Thomas and Purdy and Nibbles and Boo and now ...
(Newport, Wales, UK)
Hi again, it’s Gwyn, who was blessed with Thomas and Purdy and Boo and Nibbles, with an update to the ongoing story of our harbouring of cats.
Note from Caroline: You'll find links to Gwyn's other stories of Thomas and Purdy, Boo and Nibbles at the bottom of this article.
When I last wrote I reported that Boo had prematurely died after (we believe) being poisoned, which caused us all a great deal of distress, especially Nibbles who had been his lifelong companion.
After much debate and dithering we decided to get a companion for our lonely Nibbles (and teddy-bear) and started looking around for a suitable friend for him.
Eventually we came across a little ten-year-old female Siamese named Heidi, who seemed to be the perfect mate.
Actually getting hold of her is a story in itself - suffice to say that we finally acquired our newest Siamese nearly a year ago, after chasing around the country for more than a day and finding her some 200 miles from where we were expecting her to be.
True to form she was extremely skittish and frightened by every movement and hid most of the time, but eventually she came out of her shell and started to integrate with us and Nibbles.
Then the unthinkable happened. Out of the blue, our poor Nibbles suddenly died.
We were shocked and the vet was mystified, but being unable to afford a post-mortem examination the cause had to remain a mystery. Nibbles went to join Boo at the pet cemetery and we cried.
We were back where we started some fourteen months earlier when we had declared that we couldn’t take the stress of losing our fur friends and wouldn’t have any more. But we had a lonely, elderly Siamese to consider, so reluctantly we decided to look out again for a family friend.
About eight months ago we were made aware of an eight-year-old Siamese that needed a new home because the owner couldn’t afford her vet bills and needed to pass her on.
We went to see her and when we were being introduced, a large white British Shorthair with faint tabby markings came rushing in, jumped up onto my lap purring, and refused to move.
He was not the kind of cat we were looking for, but we were told that he and the Siamese had been brought up together and were inseparable. Reluctantly, we agreed to take them both.
Yeah right! 'Inseparable' turned out to mean 'fought like cat and dog' most of the time. But as time passed they gradually settled in and eventually began to acknowledge our Heidi.
It turned out that Heidi and the tomcat were the ones that get on best and are frequently to be found lying on our bed, the big tomcat with our little Siamese curled up spooned within his paws and both fast asleep and looking blissfully content.
The new Siamese, who came with the name of Tia, is independent and will not tolerate being handled unless she initiates the move, when she will happily lie on our laps purring.
The tomcat, who I have named Tiger on account of his faint stripes, is a whole new experience for us as we have only ever had Siamese.
He seems gigantic with an appetite to match, and goes through anything edible in the house like a swarm of locusts. Nevertheless, he is astonishingly gentle in nature and actually ‘asks permission’ to jump up on us.
When we agree he is all over us like a rash with the loudest purr I have ever heard, and goes into the ‘dough kneading’ routine that I had always associated only with Siamese. He is also exceptionally light on his feet and manages to land on us much more lightly than the two small Siamese girls do.
It’s been an education for us getting to know a normal cat, but it was worth it to end up with such a good mate for our elderly Heidi, which was the whole point of the exercise.
So, as of autumn 2015 we have one very slight, elderly eleven-year-old chocolate point Siamese girl named Heidi who hardly ever says anything; one seal point/cross girl (she has mottling in her coat, and two snowshoes) about eight years old named Tia, who we can’t shut up; plus one ‘battle cruiser’ tomcat named Tiger, of indeterminate age but who seems to be about six or so and is the archetypal Gentle Giant with a purr to match.
All of them are settling in nicely except for Tia, who is showing some signs of jealousy, but we all settle down in the now dark, cool evenings to watch TV with one girl on each lap and the tomcat snoring in the third armchair until we all trundle off to bed where there is a measure of pushing and shoving until we are all comfortable.
Peace and quiet has finally settled again in this household.
Reply from Caroline:
It's so good to hear from you, Gwyn, although of course I was very sorry to hear about poor Nibbles' death. It's lovely to know that you still have some Siamese cats (and even a Tiger!) in your lives and I hope that Tia will become less jealous eventually. Some cats seem to cope with change well; others take longer to come round, as you well know. If anyone can settle her in, you can!
Thanks for getting in touch again to update us with news of your current trio!
Read more - other stories from Gwyn: