About one and a half years ago I had a random day off work and happened to see a post my friend Katie made on Facebook. All it asked was: Does anyone want a cat because he’s going to be put to sleep otherwise.
It hadn’t even occurred to me to get a cat, not since the last one died when I was about fourteen. Furthermore we lived in a rented no-pets house with five assorted rodents. Without a thought in my head I replied ‘If it’s between me and death, I’ll have him’ just in case no-one else did and thought absolutely no more of it.
Until she called me a few hours later asking if I was sure.
I knew absolutely nothing about this cat other than he was about two years old, ginger, and his owner took him to the vets asking to have him put to sleep because he didn’t get on with her other cats, and that’s when Katie found him and tried to rescue him. I kept on agreeing because by this point the poor little guy had no other options.
I spent the next few hours trying to think of ways to tell Steve what I’d done because obviously I didn’t do anything so sensible as check with him first. I believe as he walked through the door I greeted him with ‘Hi Steve we’re getting a cat he arrives tomorrow’ and his little face lit up like a man getting a cat. Problem solved.
Chester arrived and he sulked, refused to eat and sat at the top of the stairs and tried not to look at us. Then that very first night he climbed onto our bed and sat there purring, right in the way of my feet and eventually fell asleep.
It didn’t occur to me for months after we got him that he could have been the sort of cat who really hates people, and all we would have had was a hairy expense stinking up the house and costing us money. It didn’t occur to me the arguments he could have caused or the annoyance he could have created.
He could have been anything and he ended up being the nicest friendliest most lovable dickhead bastard idiot in the whole world. I call him Pu-Pu and pretend it’s short for Pudding rather than fancy for Poo Poo. His favourite toy in the entire world is a plastic bag tie, and if you stand at the bottom of the stairs he’ll make little squawking noises at you and then wait for you to reply and carry on a whole squawking conversation until you go away. When our friend stayed with us over summer we learned that he knows when we’re home from the sound of the car door closing and comes running down the stairs to wait for us every time he hears it. Most mornings we have to lie completely still so he doesn’t start squawking because once he starts there’s no stopping him until he’s fed. And even then, some days you have to stand right next to him until he’s finished or he’ll start up with the squawking again. He licks plates of Anything until they shine, he’ll finish a whole head of brocolli overnight, but nothing in the world will make him eat a can of Whiskas if he decided he doesn’t like that one this week. He’s a furry little puddle of love and I don’t know what we’d do without him.
Thanks Chester. We love you.