Five Years of Polly

Black cat on sunny windowsill (Polly)

Today is the five year anniversary of Polly coming to live with us.

I know my blog is very baby, baby, BABY at the moment, but the cats still rank right up there. I remember looking at them, while I was pregnant, and marvelling that I would apparently love the baby more than I loved them - I didn't see how that could be possible.

Of course, now they're both sorely neglected. Polly is pressed against my leg right now, making the most of Matilda being in bed, waiting for me to put my Chromebook aside so she can have her evening lap time.

But I still love them.

Anyway: five years.

She was such a timid little thing when we first got her. We don't know much of her back story; she was seven or eight years old at the time and had been found locked in a house with one other cat after the tenants moved out. We have no idea how she was treated before that, where she came from, whether she had ever been outside or had kittens. All we know is that she was very, very anxious about the possibility of her food running out.

After this, she was adopted by friends of friends but she and their other, elderly cat did not take to each other. She moved into their spare bedroom until they could find a new home for her and spent all her time under the duvet cover (still her favourite hiding spot). When we went to collect her, we had to coax her out from behind the solid headboard of a queen sized bed.

She spent several days hiding under our sofa, letting us slide our hands under there to stroke her, sticking her paws out to catch shoelaces, but never showing her face. She would sneak out after dark to eat the food we placed nearby. I still remember how thrilled (and relieved!) we were when she eventually clambered up between the cushions to say hello.

Five years on, she's still flighty. If the doorbell rings, she rushes to her nearest safe place. If there are tradespeople in, a familiar lump appears in the middle of the bed. When we had the flat rewired, the electricians started work in the bedroom so she wedged herself behind the fridge instead; I'm not sure I've ever heard anyone shout as loudly as the electrician did when he hauled the fridge out and a small black cat hurled herself over his shoulder.

But she's more confident than she was. She comes out to see friends and family now (particularly the ones who have fed her in the past). She was completely disinterested in Matilda when she was a baby but now that she's mobile Polly presumably sees potential in her and will allow her the occasional stroke. She is completely the boss of Gizmo, positioning herself on the dining table so she can swipe at his tail if he ventures past; the sunny windowsill is hers and hers alone. Over the last few weeks, she has started coming and sitting on Matilda's bed while Steve and I are reading the bedtime stories.

I could go on and on but, well, she's been ever so patient. It's evening lap time now. Time for me to pay her the kind of attention she'll actually appreciate (she does not read my blog).

Black cat paws (Polly)

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