So, I realised a couple of weeks ago that I have written plenty of times about Charlie James, Gary and of course, myself, but I have never properly introduced the fourth member of our squad.
When I was 21, I went up to Bath Cats and Dogs Home to get a dog.
At the time, I was living with my then-friend (who turned round a few weeks later and sold the house from under me, but that’s a story for another day) in Bath and starting my Masters degree. I had wanted a pet for ages and she agreed that we could go and get a dog, so off we went to the Home.
We spent ages looking at all the different dogs up there but I couldn’t find one that I felt a real connection with.
On the way out, we stopped at the cattery and went in, just to have a look.
About halfway down the row of cages was one that looked empty. I stood there for a moment and one of the ladies that work at the Home came and stood next to me. She mentioned that the cat that lived in that pod was super shy and had actually been waiting for a home for more than six months, because she wasn’t showing herself well.
Curious, I asked the lady to open the pod and when she did, a very scared, very skinny tortoise shell cat emerged from under a cushion at the back.
We stared at each other for a few moments and then she came forward and bopped my arm, looking for a cuddle. The woman from the Home looked shocked, as up until now she had only hidden from people or hissed if they had opened the pod.
I scooped the cat up, she shoved her head under my chin and that was that.
She had picked me.
Two weeks later – the Home is a fantastic charity and they are very careful about making sure that their animals only go to suitable homes – I brought her home and after an initial five minutes of running around, she disappeared under my bed and barely emerged for the following six weeks.
She would occasionally come out for food or a brief cuddle but mostly, she hid under the bed.
She had been abandoned by her original owners after a car had run her over and to say that she was shy would be an understatement. But she also had awful separation anxiety and would scream the house down if I left for any reason.
Gradually, she started to come out from under the bed and became braver and braver about being around humans. And when we moved out of Bath and into a village, she really started to thrive and eventually became quite the flirt – I’d often find her in the lane, being petted and adored by total strangers!
Like all cats, she is mecurial and will only give affection on her terms. But she also loves to be around the action and can usually be found curled in a corner, watching out of the corner of her eye.
Her favourite things in life are milk, catnip toys, a soft blanket and Gary’s lap for a cuddle (as soon as we moved into the house, she abandoned me entirely and has become his cat – there is no loyalty around here at all!).
She also adores Charlie and their bond is one of my favourite things; where one is, the other won’t be far behind.
She is our tough, fiesty, cuddly, funny, tiny Queen and we adore her.
Cassidy Cat; one fourth of our team and the heart of our family.