Cats I Have Known – Heidi

I’ve always had an affinity with cats – if one crosses my path as I’m walking down the road, I’ll stoop down to scratch it behind the ears. I’ve sometimes wondered whether being a cat-person is largely due to growing up with cats, or whether my personality is such that I just seem to be on the same wavelength as our feline friends. There’s been some recent research on this, in an interesting journal, Anthrozoos, which examines the interactions between humans and (non-human) animals. I might return to the research in a later post, but now I’d like to write about my first cat, Heidi.

Getting Heidi is, sort of, my first memory. I remember writing something at primary school, on my earliest memory, and I wrote about getting Heidi from a cat re-homing centre, and how excited and happy I was. But now, I don’t think I really remember getting her, I think I remember the images and emotions that my childhood brain conjured up for that essay. Anyway, I can remember playing with her at home. She was a tortoiseshell, quite slight, and fairly young and hence playful.

My mum had a big wooden clothes horse which Heidi loved climbing, particularly when it was draped in damp clothes; which are a magnet for cat hair, so my mum wasn’t best pleased with her demonstrations of agility. She died while still quite young, sadly, the victim of a car accident; I can vividly remember being terribly upset. But I don’t want to end on a morose note; she was a lovely cat, and we had fun together; and whether she taught me to like cats or just brought out my inherent felinophilia, she started me on the path to being a cat-person, and I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

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