Three years ago today, I received a phone-call from my best friend Charlotte. She rang to ask whether we could look after a ginger kitten for “a few days”, I quickly conferred with my ma and we said yes. She was glad about this, as she was already on her way to our house with the aforementioned kitten…
This tiny, wee kitten and his brothers and sisters had been found at the farm where Charlotte gets feed for her horses. They’d been abandoned there and were running around causing havoc, despite there being plenty of farmyard machinery and animals that could both scare and harm them. Charlotte knows that my family loves cats (well, that my ma and me love cats), and she also had the special weapon of knowledge that my ma absolutely adores ginger cats… So when the farm was trying to get people to take the kittens to new homes, Charlotte knew that we were a pretty good bet!
When she brought the kitten to our house, he was a spitting, hissing ball of fluff. He was very scared, and very dirty, and he most definitely did did not want a cuddle. The only thing that tempted him into human interaction was a tin of fish… Which, to begin with, he devoured messily and quickly, before hiding in a place where he couldn’t be touched and promptly falling asleep. We put a litter tray in the corner and hoped for the best (and as we have two other cats, Poppy and Squirrel, the door the room he was in was firmly shut!).
We gave him some breathing space that evening, but the next morning I was rather thrilled because the second I walked into the living room he greeted me with enthusiasm… By sniffing around me looking for the tin of fish he thought must exist somewhere on my person. We made friends that day and have been pretty much inseparable since.
Top left: sleepy on his third day in the house; Top right: looking lively on his fourth day in the house; Bottom left: completely at ease with the world (photo by my ma); Bottom right: later in the month when he became an explorer extraordinaire! (Also, my first go at taking this photo.)
It didn’t take too long to realise that when Charlotte said ‘a few days’, she pretty much meant forever… The idea was that he would go to live with my grandma after he found his feet, but for various reasons, after having lived with her for a little bit he came back to live with us. As a result, Barnabee’s been my baby for three years today! I can’t believe it, it seems simultaneously not long enough and far longer than it should be! If you think you can handle some more of his adorable cuteness, then head over to my Barnabee set on Flickr.