Hello friends, me is very happy, that we have another guest blogpost today. it´s bee in the “pipeline some time, but Hugodad was very buy this week.
So today here is our very fluffy friend Basil @fluffyBasil .
Basil mum here. Here’s our story.
Getting Basil (or getting any cat), was a long and serious decision for me. Generally, I think people make the decision to get a pet to lightly. Its hard work and a commitment – and I was concerned if I could make that commitment.
I’ve always loved cats, but was never allowed one at my parents home. My mum can’t stand the fluff! (although she seems to like Basil ok). Then, for years at and after university, I lived in shared digs which were not suitable, but even when I eventually got my own home about 9 years ago, I still did not go for it. I was concerned about the time I spent away, both for work and travelling at weekends. Then my brother got a cat, Pepper (adopted) who I fell in love with, and then another, Oscar (‘the terror’). My brother worked long hours too, so I thought, maybe I could manage a pet too.
Last summer I went on a big trip to Canada and whilst I was away I decided I needed a cat in my life! When I got back I committed to not go away for 3 months and to adopt.
There’s a Cat’s Protection adoption centre near by, so I went there one evening after work. They reassured me that my life, as busy as it was, was perfect for a cat who enjoyed the quiet life (no children) and that it would be fine for cat to be alone for most of the day.
The first visit was heart renching. In fact, its been difficult on every visit since (I now volunteer occasionally). On average they have 70 cats there. Kittens are only there a few days but many older cats are ignored. The staff do such a wonderful job, in difficult circumstances for all the kitties.
Many cats put on a real show for me, purring and flirting against the glass. One girl kitty called Jess really tugged my hearts strings. She was so friendly and had a beauty spot just below her nose, with white and black long hair and was an indoor kitty like I ideally wanted. (This indoor thing wasn’t a deal breaker, but it would just be easier in the area I live as the roads are very busy.)
Then I spied Basil. God he was grumpy. He did not look at me and refused to move from the corrugated card scratch post he was sleeping on (he lived on it they told me) but, there was something in that face…… I took a picture and said I would think about it overnight and come back the next day. I thought about Basil’s little face all night. All the ladies at work said he was the one, but I worried about his nature and how hard it would be to look after him.
I went back as promised and got to actually spend time with several cats, Jess and Basil included. They just open the front of the cage area and you can stroke and touch them, if they let you. Jess and a few others were very friendly and loveable, purring and brushing up against me. You could tell that in a few weeks they would settle in at home no problem.
Basil however, hissed as I went to stroke him and seized up in nervousness. He cowered away from each touch. They told me they thought it would take longer for him than most cats to adapt to a new home, as he was very stressed. So we shut the door and my head said ‘go back and see the others – as a first cat, he will be far too much work’. But, as I walked away I looked back, and Basil had crept off his scratch post and looked round the corner at me. That was it…. My head lost and my heart won! Smitten.
So I agreed and signed the paperwork. I collected him after a few days.
It was not easy sailing. He yowled in the car all the way home, peed in the carrier & hid straight away. He ruined rug in the first week by using it as a litter tray and I spent about 3 months on my knees talking to his silhouette behind the sofa, tempting him with treats & talking in hushed tones. No visitor would no I even had a cat! He only ate when I was out of the room and gobbled it so fast the bowl shot across the room. He cowered if you went anywhere near him and hissed.
it upset me to think about what had happened to my Basil for him to be this scared? All they could tell me was he had not gotten on with other pets in the house. I know deep down it was worse than that. He was so traumatised.
I spent about an hour or more each night tempting him with food and play. My social life suffered, but all I wanted to do was try and help him get to a happy place.
After 4 months I’d still not managed to touch him, but he was by then, out from behind the sofa about 70% of the time, lying in the same room and playing with feather wand toys. When he first appeared so I could see him properly I couldn’t get over how stocky he was and how chunky his paws are. He’s like a Teddy bear.
Then I went away for Christmas. I left with some trepidation, but I found a lovely petsitter, Amy, who loves all animals & comes to our home, to save Basil the stress of the cattery. She sent me pictures most days and kept me up to date. She fell for him too.
When I got back we had a real turning point, he let me stroke him for the first time and purred. I cried. They were tears of happiness and relief, but also sadness as my boys coat was thick with matts and un-groomed from months of neglect, when I’d been unable to get near him. His coat was all lumps and bumps.
Fast forward to today (9 months since I adopted him) and all his lovely followers know the handsome sweetie he is today. He loves his daily brush, and, after months of dedication I’ve slowly cut and brushed out all the matts and tangles.
He struts around the house, is fun and lively and loves showing off his belly and chin rubs. He has even accepted my new rug -although those who know us are well aware this took several weeks! We have a daily cuddle & I can’t imagine life without him. Everyone who meets him melts – all he has to do is roll over and show that lovely curly floofy belly.
He can still be grumpy though, and as yet, has still not sat on my lap. That might be next year 🙂
Please Adopt don’t Shop
Gretchen & Basil
(copyright all pics in this blogpost by Mum of Basil @fluffyBasil , all photos here used with her permission, please respect this! )