Wednesday 27 July 2011


As most of our regular readers will know we have two cats, Shadow and Katinka. They are both rescue cats. 

Shadow came to us with his brother, Traveller from the cat rescue in Maastricht in 2005 just before we moved from the Netherlands to the UK. In fact both had to 'board' with family in the Netherlands for 6 months before we could bring them over on their pet passports due to the rabies restrictions. Sadly we lost Traveller in October 2009 to a very virulent cancer of the lymph glands. 

can you see me behind this blade of grass?
That left Shadow as an only cat--not that he minded! As his name suggests he is somewhat elusive, not to say neurotic! We have of course no idea what his life was like before he came to us as a 12 week old kitten but suffice to say he keeps well clear of all humans barring 'his own'. The first four days we had him he spent hiding under a large oak dower chest--hence his name. 

Moving to Charnizay we had more of the vanishing. It took us ages to find where he'd got to in the house. Only at dusk did he emerge and some serious sleuthing was needed to discover that he'd managed to squeeze behind the bath in one of the bathrooms. Four days later he was showing signs of being more 'at home' in his new surroundings and after a week we let him out. That was in August 2010.

is the camuflage working?
 In the October Katinka joined us on a trial basis--we weren't sure how Shadow, a wussy 5 yr old neutred tom, was going to take to an energetic ball of four month old fluff. But we'd been asked to take her as the people who rescued her had too many cats already.

If a cat can be said to look appalled Shadow did. His peaceful existence as an only cat had come to an abrupt end. At first he simply did not know what to make of this extremely self assured, fearless and supremely inquisitive 'mini cat'.

'She' liked people, 'she' ate his cat food, 'she' chased him round and leapt on his back!! 'She' strolled round the house within hours of arrival as if 'she' owned the place!  Shock, horror! 
But thankfully no cat fights--Katinka is too self assured and Shadow is too much of a big girl's blouse. So they gradually settled down--or rather Shadow got used to sharing. Katinka is half his size but occasionally bops him one just to show who's boss. 

Now they will even both sleep on our bed--to our detriment as they hog the space and we lose out :-)
'my' human


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
We have always had cats and it is so true that they all have such very different characters, just like Shadow and Katinka. They are both, however, adorable and it is so good that they are gradually working out how to accommodate each other.

wcs said...

Shadow looks a lot like our Bertie. But Bert doesn't have the luxury of the bed. He's out at night, prowling, hunting, visiting the neighbors through their open windows.

He sleeps in our garage during the day.

Craig said...

Glad to hear that they are peacefully co-existing. I don't suppose I'd be too pleased if someone came along out of the blue either!
They're both lovely.

GaynorB said...

Shadow is very handsome cat, and Katinka very feminine. She has learned very quickly how to deal with Shadow and get her own way - isn't it always the way with with the female of the species?

Or is this too controversial?

ladybird said...

Oh Gaynor, you're walking on thin ice :))!
Antoinette, both your cats are lovely in their own specific way. How I wish I could have a cat, but pets are not allowed in my apartment complex and I wouldn't like to leave it to fend for itself all day when I'm at the office, anyway. Take good care of those sweet pets of yours.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance -- yes they have settled down and get on, as well, if not better than Shadow did with his brother.
We too have always had cats.

@Walt -- just saw a pic of Bertie on Ken's blog. They do indeed look similar, though Bertie has a more self-possessed air.
We have a cat flap so they come and go as they please.

@Craig -- thanks. Katinka is certainly convinced she's lovely!

@Gaynor -- not at all ;-) After all it is perfectly true!!

@Martine -- that's why we've always had 2 cats. You can't have a dog when you're both working f/t. Don't worry they're very spoilt! :-)