aseyWhen Casey first braved the cat flap in February 2013 and camped in the bathroom (which is downstairs, next to the kitchen) he became a ‘fursib’ to Ollie and Sam.  He and Ollie got on very well but Sam, for some inexplicable reason, didn’t take kindly to Casey moving in and would give him a piece of his mind, and an occasional lash of his paw when he could.  But he felt safe with Ollie around and Ollie introduced him to the desk in my office where Ollie would spend hours stretched out asleep as I worked on my writing projects.  Now, I had two cats stretched out asleep while I worked. It is a large craft desk and there is plenty of room for all my manuscripts to be laid out, and any other projects I’m working on, but with two cats spread-eagled I was relegated to a small area in the corner and woe betide me if I tried to reclaim any more desk space!

Ollie was run over and killed in July 2013 and that left Casey with Sam who had his own health problems.  Although they might often be in the same room together, they rarely shared a chair or sat on the sofa together as Ollie and Casey had, or Sam and Ollie had.  An uneasy truce existed and Casey, for the most part, kept out of Sam’s way.


Then in January of this year, Sam’s tumour above his left eye reached a point of no return and the awful decision was made to give him peace.  Casey knew that Sam was no longer around and he comforted me.  He didn’t seem upset or depressed like some cats are when they lose a ‘fursib’ but I obviously don’t know what he was thinking or how he was feeling.  I don’t know if he missed Ollie or Sam.

GibbsI received a lot of emails suggesting that I get Casey a friend or two but I resisted as Nature seemed to be taking care of that without me having to intervene.  The first was a little doppelgänger that I tried out lots of different names on before settling on Gibbs.  You all know I love NCIS and Mark Harmon plays the lead role of Jethro Leroy Gibbs – or just Gibbs to everyone in the show.   Gibbs – the cat, not Mark Harmon – showed no interest in moving in on a permanent basis, preferring to eat on the decking, or at a pinch, in the lobby area near the back door.

If I wasn’t in the room, he did come in and play with Casey’s toys and each morning when I get up, one or two of the cat nip toys are strewn about the dining room.  I know it isn’t Casey because he doesn’t play with anything – but that’s another story for another time.

And then there was George, (aka Marmalade, aka Marmie) a beautiful rotund ginger tom who decided to move in (see: the casual vacancy).  Initially, he and Casey seemed to get on alright but then I noticed Casey seemed very wary in George’s company.  George would also use bullying tactics like lying across a stair so that Casey couldn’t get up or down them; or he’d lie right near to a door – again, so Casey couldn’t get through.

By a fluke I found out that George was, in fact, microchipped and we found his owner. I suggested that she keep George in for a couple of weeks and make a lot of fuss of him so that he would associate nice things with his own home and hopefully forget all about us.  Almost the minute he was released from 2 weeks of incarceration, George headed over to my house.  He wound himself around my ankles and when I sat on the sofa, he leapt onto my lap and cuddled and kissed me like I was his long lost best friend.

His owner, Rachel, and I came to an agreement and I text to tell that he had returned to my house.  ‘Please send him back’ she replied.  So I did.

Three weeks or more passed and he was lying on the work top next to the kettle when I got up one morning.

Geroge‘Hello, George,’ I said.  I still couldn’t call him ‘Marmie’.  He smiled and nimbly jumped down and sat by ‘his’ mat where he used to eat his meals.

Casey was out at the time and I opened the back door to call him in for breakfast.  He rushed in only to stop dead in his tracks when he saw George.  He looked at me to tell him what to do.  I pointed to the pedal bin and then on to the work top.  Casey jumped onto the lid of the bin and then up to the work top and then I lifted him down and put him by his own little table (which had been Garfield’s table). 

Once George had eaten his breakfast, I picked him up and put him outside on the decking, telling him to go home. I could tell that Casey was uneasy with him around and I didn’t want to upset Casey.

Gibbs, on the other hand, (the cat, not Mark Harmon!) gets on well with Casey and they often play together in the garden.  If Casey goes outside and Gibbs is already out there, they greet each other with a nose kiss.   If Gibbs wanted to move in (and this case, I wouldn’t say no to Mark Harmon!!!) I would let him because I think Casey likes him.

I don’t think it is essential that Casey has a friend in the house.  Cats by their nature, are used to living in solitary circumstances.  The original Daily Mewsers all got on very well together.  I was extremely blessed and lucky that there weren’t any underlying problems between any of them but times are different now.  I am older, for one thing, and my health problems do not seem to be going away any time soon.  Also, the financial implications of having more cats do not sit well with me.  I’d rather give what I have to ensure Casey has a good standard of living and not have to struggle to feed many more cats.  Also the cost of veterinary care is exorbitant these days.  I swear that I put my vet’s two sons through college, university and financed all their exotic holidays over the years I had Biggles, Garfield, et al.    

If Casey does seem unhappy as an only cat then I will take steps to see if I can find him a friend, but for now, I think he is happy enough being an only cat because he gets all my attention.  He is also very fair with his affections.  If Lawrence comes over Casey will share the love between us all, first going to Lawrence and then me and then sitting between us.  I think he’s quite happy being the centre of attention!






Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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