Sunday, 26 October 2014

30 Day Blogging Challenge Day 27 : Suki, Pippa and Tala, Part Of The Family

My family has always had a cat. My parents had a cat even before I was born. I know her name was Suki, and that she was a Tabbie cat, but apart from that I don't know anything else about her. I was really young when they had her so I don't have any memories of her. She lived with them in Hampton Hill in Richmond, London, and then in Framfield, Sussex, and moved with us to Wallingford , Oxfordshire, in 1986.

 The house I grew up in an Wallingford was on a corner of two residential streets on a popular housing estate called Fir Tree  Avenue on the outskirts of the town, and, although it was quite a quiet area,because the road was very long and straight, cars would often go faster down there then they were supposed to. Unfortunately, one day, Suki was outdoors, and she got run over by a car.

Shortly after that, my parents who wanted another cat in the house got a cat called Pippa through their friends in Sussex. Pippa was completely black with a white chest and white paws. 
Pippa in 1987 when I was six years old

I can remember she was the type of cat who did not sit on people's laps, but was not antisocial. She was always very popular with visitors. She lived from 1986 until I was 18 years old in the year 2000. One day, I can remember that we could not find her and we looked all over the house and garden, and she was not there. She used to like sitting underneath my mum's car when the weather was hot, and one day my mum found her asleep. We thought she was asleep at first, but it turned out that she had died. I can remember saying goodbye to her and we were all really upset because she was the first cat  my sister and I had really known in our childhood.My parents buried her in the back garden.
Some months after that, we went as a family to a pet home in Wantage , Oxfordshire , my sister and I were really excited as mum and dad had told us that they wanted to get another cat. The pet home was run by a lady who adopted pets that nobody wanted. We went to have a look at the cats that were there, and I can remember not liking the fact that they were in cages as it has always seemed quite cruel to me that animals are kept like this. I can remember not knowing on which one to choose, but it was my sister who suddenly said

'  look how about the grey one?' 

We saw a grey kitten with a tail with lines on it like a raccoon's tale, and decided that the cat was such an unusual dark grey colour, and with that tail , it had a very unique and unusual appearance. It turned out that the cat was named Tala, and we all stroked her while the owner of the pet home cuddled her against her chest.  As we watched,  Tala began pawing at the lady's fleece jacket: we didn't know this at the time, but this would become a habit of hers, she loves anything soft, and I have paw marks on many a fleece and dressing gown! 

We were told that before we could take her home, the pet home workers had to come over to the house and see whether it would be okay for her. We had to agree to some conditions to keep her: that she was not allowed to have kittens, and also that we would not allow her to go out of the garden and onto the paths and roads surrounding the house for at least a month. She had to have a microchip inserted so we could find her if she got lost.  So, for the first couple of weeks, we had her in the house only, and she was really pleased when she could finally get out of the house and explore her new surroundings! I had to go off back to to university, and I remember coming home one autumn evening in 2002 to find Tala  hiding underneath a wooden rocking chair that my parents had bought  for the lounge, and also doing things like hiding behind the washing machine, and hiding in drawers. She was really not used to people, and we were told by the lady at the pat home before she came to us, she was living in a house where an elderly lady had quite a few cats and kittens,  and so she would keep some of her cats in the garage so that they wouldn't make so much noise. Tala was one of those kittens. 
After some weeks, she got used to being in a new home, but there are some things that have not changed about how she acts  even now, and we think that it is left over from when she was living with the old lady. For example, when people come around to the house, she gets quite nervous, and is not sociable and takes herself off to sleep or take herself outside. However, when it is just my parents, my sister and I,  she is fine. Tala has a great personality, and always wants to be the centre of attention. She always sits on people's laps, and has been known to sit on my lap while I am in my wheelchair, and she really does not mind me moving around when she is sitting there, so she gets a free ride as well!  
Tala in her favourite place on the couch age 10 
Tala Christmas 2011 age 10

A recent photo of Tala 
Tala now age 12 

Both Tala  and Pippa would keep me company when I was ill in bed. also sat on top of my books when I was trying to study for my final exams at university. (If you have read my blog post called 11 Years Without You, you will know that I came home from university in my final year to live at my parent's house after my grandfather's death in 2003 ) or when I was just trying to read. She did this with my dad and sister as well. Two of the other things she loves, are pens (we really don't know why this is) and chicken. When she sees a pen, she will jump up to where you are if you are sitting at a table and try, and nearly always succeed, in knocking it out of your hand and watching it fall to the floor. I say she loves chicken as whenever my mum used to cook roast chicken when I was living at home , Tala always used to sit and wait as patiently as she could, which was usually not very patiently, and she would visibly shift from one paw  to the other until the end of the meal, when she just knew that mum would give her the leftovers. I am told she still does this. I have not seen Tala  for a while, as my parents have since moved, but I do see her on FaceTime time every time I call them.


  1. As Freud said it: Time spent with cats is never wasted.

  2. Its lovely to remember Pippa and read the stories of getting them both. Reflecting on their characters and unique quirks is so nice-lovely to see a photo of Pippa too..bless her

  3. I took in a stray 14 years ago. She was around 2-3 then, so she's about 16-17 now.

    I'm hoping she'll live a lot longer. Has kidney disease now but is living off love'n'cuddles. She's been a lovely friend and I dread the day she leaves, so I'm hugging her extra and keep telling her we'll get her to 23!