Earlier this year, the Burns household found itself broken-hearted by the death of our family cat of 15 years; Seamus Aloysius was a member of our family in pretty much every way. He ate first, even before our infant son. He had the run of the house and could often be found eschewing any purpose-bought sleep station in favour of curling up in the bathroom shower tray. He quickly earned the nickname Shameless Avaricious, thanks to our inability to open a fridge or cupboard door without his plaintive cries for a share. But despite it all, and to quote my husband: ‘I liked that cat more than I liked most people’.
The house immediately felt the loss of the patter of paws. And we found ourselves perusing the Cats Protection adoption centre website, where kittens and older cats awaited new homes. With more than 100 cats awaiting space in the adoption centre, we found ourselves going home with Truffaut – a 12-week-old kitten, named after the 1960s French film director. His black and white face resembles a superhero mask and has captured the imagination of my son and his feline-loving friends.
I’m told by the staff there will be plenty of kittens arriving at the centre during September, as strays find themselves giving birth or families find themselves unable to care for surprise additions to their families (cats can get breed at just a few months old). There are many older cats in need of homes that carry fascinating (and sometimes heartbreaking) back stories, some of which we hope to tell in our social media platforms. Of course cats are far from the only species looking for new homes and we hope to feature some of those too.
So what would Seamus think of his replacement? I think he would declare us cat-competent, after intensively training us. And as any second-time around cat owner knows, there are all kinds of cats in the world, but never the same cat twice. Certainly the chances of the Burns family not finding itself with yet another new member are low. Meanwhile find your new family member at cats.org.uk/cornwall
‘As any second-time around cat owner knows, there are all kinds of cats in the world, but never the same cat twice.’
Truffaut began life in a Newquay garden and joined the Burns household after a spell at Cats Protection