Retired Southampton schoolteacher, Douglas Brown blogs about the joys of adopting Thomas, an older feline friend from Cats Protection.
When Cats Protection asked if I was prepared to take on an older cat and I said ‘of course’ – I’m not so young myself so we’d get on well! After hearing about a 15 year old tabby needing a place where ‘he can spend his remaining years in the comfort of a loving home with an armchair to relax in’ I just had to find out more about him. It turns out that Thomas’ elderly owner had died, the house had been sold and he was now living at the bottom of the garden and being fed by the neighbours. That house was all he had ever known, after all.
When Cats Protection in the person of Nicky took me to see him, to my delight and to everyone’s surprise within two minutes he jumped onto my lap and with a confident, rumbling purr made my acquaintance – friends at first sight! That was mid August . Butch, who I renamed Thomas, came to live with me on 16 September after my summer holiday. He is quite a character, very affectionate and so happy when I make a fuss of him – a real lap cat!
On the other hand he is absolutely sure of what he wants and tells me with a loud MIAOW. My favourite (and new) relaxer armchair is now his and his alone! He is a very sensible cat with good manners, always grooming himself and I didn’t need to show him where his litter tray was, he found it for himself. He empties his plate, eating happily, though he prefers basic pet food to anything else except fresh chicken, which is perfection as far as Thomas is concerned as his little nose and strident voice testify when on a Sunday I prepare a roast chicken lunch.
One thing that does bemuse me is that Thomas’ previous owner lived in a bungalow and I live in a house, and of course bungalows don’t have upstairs. So whilst Thomas will follow me around the house, he has never been upstairs! When I say ‘It’s time for bed Thomas!’ he will follow me to the staircase but no further. He is always by my side otherwise.
I have had cats all my life. After Leo, a glorious tabby who had been with me for 17 years passed away last year, I must admit, I did initially question whether I should get another, but I am so very glad that I did. What would I say to a retired person looking to adopt? It’s the best thing you could possibly do. Having a living creature to care for keeps you occupied, gives you focus – and most importantly, brings a wealth of happiness. Fifteen he may be but Thomas is a total delight, I am so glad he has come to live with me.