I have always had cats in my life, but none have been as significant as Guiness, the cat formally known as Charles.
It was the Cats Protection open day and I was in heaven walking into that little hall, filled with what seemed like a hundred cats... If I could have taken them all home I would have (apart from the Snooty Queen, so regal she would swipe your ankles if you got in her way).
It was love at first sight with "Charles"... lying on his back, legs spread with the biggest smile a cat could have, he was gorgeous! Now, my mum was with me and her version of Guiness is slightly different "Why on earth do you want that scruffy thing", she much preferred the Snooty Queen, but Guiness was the one for me.
His full background is unknown. He had been living on the streets for about a year and was being feed by an elderly lady. There came a point where she could no longer manage to help him, he was at the time around age five. (Not sure this is so accurate now as he would be at least twenty!) The only way to tell a cats age is by their teeth, and with very few left now we can only tell by the unruly way his eyebrow whiskers are growing...
I think he had probably lost a few of his nine lives by the time he came to me, and we were about to loose a few more. The first of a long line of issues started with Calicivirus, a virus that affects the immune system and attacks the gums. Of course I wanted the very best for the boy, so I booked him into the very expensive vets. After some very very expensive treatment, with no success, I decided to change to a well known pets chain. This move has saved me thousands and more importantly has saved Guiness's life... more than once! (This cat has more than nine lives... you could throw him out of a window ten floors up and the only thing that would break would be a claw).
The virus he has attacks the gums, we decided to have most of his teeth removed, keeping just the fangs and a couple of tiny ones at the front. My poor boy...
Back to full health (with a lot less teeth) and our first house move together, we settle into a quiet period and life couldn't be more perfect...
That is until a rather nice lady moves in opposite to us. The feeder I now call her. Back to vets for a check up reveals Guiness is now obese. He had become a right chunker! It was strange as I only fed him twice a day and biting the tops off mice with no teeth may prove a little difficult...
After a strict diet and no weight loss I found out our neighbour, had been feeding him all the wrong things. I supplied her with low fat cat food to feed him occasionally if he popped by while I was at work, but the infatuation with Guiness got worse and he was in there with her, more than with me!
On a few occasions I had to knock at ten o'clock at night to get my cat back! The final straw came when I came home from work one evening and I could hear him meowing to get out. Thankfully, before I bashed the door down, she let him out. Guiness had a stalker. She told me she had a screensaver of Guiness on her computer...She also told me she was going to steal him but her husband said no!! So we moved. Not only because of feeder/stalker/cat thief lady but I was glad to see the back of her!
We settled back to his old territory in Billericay, this time with a garden and high wall to sit on and look down on his subjects. He is a very sociable cat and he loves company. I did suspect when I went out to work he would find someone to hang out with in the day, I just didn't expect him to come home in the evening with lipstick on his nose and smelling of perfume.
I would also regularly hear my neighbour screaming at Guiness to get out of his bed! (I blame him for the leaving the back door open...) Sometimes I would have to get him out of the backs of peoples cars when they were unloading the shopping.
After another expensive vet trip Guiness now has a Thyroid issue and Pancreatitis, the later caused by fatty food.. 'eyes rolling'!
Another trip round the neighbours to see who had been feeding him up...
I found one neighbour liked to give him HAM, 'eyes rolling AGAIN'. 'do you see cats in the wild gnawing on pigs bottoms??
With only a few of his nine lives left, an incident with a fox who tried to kidnap him (my caternal instincts kicked in - I woke the whole street with my scream...) and Brash Bijoux in its planning stages, he started to stay home more. All he wants is company and the birth of Brash Bijoux means he can curl up at my feet under the bench. Right were he should be.
Part two coming soon!