Cats     (Past and Present)

As pets I've no disliking for dogs, but cats appeal to me because, unlike dogs, they don't need to be taken out in all weathers to be exercised! Domestic cats are very individual creatures who know what they want - a secure, comfortable and interesting life - and how to get it. As a former friend once observed, you never own a cat. If you give it a good home it'll stay with you, but if it gets a better offer it'll 'pack its bags' and move on.

Feeding time

Left to right Candy, Cyril, Belle, Benjy, Benson. It took a lot of patient encouragement to socialise five cats to this extent, but food is a powerful distraction to territorial tendencies!

Belle and Candy joined me in summer 1987 as kittens. I wanted two so that they would be company for each other while I was away at work and they were especially close, as sisters from the same litter. Candy unfortunately lost her left eye in late 1999 from an infection which failed to respond to treatment, and sadly, Belle died in the summer of 2003.

Benjy and Benson joined us in December 1998. They belonged to a work colleague whose partner was seriously allergic to cats and they were mainly living outdoors with no shelter available. With winter arriving we agreed that I would take them over from her. Sadly Benjy died in the spring of 2003.

Cyril had been my father's cat and he joined us when my father became terminally ill in December 2000. Sadly Cyril died in autumn 2002.

Candy sadly died in October 2006, aged 19 1/2 years, leaving just Benson. To give him company, in November 2006 we took on a 5 year old cat that needed rehoming, Charlie.

One cold evening in January 2009 a loud miaowing announced the arrival of a rather hungry cat at the front door. He wasn't micro-chipped or on the local vet's 'lost' list. A poster outside brought forward two near neighbours who'd also been feeding him, but no claimant, so I volunteered to adopt him and named him Colin.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Belle and Candy
Belle and Candy as kittens, recovering from a hard day's play
Belle as a young cat
Belle as a young cat
Candy as a young cat
Candy as a young cat
Two's company
Two's company - Benjy and Benson relaxing together.
Benjy
Benjy on guard duty, looking after an amateur radio trophy.
Benson
Change of shift - Benson looking after the trophy.
Candy
Candy keeping an eye on her territory on a summer day.
Cyril
Cyril keeping cool on a summer day.
Belle
Belle relaxing in the garden on a summer day.
Belle
I'm sure there was a fish there just now! The family cat at Old Coulsdon c. 1970
Benson
Please Sir, I want some more - attention, that is.
Charlie
Charlie relaxing in the autumn sunshine.
Colin and Benson
Colin and Benson
Colin
Colin enjoying the spring sunshine
Colin
Colin being his inquisitive and adventurous self. He, sadly, collapsed unexpectedly and died in March 2017.
Tigger
Temporary resident Tigger. She belongs to my nephew's family who are house guests here as a bridging arrangement while they move from Hull to this area for my nephew's new job in Watford.

Benson became seriously ill in early November 2010 and was put down on 5th November, aged 19. Below are my last photos of him, enjoying the autumn sunshine.

Benson
Benson
Colin
Benson
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