After Errol died I was bereft. Rufus was being very loving, but the house was far too quiet. I found myself looking at kitten adverts on the Internet, and decided to buy an Oriental kitten, and adopt a rescue kitten of a similar age as a companion.
The first kitten I went to see was a male Oriental black. It had taken a long time after losing Sooty for me to feel another black cat was for me, but the Orientals look so different that I felt he was probably the right cat for me.
I had to go to Leeds on business so I went home via the breeder’s house in Huddersfield. He was with his mother, a tiny Oriental black female kitten, and two seal-point kittens. I also saw Cara’s brother, Mowgli, a splendid Oriental Black. Of course I was entranced, of course I arranged to buy him! A little while later I got a phone call. How would I like to take his sister as well? She was so tiny… My heart melted, and I agreed.
The big day came in late September. I went to Huddersfield on the 23rd and picked them up. They were so quiet on the long journey back to Fife that I stopped to make sure I had them both and they were OK!
The first thing I discovered was that I couldn’t tell them apart unless I saw them with each other! Minnie’s eyes are a bit rounder, her ears slightly more upright and of course she was a lot smaller. She was also terrified of Rufus to start with, but it didn’t take her long to have the courage to smack him on the nose! He retreated to the top of the display cabinet where they couldn’t get to him, at least to start with.
They were playful (they still are!), they grow quickly (as all kittens do), and started exploring the garden which they couldn’t get out of.
They never became close to Rufus, but on occasion he would pretend not to notice them!
They grew into handsome cats, especially Max, but unfortunately his eyes never became green so whilst in most ways he is a stunning cat, he’s not a pedigree show cat. Minnie has rather round eyes and has developed a habit of pulling her fur on her back from time to time, so she isn’t shown either.
Over time Minnie became a good-size cat – about 3.5 kg – and Max was over 5 kg last time he was weighed at the vets. Comparing this picture with one of the early ones shows how much they have grown.
Getting good photos of them with their eyes open has always been hard, but in June 2009 I finally managed to get a really good photo of Minnie!
Life continued, until in late 2010 Rufus kept vanishing for long periods of time. Eventually in 2011 I got a phone call from a rescue saying they had him! Joy! However it became clear he wasn’t well as weight dropped off him. He was diagnosed with an over-active thyroid, and needed medication twice as day. So, I set to and finished cat-proofing my back garden and eventually they were all allowed out in it. Max and Minnie have really benefitted from it. Max has lost some of his excess weight, and they both love playing and sunning themselves out there.
Now they have a new challenge facing them – accepting my new kittens, whenever that may happen! Max did well with Jasmine’s kittens so I hope he will be fine, Minnie is a bit of a diva so could be less accepting.
Update, March 2014. Minnie never really settled with Benny and Lola, and was rehomed in July 2013 just after Lola’s kittens were born. She settled in very quickly, was so happy and then sadly met her end on the incredibly quiet road outside the house. She was probably hunting, plus there was building work going on at the last house on the road. However I have no regrets. She was truely happy – she wasn’t with me – and Max didn’t seem to miss her. Lola and Benny flourished.
Max has also shown a new string to his bow – he thinks he’s a stud cat! When Lola is in call he will mount her and she behaves as if properly mated!