Fernando and Bridget: Part Two

Did you know that the patron saint of cats (or at least one of them) is St. Gertrude? Many ancient and current religions consider cats to be sacred. Let’s not forget Bastet of ancient Egypt or Muezza who was a favoured cat of The Prophet.

Well, some cat god or Saint must have looked favourably down upon us (probably a reward for surviving a year of Tristan the terror and still willing to adopt more cats!) because within one day of bringing our tuxie kittens home we knew we we’re blessed by the cat gods.

These two kittens simply radiated joy and playfulness. They were so easy to care for. It was obvious they were ecstatic to be out of their cattery pen and have an entire bedroom to themselves to run around and play in. They revelled in tumbling over each other and climbing their tower! From day one, they cuddled and slept together in bed. And, yes, to our relief, unlike Tristan, these kittens actually slept! We enjoyed the constant bom-ba-bom-ba-bom ba-bom-ba-bom-ba-ba-BOM of little paws running up and down the bedroom floor above our heads as we watched television downstairs. They were so happy.

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Soon, they were ready for their first vet visit. They happily fit in one carrier together and were so very patient waiting for their appointment. I walked in the examining room and introduced our new family additions as Bridget and Willow, two female tuxies. The vet examined Bridget and stated everything was fine.

As soon as he picked up Willow he laughed “your other girl is in fact a boy! Yet again, I provided the laugh of the day for the entire staff at the vet’s office.image

The vet nurse, when I checked out, chuckled “you’ll have to keep an eye on those two.” Oh sure, now I would be guardian of my cats’ chastity! Certainly didn’t want anymore little black and white fur balls running around my house.

The nurse and I looked at the newly proclaimed boy kitten. I noticed the little half moustache near his nose and thought of the Abba song. “I think he’s a Fernando.” And so it was….Fernando.
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I never realised that adopting two kittens would be easier than one at a time! I suppose it’s obvious…they entertain themselves & keep each other busy, having each other to play with. Fernando and Bridget were inseparable, occupying their own little world. I’d never seen such loving pals.
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Did I mention earlier that they radiated joy? Well, they did. And there’s something very poignant about Fernando and Bridget entering my life when they did. It was a time in my life when I really needed an injection of joy. Tristan and Isabel were already fab companions don’t get me wrong, but there’s something about a little new life (or lives in this case) occupying your house…whether human or animal…it changes the whole feel of your house and for the better.
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No matter how challenging life can get, all four of my cats remind me what life is really all about: just get on with it, have fun, play, and just be. That’s the cat way. And that’s why I love them.
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Fernando and Bridget: Part One

I was volunteering at a rescue centre in 2011 when a pregnant long haired, mostly white, tuxie cat named Lucy was found on the street and placed in the cattery. The next night she gave birth. It was early April so still quite chilly in Britain and the cattery was not heated. There were no staff or volunteers on duty that night. Luckily, someone came to work earlier than usual the following morning and checked on the cattery first. One of Lucy’s kittens was found lying in their litter box and appeared dead. Quickly, the staff member wrapped the kitten in a towel and cleaned and warmed it up. Lucy seemed oblivious to all the fuss. She happily began nursing the wayward kitten along with the others. I would later find out that the kitten who almost died was my Fernando (who at first was named Willow, for a girl, but I’ll explain all that in Part Two).

Fernando

Within a couple of weeks, the strange naked looking creatures turned into cutesy black and white furballs tumbling around their pen causing mayhem. Whenever I checked on them, the kittens looked like a massive pile of squirming fluff. But soon little individual characters began to emerge. I secretly named them. There was one poor kitten that had very unfortunate markings on his face. There just wasn’t any other name for him except Adolf. He seemed shy but he was always hoarding the food. Then there was Mouse who, I don’t know, just looked more mouse than cat. She hid a lot in the corner. Then there was Num-Num who just looked yummy handsome but like a runway model he didn’t have much personality. “Willow” seemed to always be crying. Sometimes laying in the litter box. Always following the others around. Jeez, talk about early childhood problems. This was a kitten with issues. But “Willow” seemed the most sweet of the bunch, always licking and cuddling the others, always watching out for them, and had particularly bonded with Bridget. Yep, then there was Bridget.

Bridget

Bridget. Well, I don’t know why but as soon as I saw this kitten she just instantly struck me as a Bridget. And I knew I had to adopt her. She was the smallest of the litter but had the biggest head in proportion to her body. She was the boss of them all. Right from the beginning Bridget made it clear she was a princess diva. Whenever Lucy nursed the kittens, Bridget consistently pushed her way to the front of the queue. She particularly monopolised Lucy when it came to grooming & cleaning (a princess has to look good right?). If one of her siblings annoyed her, she’d put up her paw, shove it in their face and push them (ever so politely though) away. And to this day, Bridget still does the “talk to the paw” move. I must admit, it was her little black nose that got me (the rest had pink noses) and of course her kitten princess moxie!

Kitten pile

Lucy was adopted first. Within a few more days, Adolf and Num-Num went to their human family. Mouse, “Willow” and Bridget were still in the cattery when I arrived for my next volunteering shift. I spent that day performing my usual duties blissfully unaware of certain forces at work. Now, fate? Hm, stupidity more like….stepped in next. The woman who was meant to adopt both “Willow” and Mouse phoned the centre. She’d decided to take only one kitten. Well, you can surmise (partly) what happened next. At the end of my shift, my husband arrived to pick me up. I got in the car with the cat carrier and casually informed him it contained not one but two kittens. His cute sarcastic reaction? “Only two?” Haha. He figured we had survived a year of Tristan the Terror (see earlier blog) so he figured….bring it on!!

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