Or how I became a crazy cat lady
A couple of years back we adopted a cat – and named him Ragnar – after the coolest Viking on TV.
We were his fifth home, and he wasn’t very well since he joined us. He did warm up to us in the end, but we were his adoptive parents – I doubt he ever had any real parents before us. Unfortunately he had a polycystic liver, and despite many procedures and a surgery, it was time to let him go. My husband Ben and I weren’t even there when it happened – we were in Marseille – so my best friend had to take Ragnar to the vet to put him down. In a way, I’m glad I wasn’t there for it – he wasn’t well at all in the end, and it would have been beyond traumatic. We gave him his last loving home, with unlimited chicken and all the cuddles he wanted.
I’ve been working from home since the first lockdown. I’ve been to the office a couple of times, but most of my working days I spend in my lounge, where I’ve got my little office corner. Upstairs was Ragnar’s domain – in the kitchen & lounge area – that’s where all his stuff was, and by the end he couldn’t manage the stairs anyway – so he was my office buddy through all the loneliness of the lockdown. Ragnar being gone left this hole, not just in my heart, but in my everyday life. Noone to say hi to, noone else to interact with.
So I’ve decided that getting another cat would be a good idea. I would love a dog, but I’m not ready to accept responsibilities that come with it – our lifestyle would either make the dog miserable – or would have to change. Cats are easy – and if it’s a cat that I don’t have to take to the vet every other week, that would be even easier. I was also going through some serious mental health issues, so I needed some true, pure love, and who could bring more love than a kitten?
When I told my husband that I would like a kitten, he said that he would leave it all to me. ‘Go and find the one you like’ – he said – and made me worried for a moment that he might not like the new cat. I’ve looked at all the shelters around, and they only had older cats, that needed lots of care, so I’ve decided to have a look online. Maybe everyone was depressed, or perhaps it was the season, but first 12 ads I’ve messaged to simply enquire already had all of the kittens already either sold or reserved!
I remember sitting in a brunch cafe in Bristol, on a bright Sunday morning, with a huge hangover. One of my friends hadn’t even slept yet. We’re sitting there, with no energy, waiting for the food to arrive, and I’m thinking of something to cheer me up… and end up scrolling through kitten listings. When I told everyone what I was up to, they said ‘You’ve got to name it Floki or Lagertha’ – closest people to Ragnar – and I already knew that I will have a little black kitten called Floki. I knew it.
The following Wednesday I got an answer to one of the ads – there was a black boy available. His mother – full pedigree Siamese, whose kittens go for a lot of £££, escaped the house, and upon return delivered a litter of black kittens! I knew about Siamese breed – that was the cat in Charmed – so I knew how intelligent and social they are. I wanted him immediately, and off we went the following weekend and welcomed Floki to our home.
I’ve never really had a kitten. My mum got a bald cat when I was a teenager, but the cat was weird and didn’t like me very much. Oh. My. God. Having a little kitten is everything. It will make you forget about all of your worries, it will bring you so much joy! First couple of weeks were incredible – he was almost like a little toy. And then watching him learning to jump, to hunt, to climb; him sleeping in my lap most of the day; making all of my colleagues and clients fall in love with him, because he will be seen on the webcam…
The moment I got Floki was the moment I became a crazy cat lady. He is my baby, my little prince, my beautiful, tender and very annoying boy.
You’ll hear a lot more about him – for now I’m enjoying the last weeks of him being a kitten before he grows into this confident, courageous but super mischievous Floki.
Lots of love,