Introducing Compost Cat

When we first moved into our new nest, about this time last year, we spotted a cat asleep in our compost heap. The previous tenant had told us about a cat she used to feed, who used to sneak in the house if she left the windows or back door open, so we thought that this might be that kitty. She even left cat food and bowls behind.

Whenever we went out into the garden though, the cat - who we began to refer to as Compost Cat - would shoot off over the fence like we were out to get him. Slowly, over the months, the cat moved closer to our house but would still run away if we ventured into our garden.

I don't know how it happened, but just before Christmas we decided to feed Compost Cat the food that the previous tenant had left behind. Slowly we moved the bowl closer and closer to the house until, lo and behold, the bowl was by the kitchen door.

January rolled around with the occasional visit from Compost Cat - we could stroke him once or twice, but nothing more - and, before we knew it, January had turned into March and we had to buy more cat food.

We started to wonder about Comps (or Compy) - it's slightly ridiculous referring to a cat as Compost Cat - and whether he did have a home. No collar, a very scrawny appearance, and a constantly hungry tummy suggested that he didn't.

One random Wednesday evening in March, Comps was sat inside with us, purring on the rug. Running through to the kitchen he emerged a few minutes later with a mouse in his mouth. Yikes! Firstly, the shock that we have mice? Secondly, what is the cat going to do with said mouse?

Comps chomped it down, proudly deposited the tail on the rug, and then returned to the kitchen. Ten minutes later, the same thing happened, except this time round Comps let the mouse go and played with it a bit before he devoured it. (Gross.) That was the first night that we let Compost Cat stay in with us, and he didn't really leave us for the next few weeks. Slowly we began to build up his weight, and he became more trusting of us.

Easter rolled around and next door went away on holiday. We had suspected originally that he might be theirs, but when no one came over to feed him whilst they were away, we decided that enough was enough: Compy must be a stray, and so we decided to make him ours. We bought him a cosy cat cave (ignore the face - he loves it really), a scratching post (prefers scratching the coffee table) and sorted out flea and worming treatments.

When we came back from Barcelona, Comps was thrilled to see us. So much so that his noise caught the attention of next door who called over the fence to us. Yes, you've guessed it, Comps was their cat and he's actually a she. Her name was Queenie, and they had rescued her from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Now, the keen-eyed amongst you may have noticed that I said "Comps was their cat", rather than is. It baffles me how you can go to the trouble of rescuing a cat from Battersea and then just give her away like they did. I was always led to believe that Battersea carefully vet potential owners so that their cats (and dogs) go to a suitable home, but it seems that Comps was unlucky. 

We had been discussing for the past six months about getting a cat, ruling it out (for now) because we want to live abroad for a year or two... A cat has chosen us, regardless of these plans, but knowing that she was half-starved "living" next door and hated by their children meant that we couldn't turn our backs on her when they offered her to us.

She's a much healthier and happier cat now. She might not be jumping on our knees for cuddles - one of the reasons their children didn't like her, which is just plain ridiculous - but she doesn't stop purring and showing her affection. It's just affection in a less obvious way.

Welcome to the family Compost Cat! We hope you'll be very happy with us, and please feel free to catch all the mice you want if they return! x

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