cats · not about crochet

Meet the girls! Yes, I’m a crazy cat lady

Sometimes I’d like to write about other things than crocheting here. Not necessarily about my daily life, don’t worry, but about things I find interesting, inspiring and important.

Like my cats, of course 🙂

Meet my two fluffy friends, Stella (the tabby) and Ciri (the black and white):

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Growing up, I’ve always had pets, mostly rescues. Cats, dogs, parrots, hamsters, even a rescue bat that was later taken to the zoo.  I’m not sure if I’m a dog person or a cat person more, I enjoy company of both. After I’d moved out of my family home, I spent over 10 years moving a lot because of my studies and then jobs, and I constantly lived alone or with roommates. There was no way to keep a pet with such lifestyle, although I missed it a lot. But I could always visit my parents who currently have 2 awesome dogs – and there was a cat as well until last year.

When we learned that we had to move to Dublin, permission to own pets was an important one while searching for a house or apartment. We managed to find such a place and soon after moving, decided to visit the shelter. The idea was to look for an older, male cat, one that would be a calm gentleman who can stay on his own during the day and who likes to cuddle. I was hoping that the shelter staff would recommend one such cat to us. But then I saw this sad face…

Stella

This is Stella’s shelter photo, one with which she was advertised.

I saw her, as she was lying sad in her pod, shy and quiet, but when the pod was opened she stood up and welcomed me demanding a headrub. And that was it – Stella was the choice. A young (1.5 year at the time) female cat, very playful and extremely neurotic – I mean, even for a cat she’s quite special 😉

I don’t know Stella’s past. I know from her medical record that she spent about 5 months in the shelter and arrived with a runny nose. I have no clue whether she was rescued from a cruelty situation or a stray. I was going to ask about her past when I went to pick her up from the shelter but in the end I forgot to ask anything, because it was such an exciting day. And then the next days were super stressful, as she didn’t take the change well (did I mention she is neurotic?). She refused to eat, drink, she was staying in the carrier all the time. I was in contact with the shelter vet, scared that she might get sick, as it is extremely dangerous for cats not to eat for more than a day or two. Slowly I managed to give her some water (she only drank it out of my palm) and even more slowly, some food. And then finally she used the litter box for the first time, and started going out from the carrier for a while, then checking the rest of the room… step by step, she accepted the new place. But for a long time she was shy, and had these periods of actual depression, when she would just stay hidden for days, and it was really heartbreaking.

She is still easily startled and timid, but looking back, I hardly believe it’s the same cat. She’s so much happier now, just cheerful, playful, and very affectionate. She often comes to bed in the morning sleeping on the pillow, giving us kisses, hugs and purring. She’s like my doggy, following me everywhere around the house. I swear I’ve never known a cat like that before, one that requires constant human interaction. Can’t believe that such a cat survived in the shelter for months, without her own person to love. And she’s a talker! She has a whole set of different sounds she makes and I know their meaning very well. I recognize easily  when it’s “hey, come play with me” or “I need someone to rub me now!”.

Ciri appeared 3 months after Stella’s arrival. We wanted company for Stella, as I just think cats are so much better when they’re not single pets in the house (I’d like at least one more to be honest but not in the rented apartment). But since Stella is neurotic, we knew we had to be super careful with the choice. That’s why instead of an adult rescue, we took a 3 months old kitten advertised on the cat rescue group website. When we first took her in, she looked like this:

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and was supposedly male, so we called “him” Alfie. Well, a few days later, first vet visit, and the big news was revealed… it’s a girl! And so Alfie was renamed Ciri, after a character from the series of books and PC games “Witcher”.

The beginnings were not easy. Ciri was easy going and adapted into the new place quickly, but Stella didn’t take it well. After the first week I was sure I’d made a terrible  mistake. Stella didn’t go out of the wardrobe, didn’t want anything to do with anyone, and hardly ate at all. I just wanted my girl back and I was sure I hurt her by my decision.

But slowly things improved…. and I think that in the end, Ciri helped Stella get out of her shell. Taught her to be braver, a little competitive even, and to my surprise it’s Stella who is more domineering now. Even though at 10 months old, Ciri is already bigger than Stella and still growing 🙂 She is also very funny, much more distanced than Stella but also follows me around the house a lot (just doesn’t like to be petted too much) and what is important, she’s the best recipient of my crocheted toys. In fact, my cats were my first inspiration to try crocheting again after 20 years of break. But that will be the topic of another post of course 🙂 It was also so sweet to watch Ciri learn new things from her big sister, like using the scratch pad or climbing the cat tree… or watch them sleep curled up together at night.

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In October there will be Ciri’s birthday (1 year old!) and Stella’s first adoption anniversary. A lot to celebrate! And I hope there are many years together ahead of us 🙂

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