Sunday was a beautiful spring day here. I opened all of the windows in my house to release some of the stagnant energy and to let the sunshine in. My two cats were curled up on the sofa in a sunbeam that had entered through the front door. Everyone that has cats know how they love lazing about in sunbeams! Odin had been scrapping with a neighbourhood cat and had received a scratch to his nose, so after all of that excitement he had got himself comfy on the sofa for the rest of the afternoon. Freya lay curled up next to him but she was on alert. She could hear all of the birds twittering away and it held her interest for quite a while. I sat for 10 minutes or so just watching these two,and every day I am reminded how they saved my life.
This year it will be 3 years since Pedro and Felixia (their rescue names!) came to live with my then husband and I. My ex husband and I were due to move into our first house as opposed to a flat and he knew how much I wanted cats. P never grew up with animals like I did, so he wasn’t really bothered. He left the “cat hunting” to me, so I started checking out rescue centres for kitties. P being the kind of pompous twat that he was, would have preferred pedigree cats. He was all about showing off and status symbols, but I’ve never bought a cat in my life. Every pet we had when I was a child was a rescued animal. I chose to adopt my two from a Spanish rescue charity. My reason for that is because my family have also adopted animals from foreign countries, mainly Spain due to the way that they are generally treated out there. So I checked out my chosen charity’s website and fell in love with a grubby, skinny little half Russian Blue street cat. The charity exclaimed that they could only rescue Pedro if someone paid a deposit to have him because they were short on space in the rehoming centre. I got the money together, sent the payment and Pedro was safe from the cruel streets. I then went on to another Spanish charity and asked who needed rescuing the most. I wasn’t bothered about colour, sex, age etc. I just wanted to home a cat that needed it the most. So I was offered a little black and white cat called Josephine, who was struggling with life in the rehoming centre surrounded by so many other cats. Unfortunately just 3 days before she was due to come to England, she became poorly with a virus so she wasn’t able to come over at that time. The charity asked if I would consider taking another cat on in Josephine’s place. Josephine not being well enough at the time meant that there was a space for a cat on the transport which the charity try so hard to fill all gaps before starting their journey to England, which meant no one was getting adopted in Josephine’s place. I felt bad for little Jo, but they assured me that they had found another home for her once she was well enough to travel again. So I was offered Felixia. My ex husband said that she was “ugly”, but I didn’t care. Of course, she wasn’t ugly at all. She just had a grouchy looking face, but that’s one of the things that I love about her! She is the sweetest little thing I’ve ever known.
My cats arrived in the country on 15th July 2014. I must’ve driven friends and family crazy in the lead up because I was that excited about getting them! I remember picking them up from Portsmouth and bringing them home for the first time. Odin was so, so timid. Freya was an instant lap cat! They’re both such different characters. Another reason why I love them both so much. Odin was straight from the streets and even the television and washing machine had him baffled. He would sit and watch them nervously! Slowly he came out of his shell and it’s taken a few years, but I think we’re there now. Freya has always been full of affection but she used to hate being picked up. She now knows that I’m not going to hurt her and she loves being held as I dance around the house with her. Freya was rescued from a “killing shelter” with her 5 kittens. Sadly 2 of them passed away due to a virus, but a lovely lady in Spain has kept her 3 remaining kittens and has given them their forever home.
When my marriage fell apart, I was a mess. I felt like I wanted to die. My ex husband had been caught having an affair and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. I would visit him in hospital, (something that most people don’t understand, but I will perhaps explain my reasons in a future post) and it was so exhausting. Mentally, I was shot. But when I came home from a long day at work where I wore a false smile that hurt my face and then travelled to the hospital to watch my husband curl up in the fetal position and sob uncontrollably until visiting hours were over, Odin and Freya were there for me. They brought me such comfort during those dark times. I used to lay on the bed with them whilst they purred in my ear at the end of those long days, and I used to think “So this is what unconditional love feels like”. And that’s why I generally prefer animals over people. Odin and Freya have never intentionally hurt me, and they never will. They are always there for me. I know that they love me, and not just because I feed them! 🙂
On the really bad days where I wanted to take my own life, they were close to me. They had already suffered abandonment once in their short lives, how could I do that to them again? I know that no one would love them both like I do. Odin has a lot of quirks that I don’t think people who had not owned cats before could handle. Freya is very demanding of affection. What if her next owner didn’t give her that? And on the days where I just lay in my bed, festering in my pajamas and staring at a wall for 3 hours solid, Odin and Freya encouraged me to get up. Someone had to feed them and clean out their litter tray. No one else was there. Honestly? If I didn’t have Odin and Freya, then I really don’t think that I would still be here now. I’m beginning to think that we rescued each other.
And now that the bad days are over, I have company. The three of us depend on each other.
With love, Darling Soul x