"I'm not having any more cats in this house!" were the words spoken by my Dad on the death of Max, our much loved 18 year old ginger and white moggy. Dad had the sad task of burying him in the garden and did not feel he could go through the trauma again. We had all got very attached to him (as you do), as he was such a lovely cat, and knew that we would miss him greatly. That was back in August.
However, it was not long before I missed the patter of tiny feet. Some gentle persuasion was needed on Dad to win him over to the idea, as he was very reluctant to go through the upset again in his lifetime.
By mid November we had reached a compromise we could get another cat but not until after Christmas, when we usually have family to stay over the holiday period. So Mum and I went to the Cats Protection in Hailsham to start the process, as this time we wanted to give an unwanted cat a second chance. The home check was done, which was passed with flying colours, and now the wait until the New Year.
During this time Dad was slowly but surely getting used to the idea of another cat and started to set a few ground rules. He did not particularly want a cat which brought with it any hang ups, e.g. unknown history, shy, spiteful, etc and thought it might be a good idea to get one a little younger than originally planned, so that we could mould' it into our way of living we had originally been thinking about a cat aged 2-3 years.
We had reached the beginning of December by this stage and I was getting really excited about the prospect of becoming a cat owner again.
It was at this stage that a colleague at work (Louise Mitchell) asked if I was still looking for a cat, as she had a kitten which required a good home. I knew Louise bred pedigrees and so my initial thought was this is a totally different kettle of fish as we had never owned a pedigree before and were not sure if we had to treat them any differently. Louise invited Mum and I round to just have a look, with no strings attached. We had never heard of Burmillas before, let alone seen one, but it was love at first sight. Not only did Louise have 2 little boys from the first litter but asked whether we would like to see the rest of the gang and another six trotted in ! We were able to see both parents and were reassured about the full history / parentage of this little bundle.
The big day arrived 29 December 2004 when we could collect our new addition to the family. My sister and two nieces were still staying with us (all cat lovers); they and my Dad had only seen pictures of him, so felt he would be thrown in at the deep end. I am pleased to report that Morse felt totally at home with his new family from day one.
We are now 3 months down the road and we feel privileged to be allowed to live in the same home as our little treasure. He quickly won my Dad over, who thought him very pretty and far more intelligent than any cat we have ever owned.
Some of the stories that I could tell... Perhaps another time.