If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I have a cat called Bertie. Bertie is currently 19 months old and has lived with us since he was six weeks old. We don’t know anything about the first three weeks of his life, all we know is that he was discovered in a garden, by himself. How this three week old kitten came to be abandoned with no brothers or sisters or his mom, we will never know. Luckily, he was taken into the vets where my brother’s girlfriend works. He was then bottle fed and looked after until at six weeks old, he moved into his ‘furever home’.
Deciding to have Bertie
We weren’t looking for a cat at the time. Our 19 year old, Patch had just passed away and we didn’t feel as though it was the right time to get a new cat. As nobody else was able to take him, we offered the tiny kitten a home and it was definitely the right thing to do. Bertie didn’t replace Patch, but he certainly helped us when we were grieving for her. He was a huge comfort – we really missed having a cat around the house. Although having a six week old kitten was very different to having a 19 year old cat, he brought happiness back into our lives. Although we didn’t choose to have Bertie so soon after losing Patch, I’m really glad that we did.
When you decide to get a pet, it’s really important that you make sure it’s the right time. Are you going to be able to look after it? Kittens need a lot of love and attention, so we had to make sure we would be around for him. Luckily, I was working from home for most of the week, so I was able to keep him company. Kittens are just like babies, they cry a lot during the night and can keep you awake! We had to shut Bertie in the kitchen at night time, with his food, litter tray, a bed and some toys. He’s now learnt that the night time is for sleeping, but at first he would cry for hours.
Looking after Bertie
Cats are really easy to look after – you don’t need to walk them twice a day, they’re pretty clean animals and they’re quite independent. Bertie was very needy when we first had him, which I believe is due to him being abandoned. He’s still very clingy a year and a half later, he doesn’t like being in a room on his own. He likes to follow you around the house and watch what you’re doing.
We took Bertie to have his injections as soon as he needed them, to make sure he’s protected from any horrible diseases. As soon as he was old enough (and weighed enough) he had his pom poms removed too. Even though he’s an indoor cat at the moment, it’s much better for his health to have him neutered. So far, we haven’t had to take him to vets for any other reasons but we have been looking into Petplan Pet Insurance, just in case. Cats are always getting themselves into silly situations, so it’s best to be prepared so you’re not hit with a huge vet bill!
When we first got Bertie, he would bite A LOT. He still really likes to bite feet, but he’s calmed down a lot now. When I’m at home, I always play with him and we love a good play fight. This means that I usually end up getting a bit bitten, but he doesn’t hurt any of us on purpose. We have to remember that he was on his own form three weeks old, so he hasn’t had a chance to learn from his mom or litter mates. He has a lot of toys to play with, he’s completely spoilt but his favourite things are corks from wine bottles and empty crisp packets which have been folded up and tied in a knot. He’s easy to keep happy!
When we first got Bertie, I was in Florida so I was worried that he’d get settled in while I was away and wouldn’t take to me when I got back. Luckily, we bonded really well and we’re now the best of friends. Even now I’ve moved down to Winchester, he’s still really excited to see me when I come home. He loves to lie on top of me in bed and always sits on top of my laptop when I’m trying to do some work. He’s such an affectionate and loving cat and we’re really lucky to have him in our lives.
This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own