Buster came at exactly this time of year – well, the second week in January to be precise. My darling black cat Cyd (named after Cyd Charisse for her beautiful legs) had to be put down at the age of 19. She’d had a good life and used up all of her nine lives plus a few more. But old age crept up and when her kidneys went that was it. I can’t bear to see an animal in pain.
There followed a terrible week of no cat. Then the receptionist at work rang me and said, “I’ve found two kittens at the vet in Tuckingmill. One tabby and one black and white. I want the tabby.”
So we took our lunch hour at 10 am and headed over to Tuckingmill. The two kittens had been abandoned over Christmas and spoilt rotten by the staff at the vet’s, who were glad to see them go to a good home. We piled them into a cardboard box and I sat with it on my lap while we drove home.
We couldn’t take two 14 week kittens to an office, so we went via the workshop, where Himself was busy at work. (He made jewellery in those days.) I opened the box and out burst the black and white kitten, launched himself at Himself’s jumper, and clung on.
“That’s it!” I said. “We’ll call him Buster!”
Mollie appeared after much consultation with various doggie friends. Himself had been depressed for a long while, wouldn’t go out and see people, hated his work, was in a real state. I figured that we could give a dog a good home – I would provide the walks and cuddles, and it might help give Himself a lift.
He was very anti, of course, and refused to take part in my investigations. I’d wanted a rescue dog but because of Bussie we were advised that a puppy would be better for Bussie, so he could boss it around and still be top cat.
So when I dragged Himself off to see a litter that belonged to some gypsies nearby, Himself wasn’t too keen. That lot was discarded, and the next week we set off to see another litter, not far from the previous week’s gypsies.
We got there and found two tiny white and black long haired puppies in a loose box. Himself picked one up and looked at me with shining eyes.
“If you still really want to get a dog, we should get this one,” he said.
A month later, Himself was a changed man. He had lost nearly a stone and proudly showed his daughter off to everyone saying, "she's very bright you know."
She has completely changed our lives, and I don't know what we'd do without either of them.
Apologies for change in typeface - not sure what happened there.