Okay, I admit it, I’m in love. I didn’t see it coming. I thought it was too late for it to happen to me. I didn’t really get what all my friends were talking about. But now I do, I really really do.
Love has arrived in the form of a rather large, very fluffy, extremely laid back, appreciative cat who we think is called Alfie.
He’s not ours. He belongs to someone in the neighbourhood but he comes visiting – often at the weekend when we assume his owners (who must have a better social life than us) are out – while we’re quite predictably at home, on the couch, watching Graham Norton.
He arrives at the door, comes in and ‘talks’ with us and then makes himself at home, either on the floor, on the couch next to us, up on the ironing board or anywhere else that takes his fancy. He likes a good petting and purrs appreciatively. He’s meticulously clean and loves having his tummy rubbed.
The other night as I was heading out to meet a friend, he got into my car as if to join me. I eventually got him out promising that if he waited I’d be home in a couple of hours to let him in. Low and behold, despite horrendous weather when I arrived home, a bedraggled Alfie was sitting on the doorstep.
The conversations in our household are all about whether Alfie’s come visiting and what he’s done this time. We suspect he’s a Maine Coon crossed with a Persian. Neither of us had ever heard of Maine Coons although it seems everyone else has, and I’m obsessed. I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of time learning about Maine Coon’s, looking at photos and videos and reading threads on dedicated websites.
I’ve been completely taken aback at the sheer amount of joy having Alfie around brings me. I’m often popping outside just to see if he’s around and when he is, I take regular breaks so we can have a cuddle for which he always seems grateful.
And while I know he shares his affection around – spending plenty of time with the builders next door who have made him their honorary health and safety warden, and lying on the couches of other neighbours – this doesn’t diminish my affection for him.
I’ve never thought of myself as a pet person. I don’t dislike them, I just never felt the need to have one and our somewhat itinerant lifestyle doesn’t really lend itself to the care and attention I think a pet deserves. Alfie has changed all that.
And what he’s changed is that I’ve found the pet that works for me, which I suspect is what my friends have done much sooner. Kate has Spike, my friend Sarah has a massive enthusiastic dog called Apollo, Susannah has her two lovely kittens, Helen has two dogs, two cats and chickens. Each has found their match. It’s just taken me a while to find mine.
They say that people end up looking like their pets – which is a little disconcerting as I may end up fairly large and very fluffy! I suspect closer to the truth is that we find pets whose natures reflect something of ourselves. Spike is the most joyous animal I’ve ever met, which is one of Kate’s most delicious qualities. Maine Coon’s are described as affectionate, friendly, intelligent and independent which, on a good day, sounds quite a lot like me 😉
In the absence of Alfie being available for adoption I’ll continue to hanker for an Alfie of my own. Unless, of course, any of you know of a Maine Coon Persian Cross that looks just like Alfie, in need of a home?
And so I finally get it. I really really do. I’ll keep you posted via our Facebook page as to what happens next ….
Ripenist’s Reveal: So I have to ask: who is your pet love and what is it you love about them that’s also a reflection of you? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.
Share the Wisdom – one of the wonderful aspects of The Ripenists community is that our stories inspire action in others. Hopefully those pet owners amongst you have smiled a time or two as you’ve read this post – are there women you know who might raise a smile by reading this article? Please share this with them and let the ‘awwww’s’ commence.