It’s now been a week since I moved into the new house which I’ve been renovating over the last eighteen months or more, and last night was the first night the cat didn’t wake me at silly-o-clock trying to scratch his way in from the rear conservatory area which also serves as his bedroom. I know he’s not getting enough daily exercise and I’m working to complete the cat-proof garden area for him. This entails fencing off the top half of the garden and making sure it is escape-proof, this will provide about 1500 square metres of safe space.
He didn’t start out life with me, his kittenhood was spent a few doors away and he lived there with his brother for the first few years of his life until the owners moved, just half a mile away but the cat was not having it, every time he was let out he’d make his way back to his old haunts where he’d hide until discovered by one of the neighbours. Then he’s be collected and kept in for a few days but the next time he’d be let out back to Grove Road he’d come.
The poor bedraggled timid thing was always in my garden and although I shouldn’t have, started putting down dry food as I couldn’t let him starve. He clearly didn’t want to go home and I guess I knew the reason why; there were two very noisy little girls in that household who used to tease him (so I’m told) and I guess he felt safer in his old environment where he could hide and hunt safely. He was also mostly living outside, a few hours allowed inside in the evenings, but all day when they were at work and all night whatever the weather he’d be put out.
This wild living in my garden went on for some while until I discovered his brother had been adopted by a neighbour behind me, as he too was leaving home at every opportunity. As by now he was quite happy coming into my house I decided to go and confront the owners to see if we could find an amicable solution for his future. They showed no emotion whatsoever and when they told the girls he was living in my garden and coming to live with me they couldn’t have cared less, clearly no love was lost with either party.
It’s now five years (or maybe more) since Flickr, formerly named Dora, came to stay. Now much as I know he feels safe and happy living with me we have only moved a quarter of a mile, hence the fence! I don’t want to risk him attempting to return to his old hunting ground although all the previous neighbours would be very aware and inform me if they saw him. There’s a busy road in between the two houses which I’d rather he’d not encounter. So far though, he’s still getting to grips with his new home and not showing any inclination or desire to be let out, let’s hope when he does, it’s not to attempt returning to his old home.