It all started innocently enough. We were going to take our cat Marissa to the vet to be fixed as we'd attempted a handful of times before. And, again, she got out and got pregnant again. My mother told me in no uncertain terms I was not to get attached to the kittens as she'd find homes for them.
Then he was born. He was a small grey rat of a cat and I loved him. He would cuddle me and lick my finger from the time he was barely a couple of months old. He grew up and got cuter as the days went on. Eventually he became "mine" even though my mother kept telling me he was not going to stay.
Before I went away to uni I got him fixed and left my mom with the stern warning that if he disappeared I'd never forgive her. A few days after his first birthday I left.
My mom called me soon after and told me that he slept outside my door in my laundry basket every day and clawed at the door waiting for me to come out. This continued for the next two years that I was gone.
When I started dating my now-husband I told him in no uncertain terms that the cat and I were a pair and that if he didn't like cats he should let me know now. Fortunately he was so enamoured with me he failed to mention the extent of his cat allergy (oops!)
When the time came that my move to the UK was looking more certain I began the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS). This would allow me to bring my kitty to the UK without quarantine. (I would not have put him through that.)
Over $1700 later and my kitty arrived with me the same day I arrived. And his little face when I got him back from quarantine after they checked his paperwork made all the heartache and pain and money worth it.
My husband says that when he goes away for a few days with my sister-in-law I'm more grumpy. And I can understand that. I never once thought I'd be one of "those" people who honestly and truly loves their cat. But I do. He is my kitty and I love him. He eats dinner with me every night. He taps my hand with his paw when he wants some of my food. He scratches at the door when he wants to be with me. He sleeps under the blanket - like a human! - when it's too bright out. He meows constantly.
And I'm okay with the fact I sound like a right proud mother when I talk about him. Because, through the past four years, he's been my baby.
Happy fourth birthday, Tegan. I know this post is a bit early but I plan on spending that day with you cuddling and letting you know how glad I am that you've been with me these past four years. And hopefully many, many more.