Hester and Chester
We took Stevie and Tiger (now Hester and Chester) in January. They were estimated about a year old but when we took them for their second vaccinations that was revised down to about nine months. They were very timid when we went to see them and we had been told other potential adopters had been put off by this - a huge mistake on their part but we aren't going to complain!
It took about 6 hours for them to venture out of their crate when we first got them home, then another couple of weeks before they were happy to come downstairs. It was about 2 months before they were totally confident outside and with strangers. Now they basically own the house, and the street, and go wherever they want... regardless of the rules!
They are happy, affectionate, confident cats. They both seek lots of fuss and attention (quite vocally at times!). They can sometimes get boisterous with each other and have been quite noisy at night on occasion, but that's understandable for their age and we have no completely undesirable behaviours at all. They don't scratch the furniture, only toilet where they should, and now they have developed a bond with us they will tolerate flea treatment. Hester still needs his eye regularly cleaned, but he doesn't attempt to escape or scratch as he did when we first had them. They picked up how to use the microchip cat flap and that they needed to toilet outside when we trained them really quickly.
Chester has begun to greet us with a vertical tail shake, showing how happy he is to see us! Hester likes a fuss, but not to be handled, and Chester will climb up for (gentle) cuddles for a minute or two as well.
Chester has started to hunt and although this has often been stale bread and caused an upset stomach, he has brought us some dead rodents too, and today a headless bird...He is very energetic and likes to spend lots of time outdoors, climbing and exploring, even in the rain. He is still wary of other people and cats and will often run and hide, but did once invite himself to tea at our neighbours by following their cats in! He's easily been the costliest cat so far with trips to the vets when he came home with a torn pad and claws scraped down to the quick (suspected fall) and he is currently being investigated for an eye injury but it's not causing him any bother - and we don't mind because he's such a great cat. He has an amazing deep purr for such a tiny cat and he turns it on very readily.
Hester is much more lazy and doesn't tend to go far from home. If we go out while he is out he's usually waiting to tell us off when we get back! He's also the more dominant of the two and although he tolerates most of the local cats in the 'communal' areas, they are most definitely not allowed in his garden and he once stood his ground against a Tom cat twice his size! All the more impressive as the Tom wasn't even really scared of me and I had to shoo him right down the street before he gave in. The same cat once got into our neighbour's house and sprayed everywhere so Hester standing guard was very helpful! He also likes to 'help' when I'm working from home and once locked me out of all of my systems by climbing across my keyboard. He likes to keep his fur very soft and fluffy.
They spend less time together now than when we first had them but they get stressed if they are separate for a long time. They are quite vocal with each other which is lovely, greeting each other with chirps if they have been apart.
They have had two short stays at a local cattery as we had pre-existing commitments but they took it in their stride, so much so that we've been able to book to go away again for the Autumn without worrying about them.
The only ongoing problem we experience is around food. They are both obsessed and will scavenge and steal. We have to shut them out of the kitchen when we are cooking and even if we put food out for them at this time, they just inhale it then continue to protest loudly. But they don't scratch at the door or do anything else.
Overall we are so pleased we took them and it has been very rewarding watching them begin to flourish and settle in their forever home. It's like we've always had them, and they are totally part of the family. I would advise anyone else looking at prospective cats to be patient and bear in mind that a cat who is timid at first won't necessarily always be like that. The most important thing we looked for is that they did let us get near to them and touch them. We knew that as long as they could tolerate us without getting too defensive we could work on the rest.
Thank you for all that you did for them before they came to us. We hope you enjoy reading this update and seeing their pictures.
R and S Smith