Monday, 30 November -0001

Once a cat lady…

When she saw Sid and Ella’s faces peeping out from the classified pages of The Lady, Wendy Gomersall fell in love

Written by Wendy Gomersall
Once you’ve shared your life with a kitty, there’s no going back to a fluff-less existence; ask any cat owner. Happiness is stroking those baby-soft spots just below the ears of a warm ball of contentment curled up on your legs as you lie watching telly on the sofa.

It’s hearing the urgent trills and chirrups of a curly-tailed ball of fur frantically winding herself around your ankles at food time, as if you hadn’t fed her for weeks.

It’s watching that mad glint appear in her narrowed eyes just before she suddenly pins back her ears and thunders upstairs and back for no apparent reason, then calmly sits and licks her paws as if you’d imagined the whole thing. And it’s gently snuggling a sleepy puss as she purrs contentedly in her dreams, knowing she’s safe and very loved.

It had been seven years since my last cat had left me; my heart just couldn’t cope with the agony of losing another one. But then I saw an ad in The Lady, for which I write The Globetrotter travel column.

‘Ella and Sid, beautiful cats, in need of a loving and quiet home. Owner moving to retirement home. No pets allowed.’

A couple of friends pointed out the advertisement to me, too. The fact that its two ‘stars’ looked awfully like Frankie, a darling cat I’d adored for 15 years, and Pipsi, the moggy who lived with my neighbour friend, seemed to seal it – they were meant to be mine.

I emailed their ‘mum’, Catherine Moon. ‘I chose to place an advert in The Lady as I was sure I could trust the readers to offer a safe and loving home to my kitties; a home that would take care of every aspect of their wellbeing,’ her reply stated.

‘I did not advertise in any other publication, feeling confident that The Lady was the way to go. Some of us make decisions in life that come back to bite us and I’d chosen a way of life that meant very little pension. I’d found a great retirement place to move to that caters for folk like me, which was located near London and my family. But sadly, no pets are allowed there.’

After Catherine and I made contact, naturally I went to see Ella and Sid in Liverpool. Maybe they would hate me, or vice versa…

The cats moved in a couple of weeks ago. Princess Ella is so affectionate, curious, and a little bossy boots; the black prince is gorgeous, a little skittish, and enjoys hiding. ‘I miss them desperately but I am greatly relieved and reassured that Wendy is giving them a wonderful new home,’ says Catherine.

‘Wendy is a crazy cat lady like me and kitties know when they are in the presence of a soft touch!’

Why didn’t I get kittens, you may ask? Being silly, I reasoned that giving a home to two cats in need meant I needn’t feel guilty that I had replaced – and thus forgotten – the fluffies I’d lost. Of course I never will.

Equally foolishly, having mature cats meant I just wouldn’t have time to get too attached to them; my heart would be safe. I’d care for them, of course, but never fall totally under their spell.

But they are so adorable and sweetnatured, even if two large catnip mice have been beaten to a pulp and they’ve totally taken over the spare room. I told them I loved them on day two.

The Lady is always happy to receive classified adverts for cats and dogs in need of loving homes.

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