WHEN we first got our cat she was such a tiny, scared little thing she hid behind the fridge and refused to come out.
It didn’t take her long though to feel at home, especially as my eldest daughter, then only five, became besotted with her, ignoring the little nips and scratches and quickly becoming her best friend. Victoria would carry her round the house draped over her shoulder – the cat would never let anyone else do that.
We called her Lupin after the flowers that were in bloom in our garden when she first arrived, although she often got called Loopy instead. Jet black, she had a lovely tuft of white on her chest. She was always small, even when fully grown and always pretty, even after having her ear cut in a fight with another cat.
She also quickly worked out that she could twist us all around her little paws if she felt like it. Everyone doted on her. But in return she was a great pet, not one of those cats who disappears for days or decides to move in with a neighbour. She was always around wanting to be part of what we were doing and if you put a newspaper, wrapping paper or anything flat on the floor, she would always sit on it and refuse to move.
We bought her a basket to sleep in but she never used it. She worked out herself where the most comfortable and warmest spots in the house were. She also loved to fall asleep on someone’s knee or next to them in bed. We tried to stop her being in bedrooms at night but she was adept at opening doors, climbing through half open windows and finding a way of snuggling up beside one of us.
She gave us a fair few traumas. The worst was when she started following us on walks across the fields and one day got lost. We assumed she was capable of finding her way home but she wasn’t and it took a whole sleepless night until my wife found her cold and unhappy at dawn in the middle of a distant field.
When we moved house she didn’t like it. She looked as scared as when we first had her as a kitten, despite being 10 years old. So I slept downstairs on the sofa with her until she began to feel at home, which she soon did, getting her old confidence back and charming all the staff and customers in our Post Office.
I was working upstairs on the computer last Friday and, as she so often did, she came to play, tapping my leg with her little paw until I stopped and took time out for her favourite games. A few minutes later, I heard a cry from downstairs and rushed out to find she had been run over.
When my wife first suggested getting a cat I told her that the problem with pets is how bad children feel when they die and I said it wasn’t worth it. But she has brought us so much joy since then I was clearly wrong. She was a big part of our family and we will miss her greatly.