Gremlin is our Devon Rex and he is ten years old. Having always had moggies (and mostly rescues at that), I wasn’t even aware of the breed until one of my neighbours bought one many years ago. He was a lovely little thing and used to come round to my place to play with my kittens. I could never get over his curly coat and how soft it felt when I stroked him. A couple of years later, I moved a short distance away, but I often thought about him and resolved to find a curly kitten of my own one day.
I finally found a breeder not too far away and when a litter was old enough, I visited with my parents and between us we chose a little dark one – black smoke in colour and with the wonderful name of Ermichio Olman Ribba. He was the love of my life and he stayed with me until we lost him to cancer just before his 15th birthday.
I wanted another, but the breeder had given up by then. Fortunately there was one even closer and she happened to have one girl with a litter due in a couple of weeks. The lady wouldn’t take reservations at that point though and I’m ashamed to say that I made a nuisance of myself by calling almost every other day. It just so happened that I was the first to ring after the kittens were born and I was told we could have first pick. I was so excited.
We visited as soon as they were old enough and it was so much fun just watching the bunch of hooligans tearing round the living room. I didn’t care which one was to be ours, but I had told my husband that I didn’t want another black smoke as it would be too upsetting. Naturally, the one with the best personality turned out to be just the colour I didn’t want, but we reserved him anyway and called him Gremlin.
I remember the day we were allowed to bring him home. We had been told twelve weeks and we made an appointment to the exact day. What we hadn’t realised was that all the other owners had arranged to collect the day before and poor little Gremlin had been left on his own. We felt so sorry for him, but by the time we got him in the car he was already purring. I think he remembered us from the previous visit.
Of course we couldn’t let him be alone on his first night, so when he started howling after the lights were turned off, we brought him upstairs and let him sleep under the covers and that is how he has slept every single night ever since – in my arms and with his head on my pillow.
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Zookeeper and amateur photographer.