Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Posted Mar 13, 2015
This about three separate cats, all of mixed breed, who were our pets for a combined total of 25 years. The title hints at the subject matter, and it is to do with the 'nine lives' that cats reputedly have.
Our first cat, Snoops, came along when my kids were quite young (5 and 3 respectively) and was a bundle of energy and fun. Like all cats, she was very independent but did like a good tickle under the chin. We lived in a small close, with no passing traffic, so she roamed free, without risk. When we moved in '88, she was about 4 years old and, we thought, very streetwise. Sadly, we were wrong.
Within a matter of months, she had been hit by a car travelling along the main road we now lived on, and was found dead in the curb.
The kids were distraught, and a few months later we acquired two more cats from the same litter - a girl called Layla and a bundle of fur we called Harefield. We kept them inside for a few months, but eventually had to let them out. We had a huge back garden and hoped they'd just stay there, but no. Again, a few months later, someone came to the door saying Harefield had been run over. When I got out there, he was still alive, but whilst I cradled him in my arms indoors, the light went out in his eyes. That was absolutely horrible.
We didn't know what to do about Layla. She'd been seen out front as well, but we just hoped she'd be wiser, or luckier. She happened to be the latter. She was hit by a car a year later, and was still alive when we got to the vets. He told us her back legs were broken, and she may have to be put down, but I couldn't let that happen, and told him to mend her, whatever happened. A month later she was back at home and, from that day on, she never once went out front. Her legs went this way and that when she ran, but she lived for a further 8 years before old age took over.
Just goes to show that not all cats have nine lives but, if given the chance, they have the instinct and wisdom to cling on to the one they've got.