Meet Tabitha. She is waking me up very early, and annoying Jasper, but she is also making us smile again.
The loss of a beloved pet is something I knew we would have to face at some point, as Layla grew older. Despite her incredibly rocky start to life and health issues, she lived a long and grumpily happy life with us. I was heartbroken when she died, in April 2022. She battled oral cancer fiercely and bravely, like she did life, and although I knew her time was limited, I wasn’t ready to face it, really. The day came when the vet looked at me and said “she’s done, it’s time” and she died peacefully in my arms, with me whispering “this isn’t goodbye my old friend, it’s just for a while”.
I am still heartbroken. She was my companion and constant friend, and although I am not sure she ever entirely forgave me for having the children, and also bringing Jasper home, she was the centre of our home, and her huge personality and tail that always indicated what mood she was in, were part of why this blog started. Cats, kids and chaos. I miss her every day. She was chatty, grumpy, bossy and believed she was human. I still look for her coming to tell me off if I stayed up later than she thought was suitable for bedtime, and miss her joining me for coffee every morning and sleeping by my side every night. I don’t think I will ever not miss her. 17 years is a long time and painful to loose a companion and pet.
We hadn’t planned to get another cat, for a while. I was too sore and sad and also not sure how I felt about another cat. Layla was such a personality that “replacing” her felt wrong.
But then Tabitha came into our lives.
She was born the day after Layla died and somehow, that tells me it was right. She came to us via Cats Protection, her mum was abandoned and pregnant and when I saw the first photo of her, I felt it was right. It felt like she was sent to help us heal, and that Layla meant for her to be with us.
We surprised Matthew with her arrival. Like me, he has taken Layla’s death very hard, and we weren’t sure about how we would feel. He told me “I think I could do another cat, as long as it’s not black and fluffy like Layla, that would be too hard”.
So, she’s here. She is now 12 weeks old. She’s a part calico part tabby kitten.
Like Layla before her, Tabitha is feisty and full of personality. She already shouts at me if I am late for food time, and she is very snuggly, as kittens are but she is mine, particularly and she and I have already got a special bond. She joins me for coffee every morning and entertains us with her antics and kitten playfulness.
She is very much not replacing Layla, but we think Layla would approve. Layla left a huge paw shaped hole in our broken hearts, Tabitha is helping to heal that and make us smile again.
*Adopt, don’t shop. Please consider where you get your kittens from. There are many reputable and good breeders out there but there are also many people who will over breed cats to sell kittens, and not all cute kittens come from good backgrounds. Using a charity like Cats Protection meant that we had a medical history for Tabitha and also were rescuing a kitten that needed a home. The fee we paid goes to their work looking after cats and not into a bad breeder’s pocket. Please make sure that you are financially able to manage a kitten and that a cat is for life.