Just over a year ago, I moved into a little house on my own. Even though I was pushing 30, this was a huge step for me as I had just come out of a long-term relationship and had never lived on my own. I was heartbroken and my head was all over the place.
A few weeks after I had set up home, my new housemate moved in – eight-week-old little female kitten, Theo. I had never had a kitten before and in fact, had never had a pet that I was solely responsible for but I thought it would be something I would like to do.
I had planned to wait until I was a bit more acclimatised to my new situation before I got a kitten but whilst on a lunch break one day, I spotted an advert stating: ‘two kittens ready in six weeks, one black, one black and white.’ So, my sister and I went to see the kittens and ended up reserving them, with my sister taking the male black kitten (who is now named Earl) and I reserved the black and white girl.
When Theo came home, I quite honestly wondered if I’d done the right thing. I was aware it would take a while for her to settle but for the first week my kitten wouldn’t come anywhere near me, she would hiss if I made a move towards her, and she cried the house down most of the time. I came home from work at lunchtime a few times to hear the cat meowing loudly before I’d even got into the house.
I was vulnerable and started to wonder if I’d bitten off more than I could chew. What if the cat never took to me? What if I couldn’t afford to care for a cat now I was on my own? What have I done?
Another surprise came when I took Theo for her first routine vet appointment and found out that she was actually a HE. So, I had to get used to my kitten’s sex change.
Slowly but surely, things began to settle down. I remember the breakthrough moment when I was tentatively playing with a straw with Theo, keeping my respectful distance, when he made the move to rub his head on my hand. We were bonding! Before long, we were cuddling on the sofa and I was able to pick him up and give him a big kiss.
To those who aren’t cat fans, this may seem like a true crazy cat lady post but as I clock in one year with Theo, I’m reflecting on how wonderful it has been to have my own little cat. He has been great company and has made living alone for the first time bearable, and even enjoyable. At first, I was scared of having sole responsibility for a pet. Now, I love being my cat’s ‘mum’ (alright, simmer down all you cat naysayers) and I wouldn’t be without him!
Here are some of my favourite pics of Theo: