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    Pebbles Pepperpot

    With the likelihood of a pay-rise also came the reality that I would have to spend more time in the office, which meant that our cat, Heidi, would be left on her own for a good chunk of the week. Siberians are a particularly sociable breed and, having experienced whole days with her shadowing me as I move from room to room and having heard that she apparently sits on the window sill crying if I nip to the shops for a paper, I knew that we would need to welcome a second cat into the house.

    We didn’t make things easy for ourselves, having set our hearts on a replica of Midnightstar Lily, a beautiful black-silver-shaded girl. The stork doesn’t bring cats like this every day. I sent a hopeful letter to Denise at Midnightstar explaining the situation and asking to be added to her waiting list. My first impression was very good; Denise sent me a polite, professional response within a few minutes, informing me that Lily had a batch of two-month-old kittens and so would not be producing any more for quite some time. She unselfishly pointed me in the direction of other breeders whom I might approach. I thanked her and thought that this would be the end of our correspondence. Little did I know …

    A couple of days later Denise got in touch to say that a change in circumstances had caused one of Lily’s kittens to become available. I was worried that I might annoy her by trying to set up a date to come and visit over the imminent Bank Holiday weekend, since my partner, Clare, has a very bad cat allergy and we would have to be sure that the kitten wouldn’t set it off. Even if my emails backwards and forwards that Friday night did irritate her, Denise in no way showed it and we arranged to meet that Sunday.

    Pebbles
    Pebbles at 15 weeks
    Denise was not only extremely friendly but also a fantastic cat person. All of the kittens had lovely personalities and were exceptionally comfortable around humans, reacting well to being handled and quick to play. It was clear that they had been socialised and raised in a home environment where they had been given lots of attention. Conscious of eating too much into Denise’s day we suggested we leave after an hour of playing with the kittens and getting to know each other. I particularly like that Denise didn’t rush in to letting us register an interest; that only became a reality once she’d reassured herself that the kitten would be going to people who would love her.

    After a couple of weeks the kittens were old enough to leave and so we began the 170-mile trip to Denise’s to pick her up. It became clear within twenty minutes that we had a character. Rather than cowering at the back of her carrier as Heidi did, this one asked to come out and, after a short time, set about trying to force the door open. She wasn’t scared at all, keeping this chatter up for the whole journey to her new home.

    Her force of character showed itself once we finally arrived. We introduced her to Heidi, who responded with the expected hiss, and took her to her room. We were all set to keep them separated for a few days, but little cat wasn’t having it. Whereas Heidi stayed hidden as a kitten and never showed herself (which is why she got her name), this new kitten wanted to explore all over the house. She really is the most well-socialised little cat that I think I’ve ever been around.

    Pebbles and Heidi quickly became friends, taking advantage of my turned back whilst moving ironing to nip into the bedroom together and steal a place on the bed. They play together, have plenty of rough and tumble, and follow each other around. We love having Pebbles in the family and owe a debt of gratitude to Denise for her flexibility, friendliness and, most importantly, masterful manner of producing beautifully socialised kittens.

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