I got my cats back in 2006 and, to this day, they’re still the best decision I ever made. At the time I was in the process of refurbishing a house with my ex and my pleas for a puppy were hitting a brick wall, so I took another angle and suggested perhaps we could get a kitten and, as they say, the rest is history.
I first saw my boys when they were 1 day old. They’d been born the previous afternoon on the seller’s bed so she was having to sleep on the sofa until they were old enough to be moved. Obviously we couldn’t touch them but I fell in love with their little fuzzy butts as I watched them suckling from their mum, and we arranged to go back the following weekend when they would be a week old. That following Saturday I chose my two – it was literal love at first sight for me. I was so lucky to meet them when they were so young, but the wait to bring them home was torture!
It’s no secret how much these two mean to me – I’ve written about it before – but words never quite seem to do it justice. They have been there for me through break ups, moving house (10 times!) and chronic illnesses. They’ve dried my tears with their fur, rested their paws on my shoulders as I’ve danced around the house with them, and shared hundreds of naps with me on the sofa. They truly are my little furry soul mates and I love them in a way I never knew it was possible to love before they came along.
Before them I’d never really had much experience of cats. I’d popped into neighbour’s houses to feed theirs whilst they were on holiday, but that was about the limit of my experience. I had the opinion they were stand-offish, less affectionate and more aloof than dogs, but I stand corrected – I couldn’t have been more wrong! If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there’s no reason why cats can’t be just as loving, attentive and responsive as dogs.
Wilf is the more serious of my two – he’s super intelligent, very mischievous and keeps us on our toes. He’s a definite deep-thinker and in the past has learnt to undo a lock on a cupboard door to get to the cat food, figured out how to use a pedal bin to get to the food waste inside, and landed me with a £300 increase on my water bill because whilst I was at work he was spending his days flushing the toilet because he loves water (that was a very interesting conversation with the water board…!)
He winds the dog up endlessly and it’s not unusual for him to stalk her across the room while she’s sleeping and take a great big bite of her backside before he runs and disappears leaving her wondering what’s going on.
He’s stolen food from our plates when we’ve had our back turned and if you leave your drink unattended he’ll stick his paw in it for fun – in fact, when he comes out of the litter tray he likes to rinse his paws off in water to clean them. I have no idea where he learnt to do that, it’s just his thing and he’s always been the same.
But aside from the constant carnage that follows him, Wilf is sweet and loving. He always lets his brother eat from their food bowls first and patiently waits his turn, making sure Devon has had all he wants before he steps in and has his own serving. He runs to meet us at the front door every night, and at the weekend when I get out of bed he fusses over me until I pick him up and cradle him like a baby. And, if I don’t say goodnight to him properly before I go to bed of an evening, he will sit outside the bedroom door and scream at me until I get up, go out to him and give him a cuddle. He’s a little furry angel.
Devon is almost the polar opposite to his brother; so different that it seems crazy sometimes to think they’re related sometimes! Devon is a sensitive soul and doesn’t seem to do an awful lot of thinking. He has only two interests in life – sleeping and eating. He refuses to play with toys and always has; the only way of getting him to move is by giving him a hairband and then he’ll play fetch with it, but all other toys? Not even a tiny bit of interest!
He wants to cuddle all the time and the very second you sit down he will be on your lap – sometimes you will only be halfway down to the seat and he will already have his front paws on you making sure he’s going to get the best seat in the house. He loves nothing more than human contact and purrs constantly when he’s with you.
Of an evening before bed, I go round to each one of our pets and say goodnight, and every single night he gets up from where he is and comes into the kitchen with me while I get a glass of water as he knows he’ll get another fuss there, then as I walk up the stairs he races past me so he’ll get another cuddle on the landing. He makes you feel so loved and adored – to him, we are the most important thing in the world and that is such an incredible feeling. It’s pure, unconditional love and I feel like that’s such a rare thing to be on the receiving end of.
My boys are now 13.5 years old and the average age span for a Bengal is 14-16 years, so focussing on cat care and keeping them in the best condition possible is always my priority. I want them here with me for as long as I can, and for them to be happy and healthy for their entire lifetime.
To keep them both at their best I regularly treat them for fleas and worms, keep their claws trimmed down, and check them for changes to their skin such as lumps. I also make sure I give them food that is right for their age ensuring they have all the nutrients and support their bodies need. As they’re older they are less energetic (although you wouldn’t think that with the way Wilf runs round the house at super speed bouncing off the walls and doors!) and so they need a lower calorie diet. I’ve always fed them Whiskas and nowadays, with them being older, I give them Whiskas 11+ which is specifically designed for senior cats and they absolutely love it – they always lick all the gravy or jelly off first before eating the meat.
They have beautiful soft and glossy coats, bright eyes, and their weight is stable (although Devon has always been chunkier than Wilf) and the vet is always really happy with them when they go in for their annual jabs, so I know that their diet is working for them. Whiskas 11+ offers a choice of flavours too with the range currently offering poultry in jelly, fish in jelly, and meat in gravy, so I like to change it up regularly so they don’t get bored. Neither Wilf or Devon like treats and never have (weird, I know) but Whiskas do some great options for those too, some of which are medically-focussed for things like hairballs or to keep their teeth in good condition (this is so important as bad teeth can lead to a multitude of other issues, including kidney problems).
Another good thing about Whiskas is that you can recycle the cardboard boxes the food comes in and they support the Terracycle initiative for their plastic/foil packets, meaning that – in theory – there is no reason for any of their packaging to end up in landfill! Amazing!
People sometimes ask me if I’m a crazy cat lady and, honestly, I’m not ashamed to say that I am crazy about my boys – as I said earlier; buying them was the single best decision of my entire life and I will always be thankful that I got to be theirs.
This post is in collaboration with Whiskas, but all opinions remain my own.
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