Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Almost cut my hair (and how we came upon a bundle of fluff)

I trim my fringe every few weeks - especially during hayfever season, and when he can't find the time to arrange an appointment (more often than not), I cut Howard's hair.  I even bought proper hairdressing scissors a couple of years ago, so there was no longer an issue with the kitchen scissors being coated in hair conditioner.

Last night I trimmed my hair too.  Not much - just and inch or so, then thinned the ends.  For so little work, the difference is amazing - doesn't feel so straggly any more, and I don't feel compelled to tie it back to keep it tidy.

I WILL get a proper haircut at some point soon, but with funds being tight, it was well worth the effort.

Our local hairdressers are great - it was after all, how we came to adopt Pumpkin cat.

Flashback to November 2014 - How Pumpkin came to live with us.

She at the time belonged to the family who lived upstairs from the salon, and were tenants of the shop owner.  During the Autumn of 2014, staff noticed a can kept coming in & sleeping under where the towels were stored - a nice cosy place.  On further investigation, turned out it was owned by the flat upstairs, but spent its days in the cold, dingy concrete yard at the back of the shop, as the mother of the family didn't want it in the house during the day.  My hairdresser spoke to her tenants, and said if they really, didn't want to look after the cat, she would arrange for it to be rehomed.

It just so happened that I had booked an appointment for the Saturday morning.  While my hair was being cut, I talked about how we had lost Sheba cat to old age & illness in February, and given the mouse problem we'd had of late, decided we couldn't live without a cat much longer. So she mentioned that the upstairs tenants had a cat that needed rehoming, that it was most likely in the yard, but it was "a bit wild" and usually ran away when spotted.

So, once my hair was styled and dry, we popped out to have a look.  A first, there was no sign.  From the description, I was half expecting to see a battle-scarred tom cat, but then, on the top of the lean-to roof, huddled in the corner, I spotted a small, fluffy black cat.  I proffered my usual new cat greeting - held out my hand and said "Hello baby" - and it trotted towards me and sniffed my hand and face.  My hairdresser was amazed, said it had never reacted like that before.  We stayed in the yard a little while longer, and I was filled in on what info she had about the cat - female, neutered, about two years old (but tiny for that age).  I said I was interested, but would have to speak to Howard.

He was unsure, but popped down the next day to have a look.  Overnight, being 1st November and a Saturday, there had been fireworks, and later torrential rain.  So when he went to see her in the yard, she was cold & soggy, and not in the mood to socialise.  He didn't tell me at the time (spent the next few days asking me if I was sure what I had agreed to) but then and there decided we needed to take her on.

So I phoned and confirmed we would adopt her, but needed a little time to make a secure indoor space for her while she settled in.  Two Sundays later, we came along with a clean new pet carrier, to collect her from the family.  We had sprayed about half the contents of a bottle of Feliway cat calming spray on us ready for the journey home and what was expected to be a fractious afternoon.  With the exception of the daughter, it was clear nobody in the family paid any attention to the cat, and even she seemed to be more interested in her new goldfish.  So after a slight struggle to get her in the carrier (which she still hates), we collected her and set off home.

Her original name was Lucky, which given her circumstances, that felt almost sarcastic.  I decided that, as I had first met with her the morning after Halloween, and she had been sitting all folorn near someone's doorway, I would call her Pumpkin.

We had decided to set up space for her in the back bedroom, which we had turned into an office.  The think was that this was quieter than the front of the house, had a big window that looked out onto the gardens, so she could get a look at her territory before she was ready to venture out, and it was easy to keep that door closed while we got on with our day.  It also had the ensuite shower room, when we could have a litter tray for her which could be emptied and cleaned without having to go to the kitchen or the main bathroom (which actually had less floorspace).

When we arrived and let her out of the carrier, she bolted for the darkest corner of the bookcases, and watched use the computer.  In the evening, Howard made a supper of pasta with venison meatballs.  We sat down to eat in the office room, so she could get use to us & our voices.  Within a minute or two, she emerged from her cat cave, and sat near Howard, attracted by the smells coming from his plate.  He allowed her a couple of meaty morsels.  Later, she followed him into the ensuite, where she was introduced to the litter tray and used it immediately.  That night, Howard made himself a bed on the floor by the desk and in the morning she was curled up by his feet.

Pumpkin had arrived home.

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