Lively, inquisitive, charming, gentle and funny. Bengals are unique in many ways, some can be quite shy, others like Percy are very confident and enjoy meeting new people – he is pretty sure of himself and even the Dyson doesn’t bother him, in fact he chases it! Sally at the cattery he goes to – Willow Tree Cat Hotel in Baschurch, Shropshire, says he is a time waster and a crowd pleaser!
Does Percy have any special characteristics or abilities?
He loves to play fetch and will actually bring toys to me if he wants to play, he’ll particularly do this if I am talking to other people/on the phone #attentionseeking! He is very gentle and cute, he loves to throw himself onto the floor – does a drop shoulder type of thing and in the morning he literally throws himself against me in bed.
Have you always been a ‘cat’ person?
Yes, I have had cats pretty much all my life. For the past 13 years or so I have had Bengals. I started off with two male kittens, Boris & Bertie – I actually didn’t know what had hit me, they were crazy, but after a few months I was smitten. These two cats ruled my life (I was happy with that), and I was devastated when Boris was run over and killed five years ago, he was eight years old. Bertie, however, was delighted to be the only cat and so for two & a half years we enjoyed a far calmer existence. At two years old Boris & Bertie ‘fell out’ and for six years I had major issues with them fighting, it was very stressful.
How did you get Percy? What endeared you to him?
I thought he looked gorgeous, such a cute face and he looked a bit bewildered. I commented on the photo saying if it wasn’t for the fact I had a Bengal who wouldn’t be happy with a new house mate, I’d have him. I thought nothing more.
Over the next few days my life was turned upside down as Bertie became very poorly, I obviously took him to the vets and we were back there every day for four very stressful days – they finally decided to scan him and discovered he had a cancerous tumour. I had to decide what to do – knowing my cat as i did I knew he wouldn’t cope well with the after care and restrictions on going outside, not to mention the visits to the vets. I was told the cancer would come back within a few months as it was in his lymph nodes. I had to do the right thing for him and let him go. I was distraught.
I live on my own and the thought of coming home to a empty flat depressed me, it was early December and I couldn’t face the idea of a long break from work over Christmas without something to distract me. I thought that cat on Facebook is meant for me!
I contacted the breeder and couldn’t believe he was still available. I arranged to go over to Peterborough the following Saturday. When I first met Percy I was amazed at how soft his fur was, I picked him up (in my experience Bengals don’t much like being picked up), but he lay over my shoulder and I felt we were made for each other. I should point out he hates being picked up most of the time!
Jill was happy for me to have him, and I popped him in a new carrier and we set off for a long drive home. He was as good as gold all the way home – this was a new experience for me as Boris & Bertie had both been very vocal travellers, Percy (as I had already renamed him), just gave the occasional loud meow to remind me he was there.
Having had the horrific experience of Boris being run over, I was determined Percy would be a house cat. I was pleased to learn from the breeder that he had been a house cat in his previous home, so at least I could relax knowing he wouldn’t want to be trying to get out.
Have you got any funny stories about Percy?
I always wonder what I am going to come home to; I store all his toys on top of his scratch post, I will often find he has pushed them all onto the floor, pulled all the throws off the sofas and even dislodged the big heavy cushions! He pulled my bedroom curtains down fairly early on by hanging off them!What is his favourite thing to do?
His favourite thing to do is probably playing fetch with one of his cute toys – particularly fond of a Kong Turtle which is filled with catnip. He likes to dunk his toys in his water bowl (messy!), so we always have one or two drying out somewhere. Given half the chance he likes to rummage in my handbag looking for packets of tissues – I have had to ban him from tissues as the dust was making him cough.
Why did you bring ProtectaPet in and what impact has the cat balcony had on your and Percy’s lives?
As I mentioned above I wanted to keep Percy as a house cat. Where we were living was a ground floor flat, but there was no way I was going to be able to secure the outside area as I’d not get permission from my fellow apartment owners. So I decided to move.
I found a brand new property and the developers were happy with the idea of me somehow securing the balcony area. The sales lady even started googling looking for ideas as to how this area could be made safe for Percy. I spent hours on Google myself, and then I came across ProtectaPet – WOW this was just what I needed. I decided to secure the balcony, which gives Percy enough space to enjoy the sun on his fur and watch the birds, and other things cats find interesting.
The day Ian and Sam came to fit the system the weather was shocking. But they worked so hard and with great care and attention to detail – no gaps or places Percy could escape – and fitted the bespoke containment system in around 10 hours.
I have bifold doors onto the balcony area and it has been wonderful to have these doors open for me to enjoy the feeling of the outside inside, and Percy just loves being out in a bit of fresh air. It has worked perfectly for us and we are both so happy with it. Despite it being black mesh, you really don’t notice it, it is very subtle. I have a footpath at the bottom of my garden and I often see people stopping, clearing wondering what it’s all about. In fact I recently had a trades person in the property and he said he’d thought I had birds – do you have any bird clients? He was intrigued to see it was all for Percy.
Thanks for all your time and fabulous insights into the life of Percy, Amanda. If KatzenWorld readers would like to see more of Percy’s antics, you can catch him on twitter @Percy_BengalCat.