Everyone loves cat pictures (right?), so I’ve decided to exploit my furry friends in a shameless attempt to expand my blog. I’ve had cats all my life. In fact, I can’t remember a time where I haven’t lived without at least one. They are indispensable companions and, while I don’t mind dogs, I much prefer the company of cats. Many people don’t like them because they think they are cold, aloof and unloving, but I think cats are merely more subtle in displaying their affection. You don’t need an animal to jump and slobber all over you to know that it loves you. I have four cats at present although I have had more. Anyone who thinks animals don’t have personalities need only live with multiple at once to know that that absolutely isn’t true. Each of my cats have their own character, which you can learn a bit about below.
First, we have Quinn, the oldest and, by far, the grumpiest. Named after former Sunderland Football Club Chairman, Niall Quinn, Quinn came to us with his twin brother, Keane, named after former Sunderland Manager, Roy Keane. Unfortunately, Keane passed away quite a few years ago, an event that visibly shook his older twin. Quinn is the grumpy old man of the house: bad-tempered, cantankerous, and unafraid to throw his weight around. The others know to give him a wide berth lest they receive a paw across the face. But underneath his hard and frigid exterior, he is a complete softy, loving nothing more than curling up beside you and having his belly stroked. If you sit down anywhere near him, you can bet that barely a second later he’ll be coming to you looking for a cuddle. He doesn’t even mind the other cats that much, as long as they remember that he’s in charge.
Next, we have Tigger. The second oldest, Tigger came to us as a kitten after my aunt’s cat suddenly became pregnant. Tigger is the friendliest cat you’ll ever meet, and possibly the most skittish. I’ve never seen a cat so scared of his own shadow. He’ll approach just about anyone for a stroke, but at the slightest sudden movement he’s straight out of there. We’re not sure why he’s become like this; he seemed to have a lot more confidence when he was younger and has only become more nervous over time. We suspect that his more dominant brothers have picked up on his friendly nature and, interpreting it as weakness, sadly taken to bullying him. Thankfully, we’re usually around to protect Tigger whenever the others (Quinn usually!) decide to give him a hard time. Despite this, Tigger has a good life and, even though he might not always get along with his siblings, he still gets plenty of love and care from us.
Socks is Tigger’s younger half-brother, having the same mother but a different father. As I said earlier, I’ve had cats all my life, but I’ve never experienced a bond with one quite like what I have with Socks. We’re practically inseparable; everywhere I go, Socks goes as well (almost). When I go to sleep at night, it’s usually with him lying next to me, and when I’m writing, he is usually sitting in my lap or on his chair by my desk (yes, Socks has his own seat in my office). I suppose the reason why Socks is so drawn to me is due in no small part to the amount of love and affection I give him. I try to be as unbiased towards my cats as possible, and I love them all equally but I find myself drawn most to Socks. Maybe’s it’s his thick shiny black coat, or his beautiful yellow eyes, or maybe it’s the the world-weary expression he always seems to wear. Whatever it is, Socks repays the love I give him in droves, and has been there for me during some very difficult times in my life. He may be a bit moody at times but he’s the loveliest little cat I’ve ever known.
And last (but certainly not least), we have Tabitha. Tabitha was born feral; her mother was a stray who took up residence under my Grandmother’s shed before having several litters. We caught Tabitha and she’s been a part of the family ever since. She’s acclimatized well to the life of a house cat but she still has a bit of the wild in her. She’s got an attitude and doesn’t seem to fear anything. She’ll happily wrestle with any of the other cats, despite them all being older, bigger and stronger than her. Tabitha gets along well with all the others but she seems to be closest to Socks who seems to have taken on the role of protective older brother. A few times. I’ve seen him come running to her rescue when a strange cat has wandered into the garden and started picking on her although Tabitha has demonstrated she is more than capable of handling herself.