A new addition

Having had all sorts of animals as pets and as livestock I can confidently say that my favourite creature to share space with is still a cat. We have had at least one cat as a part of our household for more years than we haven’t since Ady and I set up home together and bringing Kira to the croft on Rum made me very happy.

Recently a few friends online have been sharing pictures of new kittens (it seemed to be a lockdown trend…) and while I was not bothered about a kitten I did like the idea of having a second cat in our house so I have had a vague eye on cats looking for a new home as I’d always prefer to rescue a cat which otherwise wouldn’t have a home.

A couple of weeks ago late one evening a friend shared a post on social media of a cat looking for a home. I followed the breadcrumb trail back to the originator of the post as it was one of those degrees of separation type posts which had been shared and shared again by friends of friends of friends and got in touch to say we could offer the cat a home.

The story of Kitty as she was then known was that she belonged to a woman who had gone into residential care as she was no longer able to live unsupported at home. Her pet cat, who is about five was being fed by neighbours. The owner was firmly convinced that Kitty would not be able to be rehomed as she is quite skittish and she felt the best option would be to have her put down. The neighbour, although unable to take her herself thought she should be given a chance to be rehomed.

Several messages back and forth with the neighbour, via the friend who had shared the post and then a phonecall with the owners daughter who lives abroad plus a slightly last minute cobbled together arrangement of Kitty being caught and put into a cat carrier, someone bringing her part of the way towards us as they happened to be having a weekend break and Scarlett and I found ourselves, at pretty short notice, driving a 300 mile round trip to go and collect Kitty from someone in a car park.

She spent the first 48 hours under the sofa hissing and growling at us, at Bonnie the dog and very much at Kira the cat.

By day three she was on the sofa being petted.

And by day four she had ventured on to a lap.

(side note – this is a dreadful angle for photographs unless you are a cat!)

We often call Kira ‘Kitty’ so we knew that Kitty2 would need an additional name – a prefix to Kitty. So everyone got to suggest a few names, then from the long list we all chose our favourite two and ended up with a clear winner in Luna. We like the fact that just like the moon she has black and white / dark and light to her. She seems pretty happy with her new extra name and comes to it quite readily, as well as still getting called Kitty pretty often too.

Once Bonnie worked out she was here to stay she has settled into just ignoring her as she does with Kira. Kira has much the same approach to Luna and seems pretty accepting of her presence as long as she is not directly in her way. Luna is rather less prepared with this arrangement and does tend to follow Kira about a bit, but then hisses or growls at her once she gets close. There has not been any actual physical contact though and despite a high level of awareness of each other I think they have all settled in to space sharing pretty well.

One of the reasons Luna’s previous owner was prepared to let her come and try and settle with us was our rural location and access to plenty of outdoor space for her to roam. Now she is a bit more settled in the house and with us she is starting to show some interest in going outside. She smells the air around an open window and is aware of the sound of the doors in the house opening.

My plan is to let her outside in the next few days, with doors firmly open so she can run back indoors if she feels unsafe and with me out in the garden too. I want her to feel that coming back into the house is her safe space if she gets spooked rather than running away. She also needs to work out how to let us know when she wants to come back in. Bonnie taps a paw to ‘knock’ at the door and Kira jumps up to the outside windowsill . Luna is very vocal with her miaows so I suspect she will alert us with her voice when she is keen to come back in.

We were supposed to be down in Edinburgh for the week when we went to collect Luna. We had got friends due to house and pet sit here and have a bit of a Highland break, friends flying over from Northern Ireland to meet up with us for the week and plans to spend a night with more friends while we were in Edinburgh. We were all looking forward to seeing loved ones, enjoying the bright lights of the city, showing Megan round a new and exciting part of the UK and having a change of scenery.

We are consoling ourselves with the knowledge that we would not have had Luna come to live with us if that planned trip had gone ahead. It was not sufficiently consoling enough for us to consider ‘Corona’ as her new name though. Too soon, still too soon.

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