heard he was run over and killed in his new home by a main road. I wish they would have left him with us.

Popsy died at only 5 years old and the following year Ebby died of old age. So since then we only have our boyz, Walter has anxiety if anything changes, we think the bad start in life caused it and he’s a bit of a bully too. Jozef puts him in his place but we feel it wouldn’t be fair on either of them to take any new cats in, maybe depriving them of a home where they would be happier with no Walter to rule them.

Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Facebook Discussion


From Adorable Kittens To Wonderful Cats — 42 Comments

  1. Such fabulous posters of your cats from kittenhood to now and their stories I do enjoy blogs like this about peoples cats I wish I was a writer but then I don’t have much time anyway.

    • Rose I think you could write beautifully if you just did it from the heart. The hardest bit is waiting for inspiration for another article, sometimes something someone says like Ruth MM did for this one, sets an idea brewing.
      I don’t know how Michael thinks up so much original stuff day after day, but he does!

  2. Beautiful boyz stories, R.
    I’ve had a hard time telling Walt and Joz apart until now.
    Side by side, I can really see the difference in size.

    • Most people seeing Walt and Jo for the first time think they are brothers, but to us they are not really alike at all apart from being black and white. Our nephew who has promised in the awful scenario of Babz and me both being incapacitated or dying together, to immediately get them to Marions (Cats Protection) if that happens, so he has photos and all the information about each of them as even he can’t tell them apart.

  3. They’re such lovely boys, they make us laugh and they make us cry because they’re so precious, and they make us tear our hair out when we open something thinking it’ll make a lovely meal and they sniff it and walk away looking back over their shoulders as though to say “Are you trying to poison us mother?”. Poor Walter was such a little skemmy, who’d have thought he would grow up into the fine figure of a cat he is now. I promised him I wouldn’t tell anyone this but I can’t resist, through the night last night I woke up and looked down the bed to where he was lying, he saw me looking and rolled luxuriously on to his back and rolled right off the bed onto the ottoman at the bottom, it was now you see him now you don’t,then his black ears appeared, followed by his black and white face, checking that I wasn’t laughing at him, I stifled the giggles by putting my head under the covers while he then decided to have a midnight feast. This morning I woke to slurp..slurp and it was Jozef sitting beside my bed washing his hands and fixing me with a gaze that said “Rise and shine!”, they always seem to know which of us is on early morning duty, they’re clever boys as well as lovely boys. I could rave on about them all day.

    • Me too I could write an entire book lol
      As you know, I had a job to keep this article a readable length because our boyz are such a pair of characters.

      • Ruth, when you say “pair of characters” it makes me want to adopt a friend for Charlie but I don’t know if he’d accept a new cat or whether where I am living is suitable (a small flat in London). I should be in the country with a big walled garden or something like that. I’d adopt a friend for Charlie then. Of course he has me. I am with him all the time. We are joined at the hip :).

        • I think Charlie would have a hard time accepting a new cat in your home Michael, he’d probably be jealous and a flat isn’t really big enough for 2 cats not to have to live in close proximity. You say Charlie doesn’t go out much now so he obviously loves being with you, I think it wouldn’t be fair on him to adopt another cat because I think he would hate sharing you.
          Sometimes people try to make us feel guilty for only having our 2 boyz but we have to think of them as well as any cat we took in and we know it wouldn’t work out.
          Our two have lived together 12 years now since being kittens, so they know each other well.

        • I’m pretty sure you can guess my thoughts about adopting another cat considering my life. The decision is really a human one and not a cat one. Cats adapt. It’s not necessary that they be best buddies. We can’t predict how it will be until it happens.
          It’s all about what the human is willing to accept and how much effort they’re willing to put out, ie. dividing their time and attention, deciphering two different personalities, and providing a share friendly environment.
          I don’t believe that my presence, alone, is sufficient for any cat. They like having their own kind around even if they’re not on “speaking terms”.

          • I respect your opinion Dee but it can be very stressful for the cats as well as the humans if a new cat isn’t accepted by the resident cat and in a small home it can be a nightmare. When Popsy came into our family it was hell on earth protecting her from Walter who has hated black cats all his life, we had to be on guard all the time incase he bullied her or Ebony, she and Walt never got along. Sleeping arrangements were very awkward too as both Walter and Popsy chose Barbara to sleep with, I had Ebony, Jozef and sometimes Tamuri too, there was no one we could shut downstairs by that time without making any of them feel unequal, so we didn’t have very peaceful nights being on the alert for any trouble. I think Charlie at around the same age as our boyz are now would find it hard to share Michael, yes cats need homes but is a fraught home better than no home? I think ferals adjust better to sharing, their lifestyle is to live in colonies, domestic cats with a loving caretaker don’t need companion cats. Only my opinion of course but I don’t think Michael should feel guilty about only having only one cat, as he says they are ‘joined at the hip’ and it would be a tragedy if that happy relationship was spoiled.
            I think Michael does more than his bit as he cares about the welfare of all cats worldwide.
            Love you Dee x

            • I love your concern about making sure a new cat fits in. Too often people assume they can bring a new cat to a home where there is a resident cat without problems. Cats are still essentially solitary and territorial. These emotions and the cat’s lifestyle are barriers to accepting a new cat. I would like Charlie to have a cat friend but I don’t think he would accept. He is too set in his ways.

              • Totally agree, a stressful home environment is not healthy for a cat and can cause illness like cystitis for a start, plus over grooming and all manner of feeding and litter box problems. I don’t agree with the shove them in and let them find their place theory, I think each cat deserves consideration, especially the resident cat who has been the sole cat and who is not a young cat any longer. It’s a fact that there are thousands more cats than there are homes but sometimes, for example as in Michael’s case and in our case it just isn’t possible to take more in and make it work so we just have to do the best we can for homeless cats in other ways.

            • All very good points, Michael, RuthaAka, Barbara.
              I’ve never really had a huge problem with cats despising one another, just some that don’t want anything to do with each other.
              I think, because I have never had one cat alone ever in my life, I was a bit baffled with the comments. I just don’t have that experience, so I trust that ya’ll know what you’re talking about.
              I don’t know how a flat is different from an apartment, condo, or house.
              I’m guessing that it may be what we term a “studio apartment” that is usually quite small and may have only 2-3 rooms.

              • Yes I know what you are talking about Dee, we can only talk about our own experiences can’t we, or maybe what we’ve seen happening with friends cats too. I think our houses are very small in comparison to yours over there and most flats are even smaller, we successfully had 4 cats at a time at our old home because all were quite laid back types. But I have heard of the resident cat actually leaving home when a new cat has come along.
                Tamuri had a sister Malai and she took centre stage in their home, she rarely went out, so that’s probably why he decided to just about live with us, he could ignore Walter, they tolerated each other. Poor Malai was found dead at only 3 years old, but no obvious cause. It breaks our hearts they wouldn’t leave Tamuri with us when they emigrated and then he was run over. Those 2 precious little lives gone so young 🙁

      • I love reading about Jo and Walt on Facebook and seeing their pictures. Monty is a bit jealous because they can play outside more than he can. Half the year here is frozen and snowy and the other half is so hit and humid he can’t tolerate it. We only get a few nice days every year for a cat to play outside, or that’s how it seems. Walt and Jo have many more days where it’s not too hot, too cold or too snowy. It rains a lot, but Monty doesn’t care about rain. He plays outside even in a downpour. Monty would make a fine English cat, I think, and he would probably be very interested in meeting Jo and Walt. There might be some hissing at first, but then they would sniff butts and get down to having some real fun discussing how silly their humans can be, and how they have us wrapped around their little paws. “You should see what I did to annoy my humans now,” Monty would say. “They worked all day building these elevated platforms and bridges for me, but even though I wanted to play on them I ignored everything they had done and purposely looked the other way when they tried to show me. When they set me near it I ran the other way. After they went to bed, I had a great time, but they still think I hate it. I think I’ll make them think I hate it for another month or two.”

        • I love reading about Monty and I laughed when I read on facebook he was ungrateful about his new walkways. I’m sure he will love them given time and Walt and Jo will be very jealous, they have their outdoor catnasium but would love indoor walkways. Oh they’d love to get together and talk about their silly humans who are such willing slaves 🙂

        • I love hearing about Monty’s exploits, what a typical cat reaction to the walkway, they just can’t bear us to think they like anything can they? I think he’ll come to enjoy it in time. Walter and Jozef said “Watch for the camera Monty, if your humans are like ours are they’ll be snapping pics of you when you are secretly enjoying your walkway”

          • I think he has me wrapped around his little paw. I keep giving him tuna and fresh cat nip on the steps up to his walkway. The longer he is reluctant to go up there the more he can keep getting rewards for doing it!

            • Ruth, I am watching this developing and well publicised story with interest 😉 LOL I want to see whether you can get him interested. We depend on you to succeed because if you don’t I won’t build one….

              • I think I’ve got him figured out. We bought some old carpet samples from a flooring place for a dollar or two apiece. Those will be trimmed and tacked onto Monty’s steps and the inside of the suspended boxes. Monty loves the carpet squares. He was sniffing then with interest. I’ll spread them out around the house, let him use them for sleeping spots already. I think he will like it better with carpeted landings. Also, I’m going to tackle some clutter in there. Usually when I do that Monty becomes quite adventurous, climbing up in places he normally doesn’t go. If I dig into cleaning out a closet or moving furniture it seems to get him looking at his environment in new ways and wanting to explore. So I’m hoping if I ignore him and clean off the table right under his little bridge, perhaps he will get curious and adventurous, wanting to watch me from above. Wish me luck!

              • lol good luck Ruth, I’m sure Monty will so much appreciate all this once he tries it out, he is one very lucky boy to have his very own walkway 🙂

    • That is hilarious Barbara. I can just see him rolling off, “oops”, while trying to be coy!
      My Marvin is a complete clown. I wish I knew him as a kitten, but then he wouldn’t be him! Bigfoot is much more serious. The other two are living the life. Always snuggled together. Even in their old age, they sometimes play. Hide and jump. I’m sure it is for my entertainment alone.

      Have you seen much of the kitten down the street?

      • They are keeping him/her in, we still haven’t spoken to them in person, two young women who seem to be a couple, they hardly emerge and are very quiet, but it looks they’ve taken notice of the message we put through their door about the kitten and they’ve accepted our written invitation to join our Neighbourhood Watch, by putting the sticker in their window.
        Hopefully of us will get to chat to them soon and steer the conversation to cats and neutering etc….

      • Dorothy you’ll be glad to know we have ‘touched base’ with the new people, we were walking into the Grove today as they were walking out and Babz spoke to them, asked if they are settling in and one answered pleasantly yes they are and we all exchanged smiles. Stage one of ‘lets be friendly’ is established and we know now they are not hostile like some here are. We’ll soon get to ‘cat chat’ now lol

  4. The potted history of an dedicated English cat caretaker. Full of charm and I found it very interesting.

    I think it is great that Walter and Jozef got on like a house on fire from the word go. You found a really nice solution. Was the fact that Jo was a kitten a reason why they got on?

    Things just evolved and as we say (us cat lovers) cats just arrive or they are always there ready for adoption. It is not hard to find a kitten or cat that needs a home.

    • I think kittens get along no matter what.

      In Slovenia we just brought in an FIV kitten with the other cats and being a kitten she has adapted very easily and well – and the grown up cats don’t seem to mind him. We just have to work out if its safe to keep an FIV cat with non FIV cats.

      I love this little story – thanks Ruth. It’s very sad about Popsy and the little one who got run over. If only you could have kept him. Yopu must have been heartbroken. Also to have Popsy and Ebony die so close together. Very hard I’m sure.

      Walt and Jo seem like very happy cats. I agree that what happens as babies can stay with them in life. I feel that Molly has finally shrugged off her paranoia with me but it’s still there with strangers – I wish I knew what happend to make her like that. I saw her from the day she was born and she was a rambunctious crazy little kitten with no fear at all – and then all of a sudden a few days before she came to mine something had changed. I think Genie – the lady who has these bloody kittens every year – got angry and scolded her because she pooped inside because she was bored and nobody would play with her. Genie said she was angry because Molly pooped but I am concluding that she must have scolded her which changed everything – made Molly scared for and entire year.

      Now she trusts me and I can pick her up and she likes cuddles. If you saw my videos of her as a kitten you would never believe she suddenlt became so shy and scared. I’m still angry about it.

      I’m glad Walt and Jo have, for the most part, gotten over their past.

      • Thanks Marc, yes a cat never forgets his past but like us they learn to live with it once they feel happy and safe.
        I can understand how you feel angry, poor little Molly, I’m so glad you have been able to turn her life around. Some people are so ignorant punishing cats, it makes my blood boil!

    • Yes we knew it would have to be another kitten rather than an older cat because Walt needed someone his age to have fun with. I think he went crazy with happiness to get out of that awful house. The poor dog had big sores on his back, we went again after getting Walt away, to try again to rescue his sister and assess any more cats there and the dog of course and try to educate the people a bit about animal welfare, but no one ever answered the door, then one day the house was boarded up, they had gone!
      This happens quite often around here, unemployable people move into distant landlords ‘buy to lets’ destroy them, run up a lot of bills and then do a ‘moonlight flit’ They live on benefits and rent and council tax free, which makes working people very angry. Thankfully the ‘cleaners up’ always check no animals have been left because these low lifes sometimes do that too.
      A bit off topic but next door but one to us after the drug raid and the yob locked up for 5 years, his girlfriend was evicted, but must have kept a key. The ‘cleaner ups’ have found the inside trashed, fixtures sawed up, the gas boiler and copper pipes stolen. We had heard activity and reported it to the police of course. The picture is the front window, can you believe they lived in there like that after they smashed the front windows out one night? They DID for months!

      • We do have a problem in Britain with a section of society. A lost generation. Somehow a part of Britain became lazy and feckless. They have very low standards probably partly because they have low self-esteem. These are the kind of people that can (not always) mistreat companion animals. It is very worrying. Your photo of the window is very evocative of that kind of life.

        • Yes, when we had the criminal druggies next door, after the conwoman went, they professed to love their dog but in reality their ilk use them, the dog wears a bulky collar so they can hide drugs under it, the buyer reaches down to ‘pat the dog’ and gets his/her supply that way.
          Thankfully that dog is now in a good home, because he’s in prison and she’s wearing a police tag and living with someone banned from keeping pets.
          Oh we’ve had some weird neighbours and learned things we’d much rather not know lol but none of them ever hurt any of the neighbourhood cats.

          • Ruth, I am bit shocked at how you have to live near such people. It is a shame. The contrast between their attitude to animals and yours is stark. It would make me a little bit nervous knowing my cats were going outside sometimes.

            Where I live now, the general feel of the place is that the residents are (a) retired – but there are some young people and (b) they like animals or at least respect them.This is is comforting but I can’t get Charlie to go out. I think the fireworks after we moved in have upset him. I am trying to get him to have a look around outside.

            • Yes it’s a shame we have some low life people here and it’s all because of those distant buy to let landlords who buy houses up when people move and then let anyone move in who they get the rent paid for.
              But we do have some nice people too and even the man next door now in that notorious house, who lives in a tip and with the noisy dogs, respects our cats, we are very lucky in that way. Look at Narla who comes to be fed, she’s out all hours and she sits on cars but no one has ever hurt her.
              We look at it this way, better the devil we know, our main concern is that this is the safest place for our cats to live, we can’t move far away while Babz has to work and there are places far worse than this!

              • Remote landlords are a huge pain. I am a landlord so I know a bit about the subject and you are correct. Remote landlords who don’t control things and who don’t make sure their tenants comply with the lease or don’t make a nuisance are being irresponsible. There a lot of of people who don’t take responsibility for their actions in the UK nowadays.

        • We have the same problem with the “lazy and feckless” here too, Michael. Self esteem comes from doing things. People feel bad about themselves because they don’t do anything. We try to instill self esteem by telling children how wonderful they are instead of making them do things to earn it. You should have seen my 4th and 5th graders when they had to sing in front of the whole school at Christmas time. They had that deer in the headlights look about them with some of them trying to hide behind the others. But by their second song they loosened up and sang it well and the whole school was talking about how great they sounded and what a cool song they sang. Those kids felt GREAT about themselves!

  5. Beautiful story in black and white. I love the picture that includes Tamuri. I love learning the history of our ‘virtual’ cat friends.

    What a lucky bunch. Thanks Ruth, and the other Ruth, for prompting this story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.