Tag Archives: Cats Protection


IMG_0015Sometimes I hate how life works.

Someone thumped my door on a dark and wintry night this week. It was never going to be good news.

I mentally ran through who it could be. The Teenager was safely upstairs killing zombies, Ocado had already delivered and we never seem to get political canvassers here, although I was more than ready to take them on.

I answered the door, pulling my cardigan around myself. A frantic woman stood there, pointing at the road, ‘do you have a black cat? About this big?’ She made a tiny size with her hands. I could see by her face it was hopeless.

I rushed down the path but I was too late – my beautiful constant companion, Dora, had already died. She had been knocked over. Gone. Just like that, in an instant.

I hope I don’t sound too melodramatic. For me, cats are special when you have MS and spend more time than usual at home. She slept on my bed every night, we tussled over duvet rights, she brought presents of half-chewed mice and birds which she laid reverentially in front of me. When I slept in the afternoon, she would curl up on my feet on the sofa, her purrs competing with the nerve pulsing aches.

We listened to Tweet of the Day together every morning on Radio 4 before breakfast. She defended our cottage, a not insignificant feat for a cat so utterly tiny. She basked in the slices of sunlight beaming on to my desk when I was agonising over an essay for university. In short, she was present.

Outside my house, I gathered her in my arms, called my mum (aren’t mums great?), and we mourned together. Dora adored her and could hear her footsteps a mile off. In vain, we took her to the vets. The nurse checked her over, re-wrapped the blanket I had taken her in and sadly handed her body back to me. Would I like cremation? No.

My boss and friend helped me bury her today, just outside my window, in the spot she slept in during the summer months. We talked about when I adopted her from Cats Protection. When I got her home, she seemed so entirely comfortable within just half an hour, as if she was meant to be here. And she was.

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Adorable Dora

Dora the bonkers catThe Teenager and I had a very long chat the other night and we decided to adopt another cat as soon as possible, so I went to Cats Protection yesterday.

He wanted to call the new cat ‘Dog’ or ‘Jam’. At a push, ‘Enchilada’. Hmm. This is the same kid who named my mum’s cat Yoda eight years ago.

Anyway, at the centre there were four long rows of the cutest, saddest cats. Heartbreaking. Half of them were clambering behind the glass, the other half hiding or sitting with their backs turned.

Some of them had sad histories. One had been kicked so badly in the stomach that she had to have an operation. One had lost an eye. Many had been abandoned and some were handed over by owners who could no longer afford to keep them, due to the recession.

I looked around. So many cats, but one stood out. Dora. A dinky little all-black female. Five years old, with a bonkers glint in her eye and I took to her straight away.

Back at reception I handed over my ID, my bank card and my details. I filled in numerous forms, read the small print, promised to take her for her second injection and swore allegiance to Cats Protection. I joked that there was less paperwork when I took my son home from hospital after he was born but that didn’t go down so well.

Dora came through in her basket and we whisked her off to the car. Back home, she has settled in incredibly quickly. When The Teenager came home from school, she jumped straight onto his lap. It feels as if she has been her forever.

Dora could never replace Bubble. She’s her own little character. She seems slightly crazy, but I like that. Having a crazy cat in a crazy world is no bad thing.

p.s. Dora just would not stay still for a second to let me take a proper photo – think she was high on catnip. And we’re going to call her Isadora…

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