Over the years, my husband and I have enjoyed sharing our lives with two dogs, and (now!) a total of five cats. We love both, and a lot of the time we had both a dog and a cat - or two - at the same time. We have fantastic memories of our children growing up with our earlier pets. During recent years we've actually been pet-less for the first time since 1974 - it was seven whole years without a furry friend around the house. This was mainly because of our lifestyle - we have been travelling quite a lot during these years since we retired. But now that we can envisage ourselves perhaps slowing down a little . . . and we're lucky enough to have found a cat loving neighbour who is happy to help when we're away . . . we took the decision to adopt two adult cats from our local Cats Protection centre. Cats are more independent than dogs, and will be happy as long as they're being loved and cared for in their own home.
So Monty and Maddie, cross Ragdoll/Siamese siblings, have now come to live with us. You can read more about them in 'Monty's diary' on my blog on this website.
And meanwhile, I'd like to share the stories, and some pictures - of all our pets.
Honey, our first dog. We had no idea of her parentage but she did have quite a lot of whippet in her - she grew up to be a super fast runner! Here she is as a new puppy, with me in 1974. Honey was a lovely little dog, very gentle with our children who were all babies and toddlers while she was still young. She lived to the grand old age of 15.
Misty, our first cat. She was a Devon Rex - small, loud, and very affectionate. Honey was an elderly dog when we brought Misty into the family and accepted her happily. On the left, she was an inquisitive kitten. On the right, after Honey died we bought our new puppy, Sophie, and again, the two pets were fine together. Sophie knew her place! Cats rule!
Sophie was an English Springer spaniel, a mischievous, energetic, totally loveable girl who gave us and our growing family some wonderful and unforgettable memories. After poor Misty-cat was taken from us in a road accident at the age of 10, we bought two new kittens, and Sophie loved them from day one (pictured, right), treating them as her own babies!
Our two Burmese brothers, Oscar and Charlie, used to snuggle up together, and whenever possible get into bed with Sophie too! They were lovely cats, and one or other would often sit on my lap, purring, while I worked on my writing.
The saddest part of this story is another reason why we've been so long recently without a pet. When we moved house, our cats escaped, despite being kept indoors with the existing cat flap locked and heavily barricaded. They somehow broke out together during the night.
Charlie was eventually found after being missing for two weeks, but although both cats were microchipped, Oscar was never found. Charlie snuggled up again with Sophie, who lived to be 16. And Charlie himself reached the same age as our only remaining pet. It was hard to recover from what happened to poor Oscar.
But here we are at last with new cats in the family again! Maddie (on the right) and Monty (left) are half Ragdoll, half Siamese.
There's something of a resemblance to our previous cats Charlie and Oscar!
They are settling down well with us and you can read about their progress, and see more pictures, in 'Monty's Diary' (in my blog on this site).