Saturday, 1 March 2008

Foggi, Sticky & Furry Fred!

"Just for one night," I firmly told my teenaged children when one of them brought a wet & bedraggled, frightened, black kitten into the house, rescued from slashing rain outside. "Tomorrow it will have to go!"
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!

18 comments:

david mcmahon said...

Very close to my heart! Yep I can identify with this post ...

One day become a lifetime!!

Sweet Irene said...

What a lovely cat story!

We have three cats and I can't imagine being without them. One of them is eight and the two others are six and they are delightful cats, when they don't poop in the neighbor's garden, that is. We always do have the litter box handy for them.

As we also have a dog, we never go anywhere overnight, but we don't mind. Sometimes, I go off some place by myself and Eduard holds down the fort.

Mostly we stay home because of the animals and they give us so much joy. I wouldn't be half the person I am without the dog to keep me company and go for walks with.

I think they are almost better than having children, but don't tell anyone that!

CrazyCath said...

That is exactly how I acquired all my cats! I started with Tinker, a very poorly stray dying of enteritis.
Several vets bills later, we were firm friends and she kept me sane nearly 16 years, finally breathing her last late in 2002.

I was heartbroken. Tinker had been with me longer than my children. I swore another cat could not replace her. But I was inconsolable. And whilst she will never be replaced, the cats that came afterward filled the hole and I would not be without my cats.

They're easier than kids, cost less than kids, but they won't do the washing up or go to the shop!

Debra in France said...

I adore my cats too. We currently have 3 adults and a kitten. The most we have had at one time is 6. I couldn't be without them.

Casdok said...

Im like you and cant resist a kitten, so i try and keep away!

Maggie May said...

David M .... I can see you are a real cat man then!

Sweet Irene ..... I already know you like cats. We have had dogs too, in the past. Maybe one day the will be in the blog.
Trouble is, they are a tie at holiday times & the grandchildren would pull them about!
Maybe I should get a stick insect or an African snail (NO!)

Crazy Cath ........Have just come from yours! Thanks for linking me! Our stories are very similar.
The heartache of a pet death is very intense & I have found it almost too much to bear at times. One of the reasons I haven't fallen for another.
I do go to pet shops sometimes for a look at things that might be an alternative, so far not been tempted.

Debra.... another cat lover. My grandchildren keep asking for a kitten but they must wait until they are established in their own home!

Casdok, yes, they are so irresistible.

Sniz said...

This is such a cute story. I wish that would happen to us and maybe my husband would become a cat person and actually consider letting us get one!

family affairs said...

Thanks for your comments - I think you're right - too intense....anyway, liked your post - I've got two cats and they're great. One had an accident last year and had to be in a cage for six weeks which was a nightmare.

Maggie May said...

sniz ........ Oh I hope you do get a little kitty come to you in a storm, if that's the only way you could get one!

That must have been awful, keeping a cat in a cage for 2 weeks. Have to harden your heart!
Thanks for visiting me!

MarmiteToasty said...

:) I have 2 cats and have just recently taken on a stray that wandered in our house late one night bleeding and crying....

I cant imagine my life without a cat in it.... they say a home is not a home without a cat .....

A lovely story.......

x

Akelamalu said...

Thanks for popping by my place and taking the time to comment.

It's amazing how 'just one night' turns into a lifetime as far as pets are concerned isn't it? :)

david mcmahon said...

I think we're going through this phase at the moment - again!!

GoneBackSouth said...

I think that's so great, taking a cat in from the storm. We had a cat, when I was little, called Smokey. She'd belonged to the people who had the house before us ... they moved a mile away but Smokey came coming home so they let us keep her. She lived to be 21 too!

Maggie May said...

marmitetoasty ...........oh poor little thing bleeding! Wonder what happened?

akelamalu .......... thanks for popping over here, too!

david M ......... You mean another little feline?

gonebacksouth .............. I've heard of cats going miles to the place they wants to go to.They are like that!

merry weather said...

That was nice to read :)

I can relate to your cat era too. I still think of my cat Tabitha from my teenage years. She was so sweet and had more kittens etc etc but no other cat has ever come close to her in my mind. She was the tops!

My kids clamour for a pet but this small house is full already with three kids. No more! (OK, yet...)

Ashley Ladd said...

Furry Freddy and Foggi sound absolutely darling. I have five cats and they're all my babies. I can't live without at least one cat and usually two or more.

BTW, I just tagged you on my website for a 6 random things meme at http://ashleyladd.blogspot.com/
Pop into see the rules and my 6 random things about me. It's on my March 2nd post.

Maggie May said...

merryweather....... you have to feel its the right time to get a cat, but if one comes in from a storm, then there's no choice!

Valleys Mam said...

I love my cats - we now have Charlie-large and furry blonde ginger.Cariad his half sister neat petite and very cwtchy,but she may be re-housed to my daughter in Pembrokeshire who loves her. Sadly Garfie my favourite moggie died recently, he was 21. We also had Muffin who was a rescue cat and lived with us for many years until he just disappeared.
So I may be down to just one soon and like you I have said no more.
We also have a massive, but loving long haired German Shepherd bitch who is 35 kilos and loves the cats.
I just could not be without cats, however I was recently given a "replicacat" to add to my collection - its a ships cat from a series by nautilica I think, and that looks so real its spooky.
End of cat fest