Some of you will recognise Tilly the Scaredy Cat, who has been in our family for about 14 years.
Here she is, looking rather elegant in her leopard skin igloo (fake fur – don’t worry!).
Tilly has been a notably timid cat for ever. I have a pretty good idea why and it all stems back to a visit to the vet when she was little …
It was clear that Tilly needed to be neutered. Her behaviour as certain times was becoming far from lady-like, and extremely noisy. So the appointment was made, and one fine day I scooped her into a cat carrier and walked her round to the local vet, just round the block from our house. In fact, the end of our back garden just about shared a fence with their garden.
That evening I left to go and collect her, asking my daughter if she wanted to come too. “Will there be stitches? I don’t think so then.”
I got to the vet, was told all had gone very well, paid the bill and they popped into the back room and returned with my cat box. I peeped in – mostly, I must admit, to demonstrate what a caring owner I am.
“Oh! This isn’t my cat!”
“Are you sure?”
Slightly silly question, but I suppose the receptionist was beginning to panic.
“Well, yes. My cat is small and glossy black and white. This one is big, fluffy and grey.”
“Hold on, I’ll go and check.”
It didn’t take long. Back in a flash she announced “That’s the only cat left!”
“However, she’s not mine, so I won’t be taking her. If you could find out where my cat is and let me know, I’ll come and collect her.
Back home to the tentative enquiry “Is she all right?”
“Apparently she’s fine. They just don’t know where she is.”
Half an hour later the phone rang with the news that Tilly was now back at the vet’s. Apparently a lady had collected without peeping into the cage. Plainly a crucial step in collection of animals from the vet. She had told the vet, “I wondered why she ran away and hid when I got her home.”
So round I went and into the back room this time, where poor Tilly was leaning in a mildly catatonic state against the bars of a cage. Drooling just a little. Eyes slightly staring. But then she was in the middle of a very bad day: been taken to a strange place where she had been operated on then, on waking, kidnapped, taken in a car (something she had only done once before), released into a strange house, recaptured and taken in the car back to the place where she had been operated on.
It’s not that surprising she has always expected the worst and likes to be left in peace.
However, it hasn’t affected her health badly, and she is now a venerable creature with a healthy appetite.
In Tilly’s honour, I’ve added a couple of cat pictures to my gallery and they’ve been framed and are currently up for auction to UK buyers in our ebay shop. Hope you like them!