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It's National Hug your cat Day today, June 4th, so we're talking to you about your feline favourites!

Kit, Marie's tabby cat sitting on a table.

What better way to celebrate our furry friends than to hear about your experiences in adopting rescue cats and what they mean to you? Hiro and Wolf might be dogs but the pups love their feline counterparts. We were lucky enough to be able to speak to three friends of Hiro+Wolf who told us about their feline faves! 

Kit is pictured in our header image.

Here's Carol and Felix in Cornwall:

Bea: Carol, tell us about your rescue Felix, how did he come into your life?

Carol: At one point I had 5 cats, and gradually they got very old and died, Teddy was 23, Monty was 18 so it was heartbreaking. Then my last cat Percy died and soon after I was diagnosed with cancer. I wasn’t sure of the outcome, so decided I wasn’t in a position to adopt another cat. Happily, when I did get the all-clear from Guy's hospital I decided to rescue a cat and liked the idea of having two cats if they were related. I got in touch with  Mayhew and I saw these brothers and they were Felix and Thomas, who were judged as being 3 year sold. After a home visit, they were happy for me to adopt the brothers and so Felix and Thomas came home. 

Bea: What was it like when you got Felix and Thomas home

Carol: They were nervous when they first got to my house. For the 1st 3 months I only let them out when I was going out into the garden, still quite nervous, especially Thomas. They were house trained already from being at Mayhew and settled in well. Unfortunately, Thomas *went missing a few years into my adopting the cats, and despite being microchipped was never found, which was painful, but both Felix and I got over it together. So it’s been Felix, who's now 15, and I for a while now. 

Bea: What did you know about Felix’s history?

Carol: Felix had half a tail, and an Elvis-style curled lip which we knew was from when he had been hit by a car. They had belonged to an elderly lady who had become unwell and couldn’t look after them anymore and so the Mayhew took them in.

Bea: Any personality traits that you love about him that stand out?

Carol: Felix is incredibly confident and a really friendly and affectionate cat. As soon as someone comes in the front door he goes up to them and starts meowing at them demanding attention, he’s so endearing and lively.

Bea: What would be your top tips for anyone thinking about adopting a cat?

Carol: Let your cat discover you, don’t put too much pressure on them. Be kind and patient. If you like animals you’ll be a good cat owner, play with them and love them. Feed them as soon as you get them home. Cats are fastidious so make sure there’s a clean place for them to eat their meals that’s the same every time. Cats don’t like their water near their food so always have the food and water in separate places. If you do have them together the cat will go elsewhere (possibly even drink dirty water) so keep this in mind when you get them home. Cats are also really fastidious about their toilet so make sure you have a litter tray and get into a good routine of cleaning out their litter tray very regularly. Cats are creatures of habit so if you can set a good routine and stick to it it helps.

Bea: What’s your favourite thing about having a cat in your life?

Carol: They’re just fabulous company and an animal you can love and have fun with. It’s really rewarding and the best companion you can have. Felix is so comfortable and comes up and sleeps on my bed when he wants to and he’s never been forced to keep me company, he just does it because he likes it. After my first round with cancer, I was diagnosed a second time, we’d lost Thomas and so it as just me and Felix. Having a cat that I had to get up and feed and look after every day I think was one of the best things while I was ill - he was an important part of my recovery.

Bea: Given that it’s Hug your Cat day on the 4th what will you get up to with Felix? 

Carol: Hug him, love him, feed him and make a fuss of him as I do every other day!

Felix the Cat: always says Hello!

Fiona and Sid in Kent:

Bea: Tell us about your rescue Sid, how did he come into your lives?

Fiona: My mum had just died and the same week my son, Jake’s cat died. A double tragedy for him as he was so close to mum. We went to the RSPCA and unfortunately the first cat we brought home developed a health issue within weeks and sadly passed away. Feeling a bit bruised and a child who did not want another cat I returned to the RSPCA and found Sid.

Bea: What did you know about Sid’s history?

Fiona: He had been a stray for a number of years locally before he had been caught and brought to the shelter.

Bea: What was it like when you got Sid home?

Fiona: He settled well and was a confident little chap and a scavenger unlike any other! We moved to the countryside and it really suited him,  her has brought us voles, shrews and a couple of live rabbits; tricky things to get through a cat flap!

Bea: How is he with your son?

Fiona: He adores Jake and when he is back home from university Sid is found wrapped around Jake’s neck.

Bea: Any personality traits that you love about him that stand out?

Fiona: He has been nicknamed the Baby-faced Bandit because he is quite brave and stands his ground to all he meets.. including dogs!

Bea: And how does he get on with your dog Verlin?

Fiona: He has a definite love for Verlin, but does bully him sometimes. He loves coming on our early morning walk around the village green and is a loved member of our family.

Bea: What would be your top tips for anyone thinking about adopting a cat?
Fiona: Don't have a fixed idea about the cat you want. Visit a centre and the right cat will pick you, you will be drawn to it and keep going back to it. If you are unsure leave it for a bit and if you can't stop thinking about a cat you've seen then it's probably the one for you.
Bea: What’s your favourite thing about having a cat in your life?
Fiona: Having a cat brings a wonderful individual spirit into a house, one that makes you feel blessed if it chooses to love and trust you.... makes you feel like a million pounds!

Thanks Fiona and Sid, it's lovely hearing about your cat-ventures together!

 

Sid: A.K.A Baby-face Bandit

Sid the cat

Marie, Archie and Kit in Sutton Coldfield:

Marie, I know you have 4 cats: Emmy (8) and Tigger (9), Kit and Archie (both 3), but we’re focussing on Kit and Archie today, who are your most recently adopted rescue cats.

Bea: Tell us about your rescues Kit and Archie, how did they come into your life?

Marie: We’d just recently lost our old boy Simba who was 21 and even though I’d said we wouldn’t have anymore I just couldn’t help myself. We went to Wellcat Sanctuary who we’ve worked with for a long time when we wanted to adopt a new member of the family. Pauline rehomes cats and kittens and also looks after cats with long term needs who maybe can’t be rehomed. Even though I was only looking for one kitten initially we were introduced to a pair of 11-week old kittens - Kit and Archie. Archie was very timid when we met them but Kit was allover Lou (my husband) Kit was very boisterous from day one and desperate to be rehomed, purring and I just said: “I’ll have them both!” We took them there and then as Pauline has known us for years so we didn’t need a home check.

Bea: What did you know about Kit and Archie’s history?

Marie: They’d been abandoned on the street, living in a cardboard box at the age of 8 weeks, left to fend for themselves when someone contacted Wellcat Sanctuary and rescued.

Bea: What was it like when you got Kit and Archie home?

Marie: We had cats so we had to be very careful introducing them to their new home. I left them in their carrier for about an hour or so in the lounge so the others could come and sniff them. Then I let them come out and they ran straight under the settee and stayed there for 4 days! They were really tiny and scared. They hadn’t had a very loving start to their lives and minimal human contact until they got to the rescue cattery and were overwhelmed. And that’s to be expected. I made sure they had cat food and litter trays and it took about 4 days for these tiny and traumatised kittens and we left them to come out in their own time. Of all the rescue cats I’ve had these two took the longest to come out of their shells. Slowly they started exploring the house, got there on the toilet training eventually and learned where they would always find their food but it was a good few weeks for us to earn their trust.

Then once they were more comfortable we started letting them outside - so it was the butter on their paws so that they got to know what home smelt like. Then let them have a wander outside when they were around 14 weeks old, but always being in the garden with them, watching them, putting the food out and shaking the treats so they knew where to come. Initially, we kept them inside overnight until we felt they were confident enough to use the cat flap and do their own thing. I’ve always believed cats should be able to be free and we’re lucky as we have a big garden, surrounded by fields.

Bea: What are their personalities like?

Marie: Archie is still a bit skittish and shy, he’s beautiful but is more likely to run away from you. We think that when they were dumped Kit was the one who looked after Archie. He’s not crazy about cuddles but when either of them is asleep you can pretty much do anything! Archie’s favourite is my daughter Sienna, I think he’s drawn to her calm energy as she’s also quite quiet.

Kit has been boisterous from day one, he thinks he’s a king and strides around like “I’m absolutely gorgeous and brave”. (He’s not brave) He’s much more confident than Archie. They both have favourites in the family - I’m Kits favourite - I think it's because I’m also quite loud and Kit thinks he’s as confident as me. I adore them all but there’s something about Kit. They’re both very loving little boys. 

Bea: How are they with each other and the other cats?

Marie:They get on really well together and with the other two, Emmy and Tigger. Tigger would quite merrily live with anyone, he’s very easy going. At the beginning there was a bit of combat between Emmy and the boys (nothing major thankfully) hissing and swiping but apart from that initial bit they get on perfectly.

The Coldfield Crew: Archie, Kit, Tigger and Emmy

the 4 cats

Bea: What would be your top tips for anyone thinking about adopting a rescue cat?

Marie: They make the most wonderful pets, they don’t need too much care. If you’ve got outside space and if you like an independent pet -  a cat is the pet for you. I can call them when it’s their feeding time but they’ll only come when they’re ready. Cats aren’t a pet you can ‘control’ and that's what I like about them. There’s something about rescue cats that is that bit more special. For me I know I’m giving an abandoned pet a loving home as opposed to just choosing a kitten from a breeder, it’s just rewarding! I’ve given them a loving home, fuss whenever they want it (plus when they don’t want it) and I feel very lucky giving them a better life. 

Bea: What’s your favourite thing about having a cat in your life?

Marie: I just adore cats, they’re lovely company and - they bring you gifts (Kit brings me worms!)

Cats just give me a sense of calm - it’s someone who you can talk to who doesn’t answer back - and you can talk to them about anything and everything. They’re a great distraction and it’s just the companionship they give you that is wonderful. I love knowing they’re there, seeing a cat in the house sitting on the windowsill is just lovely, they’re there to be loved and cared for really.

Bea: Given that it’s Hug your Cat day on the 4th what will you get up to with Archie and Kit?

Marie: They will be fussed all day long - as we have 4 cats there’s always an opportunity to grab one and make a fuss of them so that’s what we’ll all be doing on June the 4th!

Kit (Left) and Archie (right)

Kit and Archie the brother cats

 

Thank you all for your time and keep us up to date on how the cats are all doing!

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