Almost 5 years ago I woke up in Thailand on my birthday to cards and presents. One of the presents from my boyfriend Will was a little blue backpack – perfect for travelling around the islands. But inside the backpack was a grey cat teddy and my card read, “You can pick a real one when we get home”. It was the sweetest thing. I hadn’t been a huge fan of cats until I met him, there were four at his parents’ house on my first visit and it was impossible not to fall in love with them. So as me moved in to our own home, it felt perfect to get a cat.
A few weeks later we went to Battersea Cats and Dogs home in Old Windsor – just to have a look! I had always wanted a bengal looking cat, something stripy or leopard like – but when a little grey fluffball trampled over his siblings and in to Will’s arms and started giving him big kisses, my heart melted, and we found our grey little cat, just like the one in the backpack – a cat named Plato.
But then came the reality part – especially having never had a kitten of my own.
Things to know: kittens are not meant to be left for more than 5 hours at a time, which was kind of ok given that I work for myself and nearly every time we went out I felt guilty. He had a heart murmur when he was born which needed monitoring. And he required lots and lots of attention and playtime and lots of food. Oh and cats are allergic to Lilies. (We found that out £300.00 later after he sniffed some lilies, started being really really sick and we hadn’t yet taken out pet insurance…) And finding people to look after him whilst we travel for work or on holiday is the most difficult part… But we adore Plato and wouldn’t change him for the world and it’s all part of our lives…
So if you’re thinking of getting a cat – or a dog – or any animal for that matter for Christmas – I urge you to really take your time to think of your or the person you’re getting it for’s schedule, and make sure you have the time and the money required to care for animal and are able to give it all the attention it needs.
Because whilst we opted for a kitten, there were so many cats and dogs of all ages dropped off by people who couldn’t afford to look after their pets, or who no longer had the time, and worse who had just abandoned the animals as ‘after the Christmas holidays passed it just all seemed like a bit too much’.
Pets on Instagram also seem to be becoming “a thing” with bloggers opening up their pets accounts (we even have one though we barely use it) but trust me when I say, a pet is not just for Christmas, and a pet is certainly not just for Instagram.
So do your research on owning a cat or a dog, then do some more, take a really realistic look at your diary, make sure you can afford it, and if you’re still 100% sure you can make the commitment, then I’d strongly urge you to visit Battersea Cats and Dogs where so many beautiful animals are in need of a home.
Plato is the best thing ever and we are so grateful to Battersea Cats and Dogs in Old Windsor for giving us Plato and caring for him in those first few weeks.