I don’t remember much about before, before I came to live with my Mammy and Daddy. I only have fragmented memories of being frightened sometimes. I’ve overheard my Mammy telling people about my “bad start in life.”
Apparently my cat Mammy was not a very good mammy, probably because she was too young to really have kittens, she was still probably a kitten herself and the people we lived with were trying to sell us on The Book of Face, well that’s what my Mammy calls it.
Some people came one day and rescued me and my cat Mammy and my brothers and sisters and took us to my Foster Mammy, a really nice lady called Gemma, my Mammy says she saved my life. It was still sad for me though because they had to take my cat Mammy away because she wouldn’t let me and my brothers and sisters eat any food and I was very very small.
Then one day a man and a lady came to see me, they were very nice people and they gave me cuddles, I liked them. Gemma said that they were going to be my new mammy and daddy, but before I could go and live with them I had to eat all my food up and put some weight on. So I did.
Then came the day I was to go and live with my new family, I said goodbye to my brother, he was the only one left, I was really sorry to be leaving him, I wish he could have come too, I know my Mammy wishes she had brought him home as well, but we know he went to a good family too. When my Mammy took me out of the pet carrier and put me on the floor I knew I was home.
This is me with my Daddy, he loves me and I love him.
The First Night
“Right Deb, it’s time for bed, you take her up and I’ll put the alarm on.”
“Okey Dokey Lumpy, (thats what Mammy calls him, he’s not though, lumpy, he’s very cuddly) Come on then PoppyCat, time for bed baby.”
And so up to bed we went, my first night in my new home. The first thing my Mammy did was to put me into a big fluffy pyramid and she and Daddy got into a massive big bed. Well I sat in there for a while not sure what I was expected to do and then all of a sudden it went dark, really really dark. So I sat there for a while and then thought “sod this, I’m getting on the bed” so I got out of the fluffy pyramid and headed for the bed. Now bear in mind I was 8 weeks old and tiny and this bed is huge, so I jumped and latched onto the duvet cover with all of my tiny claws, then sort of bunny jumped up the side of the bed until I reached the top, at which point I settled on the end near Mammy’s feet and settled down to sleep.
“Oh no you don’t” said Daddy and he promptly put me back into the pyramid. So out I traipsed and bunny jumped back up the side of the bed until I was at Mammy’s feet again. This little state of affairs continued for another three times until Daddy said, “leave her Deb, let her stay on the bed.”
And there I stayed, all night in the same spot, didn’t move…. just laid there with my eyes closed. I thought to myself “If I’m a good girl I might be able to stay here…..seems ok so far. Right, lets list what’s happened so far, I think my new name is Poppy-Cat, I like it.”
So I tried it out a few times, “Poppy-Cat, Poppy-Cat, Poppy-Cat, yup, I like it” I tried to remember what I’d done when I walked out of the big box they brought me home in. I chased around after my glittery red ball that Gemma sent with me, Daddy mentioned something about going to play for the Boro, whatever that is?
I had my own food, which seemed to be all mine, well I suppose it would be if I had no brothers or sisters to share it with. That made me sad when I thought of my brothers and sisters so I snuggled a bit further into Mammy’s feet and pretended that I was huddled up with my siblings.
I must have slept at some point cos I awoke to two faces just looking at me with big smiles on their faces.
“Aw look Mammy, wasn’t she a good girl, slept all night.”
“She was Daddy, a good girl, slept next to Mammy all night.”
“All the night Mammy, Aww our little baby Poppy-Cat.”
I looked from one smiling face to the other and blinked slowly at them both.
“Oh look Daddy, squeezy eyes, your Mam said that’s a good sign, it means she loves us.”
“Squeezy eyes baby girl, we love you too.”
“Come on Poppy-Cat lets go for breakfast, I’ll bet your hungry.”
I was, and thirsty, my water was downstairs and I’d not moved all night, my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. So I just sat there whilst Mammy and Daddy got their dressing gowns on looking from one to the other and squeezing my eyes like mad!
Mammy carried me downstairs and put me down onto the floor. So I just sat there not sure what to do, Mammy opened the fridge and took out my pouch of food and put some into my dish, she gave me some fresh water and I tucked into my first breakfast in my new home. Daddy was stood with his arm around Mammy and they both just smiled at me, I looked up, licking my chops and ran to them.
Mammy picked me up and carried me to the litter tray, I’d used it last night so I knew what was expected. I dug around a bit and settled down to do my business…..only trouble was – Mammy was looking at me. I closed my eyes so I couldn’t see her but it was no good, I knew she was there, so I opened them and looked back.
“Mammy” said Daddy, “Stop looking, cats like privacy when they’re on the litter tray.
“Oh, oh right Daddy, ok come on let’s leave her to it.”
So, business completed I set off again to explore my new home.
MY RED BALL, YEY.
Daddy rolled my ball along the floor and off I set after it, I love my ball, did I mention. Uh oh – under the unit – off I dived after it…….
“SHIT, JOHN, SHE’S UNDER THE UNIT………DO SOMETHING.”
“She’ll come out don’t worry, she’s just exploring”
“I know, I’ll get a stick and see if I can feel her under there”
“No, She’ll come out when she’s ready”
“Stop panicking Deb, she’ll come out”
And when I poked my head out from underneath the unit I came whisker to nose with my Mammy who immediately scooped me up and held me in front of her face “Poppy-Cat, you mustn’t do that, you might get stuck under there, you gave Mammy a fright, naughty girl.” Then she gave me a big cuddle and lots of big sloppy kisses all over my face.
“Mammy……..stop it, Mammy, MAMMY PUT ME DOWN.” I wriggled and squirmed until Mammy thought she was going to drop me and had no choice but to put me down, then off I zoomed again, round the back of the sofa and then…..pounce, a scabby mouse, pounce, grab it by the scruff of the neck and shake. There, you’re dead. What shall I do now……ooo where does that go. Pounce…..jump….just then Mammy walked into my line of sight and my back arched, my tail went all crooked and I skittered sideways.
“John she’s just gone all archy back and crooky tail, then she did a sideways skitter, so funny. She’s so cute, Poppy-Cat come out from the fire place, come out this instance.
“Mammy, PUTMEDOWN. I want to explore.” However, I found that being snuggled up against Mammy made me feel sleepy, I tried to keep my eyes open but just couldn’t so I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
I only woke cos I needed a wee, so I jumped off Mammy’s knee and headed for my litter tray, I climbed in and turned my back on Mammy.
“It’s ok baby, I’m not looking at you.” Mammy said with a little laugh.
Well I rather thought that you must be Mammy or else how did you know that I was in my litter tray, but I let that pass. Business taken care of I looked around to get my bearings. In the corner of the hall was a massive and I mean MAHOOSIVE tower, that I gathered was all mine, or so Daddy said. It was grey and fluffy and had ledges and tunnels and climbing posts and it looked very high.
“I’ll never get up there.” I thought
“She’ll never get up there.” Said Daddy.
“I know,” said Mammy “what were we thinking getting that huge thing for her, she’ll never use it, what if she gets up there while we’re out, she’ll get stuck.”
“Mammy,” I thought, “I’m a cat, cats don’t get stuck, they choose to stay put until someone comes along and makes them get down.” Even so, it was really really high……really high. I had to tip my head all the way back to see to the top of it.
Anyway, Daddy picked me up and put me on one of the ledges. “Go on then Poppy-Cat, have a little climb, Daddy’s here you won’t fall.”
Daddy placed me onto one of the ledges and said, “go on baby, have a little climb.”
So I did, well that’s what cats do – climb. And you know what? It was wonderful, I dug my claws into one of the posts and did my little bunny hop up to the next level. “Look at me Daddy, I can climb, I’m a big girl.” Of course all of this was conveyed with squeezy eyes.
“Right Mammy.” Said Daddy, “let’s see if she wants something to eat, she’s eaten all of her breakfast.”
So Mammy picked me up off the grey furry ledge – which was good for me as I had no idea how I was getting down.
“Come on baby-girl, it’s lunch time for Poppy-Cats.” Mammy carried me into the kitchen and put me on the floor while she picked up my dish and got the food out of the fridge, however, in my excitement at the thought of more food, I got too near Mammy’s feet and tripped her up. She did a few little funny jumps whilst saying “A, A, A, OOOO, OOO, Poppy-Cat, be careful, Mammy nearly stepped on you then.”
“She’s good at that Deb,” said Daddy, “I’ve started to look down at the floor before I move my feet.”
“Yeah I see what you mean, I’ll have to remember to do that as well.”
Mammy put my food into the dish and placed it onto my mat in the corner of the kitchen, at which point I butted my head into Mammy’s hand and arched my body – inviting a stroke along the length of my back. Then I tucked into my lunch with gusto.
Tummy suitably full I wondered off in the direction of my litter tray – which is always clean, no matter how often I use it – and settled down to my business.
Feeling tired again I toddled into the living room in order to settle down for a sleep, either on Mammy or Daddy or my bed in the bay window – the bed being another tower of ledges and tunnels but not quite so big – finding Mammy and Daddy sat on the sofa I thought I would quite like to snuggle with them. So I jumped for it, “Arrgh baby-girl,” said Mammy snatching me quickly up, “the leather.” At which point Daddy said, “stop fussing Mammy, that leather balm you bought will sort it out.”
Mammy then looked at Daddy and said, “who are you and what have you done with my husband,” she handed me to Daddy and went over to the big unit – the one I like to go under – and took out said leather balm out of one of the drawers. She then started to rub it in to the scratches on the suite. At which point I started to chase the duster she was using and tried to kill it – well I am a cat after all – “Daddy,” said Mammy, “keep hold of her while I do this.”
“Mammy,” said Daddy, “leave it for now, or all you’ll be doing is following her around with a pot of balm, we’ll just do it every couple of days.”
“MMMM, good job I want the suite to look battered and old, at this rate it will only take a few days.”
I was laid on Daddy’s chest all snuggled in, warm and safe, my eyes closed and I dropped off to a lovely sleep.
The days went on like this for a while, my Mammy was always with me cos she was recovering from an operation and was still off work. Daddy went to work on a morning and came home in the afternoon. My life was idyllic, until one day when Daddy came home he went to the garage and got out the box that I came home in.
“Oh no” I thought, “am I leaving again, I don’t want to go, well if I hide under the cabinet I can just live under there, I love my mammy and daddy, I want to stay here.”
So that’s what I did, I darted underneath the cabinet and wouldn’t come out.
“DEB” shouted Daddy, “she’s gone underneath the cabinet, shit, we’ll be late for the vets if we don’t leave soon, the teatime traffic is hell.”
“Vets, what’s a vet,” so I poked my nose out from underneath the cabinet, “what’s a vet Daddy”, will I like it?”
“Come on baby girl, we have to go to the vet, you need to have a check-up”
“Right John,” said Mammy, “get the stick from her toy box and try to coax her out, the little madam, she picks her time to play hide and seek.”
And so Mammy proceeded to sweep the stick back and forth in an arch until I ran out from under the cabinet. I had no choice, a stick smacking you on the bum is no fun! Daddy picked me up “come on madam, we’re going to be late if we don’t get a wiggle on.”
Daddy put me into the box with my special blankie in it and put me into the car on the back seat. Mammy sat next to me, I was not at all sure about this, however I remember this is how I came home from Gemma’s house so I gave it the benefit of the doubt. So there I sat, a cat in a box, daddy driving the car and mammy talking to me all the way to the vets.
When we got to the vets, Daddy got me out of the car and took me into the vets, Mammy went to the counter to book us in. We sat there for a while and I ventured up to the front of the box to have a look round, I could smell all sorts of strange smells, then, WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF, “what the…” WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF. I scrambled to the back of the box and burrowed under the blankie and stayed there.
Mammy laughed, she actually laughed, “it’s ok baby girl, its only a silly doggy.”
“I don’t care what it is Mammy, I’m not coming out of here, I’ll just stay under my blankie thank you very much.”
After a little while I hear someone shout “Poppy, is Poppy here?”
“Here,” I said.
“Here,” Daddy said.
Then we all got up and went into a little room. Mammy got me out of the box and held onto me. I looked around and the lady who shouted us into the room left with my box, “here, where are you going with that, come back.”
Then she walked back in with the box, “good job too,” I said, “that’s mine.”
Then the lady said some numbers to mammy and daddy at which they both turned and beamed at me telling me I was a good girl eating all of my food, so I squeezie eyed back. Then, the lady got hold of me and prodded me all over, I didn’t like that so I tried to get back to mammy to hide under her coat.
“Just hold her still while I give her this injection,” said the lady.
“OW, that hurt that did…MAMMY, DADDY…..TELL HER.”
“Right, that’s all done for today, she is a beautiful little kitten, she’s putting on weight, very healthy, you’re doing the right things with her. On your way out just make the appointment to get her spayed, make it for 4 weeks time, she should be well over the target weight by then. Bye Poppy, see you next month.”
“Right, come on baby girl, let’s get you home, you’ve been very brave today.”
My neck hurt where the needle had stuck in me and I felt very sleepy. I snuggled up into my blankie in the box and fell fast asleep. When we got home mammy put the box on the floor in the living room and opened the door, but I was still fast asleep so she left me in peace.