The cat that glues our family together
(Christchurch, New Zealand)
Classic cat face
My husband Phillip never used to like cats but by the time my tabby, Pixel, died at the advanced age of 19 he'd known her for 15 years and that had changed.
We adopted a rescue kitten in 2006, but sadly only had him for two years; his unexpected death devastated our little family as he was Phillip's best wee mate, and his two sisters (other rescue kitties) were just lost without him. We realised we needed a third cat to balance the family again; Phillip insisted on one as like Boofycat as possible, I knew one would just be 'right' no matter what the age/gender/looks.
When I rang our adoption contact (the head nurse at our vet's practice) they'd just neutered two adolescent long-haired males one of which was a tabby (like Boofy!). I insisted we go and see him, and got a better result than I could have hoped - mutual love at first sight for him and Phillip! This kitten was so sad - a poor underfed little mite, starved to nothing but lank fur over skin & bone, eyes almost all black because he was so scared... but when Phillip went into a separate room with him all this kitten wanted to do was get closer to him. And his lovely long almost-plumy tail (Boofy again!) was up and waving the whole time too. He came home with us two days later as soon as we got the ok from the vet!
When we got him he was 6/7 months old and weighed a skinny 3 kilos; his eyes (once he relaxed) turned out to be golden with a green inner ring; his fur is "mackerel" or "butterfly" tabby and although mostly black he has some lovely creamy caramel mixed in, and classic stripy tabby legs and spotted belly. His tail is the reason for his name - BASIL BRUSH, like the English fox puppet - and it's grown out from lanky fluff to sheer magnificence. We don't know his exact breed - most likely several! - but I believe it's NFC, that seems to be the dominant part as specific NFC characteristics like the triangular head, long ear furnishings, BIG feet with fluffy toes, uptilted eyes, etc, are really obvious in him, and there are NFC breeders here in NZ.
In the last 2 years Basil has really grown - his weight has doubled, he's inches taller, his fur has fluffed out and grown beautifully silky. He's got funny long lanky legs, he's strong and incredibly fast - which the girls love, because they can race and chase each other around the lawn and up & down trees, up & over the bed... our home is just one big playground! Basil adores us and over 2 years has just become more & more cuddly and smoochy; he adores his sisters too, and when they're not play-chasing there will be mutual washing followed by a cuddly pile of sleeping cats. He doesn't just like affection, he NEEDS it, and demands pats when he thinks it's been too long. He answers to 'Basil', 'Bazzycat'... and 'Boo' - because he's Just. So. Bootiful.
Basil & Phillip have a special bond: 4 months after Basil joined us Phillip was seriously ill - he'd had at least one possibly two undiagnosed heart attacks which he thought was just food poisoning, and was lying at home feeling awful for 5 days until we took him in to Emergency. Basil did not leave Phillip's side while he lay sick, and missed him hugely while he (Phillip) was in hospital. Even now we know if Phillip is not right because Basil hangs around him even more than usual. Basil is a truly special cat because he's done so much to heal our family; every day, being around him makes us all happier, the two girls are much better with people than they used to be... and just the thought of our Boocat makes Phillip and me smile.