Well I couldn't send it back outside in that storm, could I? But I definitely didn't want a cat. It had been a wonder that the frantic meowing had been heard above the storm, in the first place, when it cried outside the back door.
As we had no suitable cat food, we fed it small pieces of Cheddar cheese, that disappeared quickly down its ravenous throat.
In the end, Sam braved the storm and went to the nearest shop to buy a small tin of cat food, as it wasn't staying, I stressed. The hungry kitten devoured it quickly and it was obvious that it hadn't been fed for a long time.
Well this was the beginning of our love affair with cats. Debbie named him Furry, as his black coat had dried out to reveal his lovely sleek fur. However, Sam thought that was a soppy name and called him Fred. He soon learned to respond to either or both, so he was named Furry Fred!
Furry Fred was a bit of a wanderer and kept escaping from the back garden and liked to sit in the main road and was always weaving in & out of traffic. I tried to keep him indoors, but he was never happy and usually managed to escape.
He was forever being bitten by the local felines and must have been defending himself, as he certainly wasn't a bully by nature. This resulted in him having to have abscesses lanced at the vets. We had already had him neutered
Four years later, my friend asked me if I'd go with her to help her choose a kitten! Well that was a silly thing for me to do and I came home with Foggi, a delightful grey female kitten and she looked as if she was an expensive pedigree.
Furry Fred was not at all impressed with his new companion and hissed and stomped off, spending more time at Doreen's house over the road. Doreen was rather a lonely lady who enticed him over with expensive tins of salmon, not realizing how dangerous it was becoming for him to dodge the traffic.
The lady who gave us Foggi, had one kitten left and as he was the runt of the litter was very small and not attractive in any way, having black, sticky fur that stuck out in all directions, he was going to be put to sleep if no one chose him by the end of the week, she had said.
Well, I couldn't let that happen to Foggi's brother, could I? So within a few days I went back to see if he was still there and he was. Nobody wanted this poor little mite.
Foggi was delighted to be reunited with her brother & she and Sticky were always close by one another and slept head to tail, snuggled up.
Because of his love of danger, and his salmon addiction, Furry Fred had several accidents in the road that resulted in him breaking a leg on two occasions and his jaw on another and together with his frequent trips to the vet for abscess lancing, Furry Fred was an expensive cat to keep!
In spite of his unfortunate start in life, he went on to live for 21 years, living a happy life, I think.
Sticky grew into a fine, handsome cat and lived a happy and uneventful life in the house and back garden to the age of 16.
Foggi was my absolute favourite and she & I were very close. She was pretty and affectionate and always sat on my knee while I twiddled with her ears and watched TV. She died at 14 years of age and I was truly heartbroken.
I have fought off the temptation to even look at another kitten, even though I've had many opportunities and offers! However I often think back to how our "cat era" began when I agreed to take in Furry Fred for just one night!