Introducing Gloria!


Gloria!Last week we had the absolute delight of welcoming this beautiful little bundle of fluff into our family. At the tender age of 12 weeks, she bounded into our lives and completely captivated us all. Gloria's bodyart - "Yo"She has incredibly soft silver and white fur, with tasteful black accessories – classic black eyeliner, alternating black pads on her little paws and an exquisite black heart on the very end of her nose, a heart that merits a kiss each time you cuddle her. Just to add a touch more character, she also has white markings on her body, one side of which reads ‘YO’, the other which reads ‘OY’. Perfect.

The boys were given the important task of naming her… and all agreed on the name Gloria – a fitting name for a gorgeous yet very cheeky little lady. Her motto in life appears to be ‘if it moves, chase it; if it doesn’t move, eat it’.

A spot of ninja trainingShe has quickly found her place in the family as trainee fluffy ninja and chief ankle biter. Once home, she very quickly established her office HQ behind the settee in the lounge: the nerve centre for mischief and mayhem. Having appointed her two chief advisors – TB (Tinkly Ball) and FC (Finger Chicken) – she was ready for action.

Hide and seekKeen to impress, her first mission that evening was ‘hide and seek’. We searched everywhere for her, but she had clearly already been expertly trained in the art of invisibility. The major panic was over (after a very long hour!) when son no 1 managed to locate her underneath a bookcase. Yes, UNDERNEATH a bookcase, in a 3 inch gap. (Did I mention she was small??).

After a snooze underneath the bookcase, she felt ready for more action and swiftly made good friends with a conker. Oh what fun they had together, and by the end of the evening they were inseparable… until she discovered a feathered toy on a spring that desperately needed decapitating.

By the next day, Gloria decided that her new family needed some extra special attention. Cue lots of headbutting, purring and wrapping her little body round your legs whenever you tried to walk anywhere. Then her attention turned to the boys’ faces which were obviously filthy, so she took it upon herself to clean them with her little raspy tongue. In return, the boys played with her incessantly, watching with glee as she charged about the lounge and jumped on them with a high pitched <chirrup>.

The art of camouflageYou see, she hasn’t been able to leave us alone since she arrived, and of course the feeling is mutual. As I type this, she is sitting on my feet, a little pile of purring fluff. Every so often, she looks up at me and gives a plaintive <mew> a noise that breaks my heart, meaning I have to pick her up for a snuggle. She then parades about on my knee, slaps me round the face with her little tail and decides to help me with my typing. We don’t get much done. She then jumps down and leads me to her food bowl. Eating is one of her many hobbies, along with chewing inanimate objects, jumping and galloping about on the furniture. Our standard lamp will never be the same again, having had a kitten swinging from it at regular intervals.

It’s amazing how a small heap of fluffy mischief can bring such joy to a home. From the sound of the boys’ chuckles as they play with her, to her enthusiastic throaty purr, to the crash, bang, wallop as she hurtles about the house practising her kick boxing moves, it all fills me with delight. And it’s all down to our newest family member. Welcome, Gloria. Here’s to all the fun we will have together.

Sweet dreams baby girl



My parents have recently adopted a cat. Not just any cat of course: no, this cat is a huge 4 year old silver blue Maine Coon boy. Never having been owned by a Maine Coon before, it’s been a bit of a steep learning curve for them.

Murdoch selfie with his new toy

They named him Murdoch, looking at his regal stance and proud lion shaped nose. One week later, and this name has been reduced to Murdy Turdy or Humperdink, depending upon his daily activities.

This is what they have learnt so far about Maine Coon ownership:

Who needs a coffee table when you have Murdoch?1 All of the furniture in the house now belongs to Murdoch, from the armchairs to the coffee table to the dining room table. If you are in the way, Murdoch will move you. As my dad told me: “Murdoch goes and sits on your mum, and moves her about until she’s in the right position for him.” You see, my mum is barely 5 foot tall and rather petite, whereas Murdoch is particularly large and most insistent. My mum can’t lift Murdoch but clearly he can pummel her into a suitable shape to fit the position in which he wants to sleep, much to my parents’ bemusement.

2 You will never have a bath alone. Ever. The day after they adopted Murdoch, my mum ran herself a bath. In her words: “As soon as I squirted the bubble bath, fluffy boy jumped straight in!” By ‘fluffy boy’ she was referring to Murdoch, not my dad. She was relieved to see that, upon her somewhat harassed cry of “OUT!”,  the cheeky feline quickly exited the bath. What she didn’t realise is that he most likely ran off to wipe his wet, fluffy trousers on her nice, pretty curtains.

"I think you'll find this is MY chair!"3 Water bowls have many uses. Murdoch looks at the water in the bowl and dips in his right paw. He then looks at his paw and shakes it vigorously. Next, his left paw is immersed in the water before being shaken, with the clear intention of redecorating the kitchen. Only once both paws are soggy and there is more water on the floor than in the bowl, will he deign to have a drink. By that time, the bowl will have been dragged across the floor to maximise the puddle factor.

4 You need to change your bathroom habits. I received the following text from my dad the other day: “We weren’t out long but when we came back home, the toilet floor was awash with water and there were big fluffy boy footprints everywhere. Need to close the toilet lid in future. Sod.

"I'm here. Love me."5 A comfort blanket might not be used as you would expect. The adoption centre insisted that Murdoch’s ‘comfort blanket’ needed to go with him to his new home. ‘That’s nice,’ thought my parents, ‘he has a soft blanket to sleep on.’ Erm, no. The day after they adopted Murdoch, my parents were having a nice civilised breakfast when along came Murdoch, one end of his blanket in his teeth, the rest trailing between his legs. What followed next certainly raised a few eyebrows. I mean, it tends to put you right off your food when your cat insists on humping away at his blanket right under your nose. It transpires that he engages in this lewd behaviour every time they sit down to eat. How unfortunate. According to my mum, “If you chuck him a toy, he does stop eventually.” Dinner and an x-rated show. Marvellous.

6 The house will never be quiet again. As a typical Maine Coon, Murdoch announces his arrival each time he enters a room. He also announces the arrival of any extra guests too, usually with a loud <miaow>, sometimes with a happy trill, occasionally with a growl: yes, he likes to growl at strangers (particularly at the poor man mending their neighbour’s roof). This rather surprised my parents, who are now wondering if they have inadvertently adopted a dog in disguise.

Whiskery kisses from Murdoch7 There will never be a love stronger than that between a Maine Coon and his staff. This beautiful big fluffy boy has stolen the hearts of my parents. They have never known a cat to saunter in, sit down, look at them with huge amber eyes and declare, “I am here. Love me.” Yet that is exactly what he did. The latest email from my dad reads: “Big fluffy boy has really settled in. He comes up to bed and snuggles up to me all night. He will probably want to read the sports section of the Times and join me in the pub. I will however, draw the line at him driving my car“. It’s good to see some boundaries being set then.

So welcome to the family, Murdoch ‘Murdy Turdy’ you big humping heap of fluff and love. And good luck to my parents who have unwittingly accepted a life filled with boisterous exploits, cheeky chuckles and fetid comfort blankets.

Time for a nap