This week some of the HQ Cats have been enjoying the late summer sunshine out on the balcony…
Martha grabbed prime king-of-the-castle position – on top of an upturned basket. And looked very pleased with herself!
Beryl discovered a New Favourite Place – squeezed in between two flowerpots.
Ethel demonstrated the Look Confident Enough And You’ll Get Away With It technique. It worked, and she was allowed to continue squashing my new plant!
Meanwhile, back indoors, Eric ruined his macho image by enjoying a lovely cuddle with his toy rat.
There’s no Eric today, as he had to go to the vets this morning and is being kept in for 24hrs observation. The poor boy was taken ill quite suddenly late last night – he had a raging temperature, and such bad earache that all he could do was lay down and growl. Luckily I had some pain killing/anti-inflammatory medication left over from one of his previous misshaps, and so was able to make him more comfortable overnight. I’ve been assured it’s nothing serious and he’ll be able to come home tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the HQ Ladies and I took advantage of an unusually pleasant afternoon and spent some time in the garden, before we were driven back indoors by the fumes from a neighbour’s barbecue: it smelled like they’d decided against the traditional charcoal briquettes in favour of grilling the food over a vat of flaming lighter fuel. Bet it tasted lovely!
Here’s Ida pondering the meaning of life, or maybe just wishing it was dinner time:
Martha wanted to show you all what nice teeth she has:
Ethel was permitted to sit in the plant pot as she looked so cute:
And, back indoors, Beryl enjoyed not having to share her favourite bed with Eric (he snores very loudly):
This week got off to an absolutely cracking start: on Monday morning Ethel (pictured above) nudged my hand and then chirruped a request for a stroke. This may not sound all that remarkable, so let me put it into context for you.
Ethel came to me as a feral foster kitten 18 months ago, and I eventually adopted her a few months back. Up until very recently Ethel had existed almost entirely in her own closed-off little world, and had rarely interracted with either myself or the other HQ cats.
So I was tickled pink when she asked me to stroke her for the very first time on Monday morning. And, as if that wasn’t enough, later that day we had another first from Ethel: she actually purred! Joy of joys! (You can read more about Ethel and her difficult start in life here.)
This week also saw the installation of the new cat-flap; much to Ida’s initial dismay. (I think she may’ve been wondering how it got so dirty so quickly – she’s quite big on hygiene.) Don’t worry, she soon got the hang of it!
And Eric managed to find time in his busy schedule to relax in the garden.
Young Ethel is the newest recruit here at HQ. Poor Ethel didn’t have a very good start in life: she was born into a colony of cats living in some underground garages on a South London housing estate. The colony was suffering regular hostility from humans and dogs, and so all the cats were trapped and removed for rehoming by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.
Ethel when she was 6 months old & friendlier!
I took Ethel, and her brother Alfie, on as foster kittens when they were around 4 or 5 months old and completely feral. After a few months they’d become sufficiently confident for rehoming and were adopted by a couple with a nice house and garden. Sadly, 3 months later I received a phone call from their new owner asking me to come and collect them: she’d discovered she was pregnant, and felt unable to cope with two cats and a baby.
On their return it became apparent that Alfie – the friendlier of the two – had continued to receive plenty of attention in his new home, but Ethel had not, and consequently had regressed to the point where she would no longer allow herself to be touched. Ethel was a year old at this stage, which meant that her behaviour was unlikely to change a great deal, and this would make her very difficult to rehome a second time. So I made the decision to split her from her brother, as there wasn’t a strong bond between them anyway, and being paired with Ethel would’ve made it far more difficult for Alfie to find another home.
Alfie was paired up with Stuart, another young male, which has proved a roaring success – they love chasing each other around and play-fighting.
Alfie(left) with BFF, Stuart
And young Ethel is going to stay with me. I doubt she’ll ever be a lap cat, or even enjoy being stroked, but that’s fine by me and she’ll always have a home here.
Posted in HQ Cats
Tagged ethel, HQ Cats