I have always been a dog person, and never got on well with cats. Too self-contained, can't train them to do anything, selfish, vicious, waste of space. My feelings were summarised by the old saying: "Dogs have owners; cats have staff".
Until I met Smokey. Smokey was a stray who 'adopted' a colleague of mine and moved into her flat. Sadly the colleague couldn't keep her and offered her to me. She knew that both our cats (inherited with Anna and a Springer Spaniel as part of a buy-one-get-three-free deal) had died last year, and she thought I would appreciate the offer. I was dubious - not all that keen on cats, but we do need something to keep the mouse population under control - but as soon as Anna saw a photo we were commited. She moved in with us last year.
She was about 6 months old when we got her, thin and frightened. She liked to go into hiding, and the bed was the favourite place:
She was also pregnant with six kittens, as we found when we took her to the vets for all the usual cat stuff. We had her spayed, and that was the end of that. She took a while to settle in, but soon she was stretching out in front of the stove with the dog and bringing several mice a day for our inspection - usually dead ones, but not always.
She's turning out to be a bit of a hooligan. There are several cats in the area (a big ginger tom, and a fat white monstrosity that would not be out of place on Blofeld's lap, eating goldfish), and they have a reputation for beating up any cat that strays onto their patch. We didn't let Smokey out of the house for ages, for fear that she would be ripped apart by the gang. It's a nice, quiet area for humans, but in the cat world it's the equivalent of a sink estate. We needn't have worried - she can take care of herself very well. There's the sound of a cat-fight outside, with screams like someone is being murdered, and then Smokey slips in through the window, hackles up but otherwise unconcerned, shrugs her shoulders, flicks her hair back, and grabs a snack before tormenting the dog. She's a character, and I have fallen for her totally.
All of which was brought to mind by this article, seen at Wrinkled Weasel's place.
Kitten survives washing machine cycle
A Persian kitten gave her owners the shock of their lives when she emerged from the washing machine, dizzy and bedraggled after surviving a full cycle.
Brendon Rogers, from Manly Vale, Sydney, said four-month-old Kimba, a white, fluffy kitten, must have climbed into the front-loader machine when the door was open and curled up on the dirty clothes - unbeknownst to his father Lyndsay who turned the machine on for a cold wash.
They were both amazed when the cycle - including a high level spin - finished and they opened the door to pull out the clothes to find Kimba in the machine.
The cat was not well, understandably, but survived.
Smokey would have punched a hole in the washing machine door, climbed out, and gone looking for whichever damnfool human had pushed the button without checking with her first.