Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Mabel's story

Do you remember Pumpkin?

So. Pumpkin died and the RSPCA said we could come and pick a new cat when we felt ready.

We had to wait a while until kitten season was established (it’s a bit like deer season except there’s less blood and killing of animals. In fact it’s the opposite of deer season come to think of it) and we then went to make our pick.

Every weekend we were within a whisper of getting our new cat but we just kept missing them. The RSPCA has a somewhat bizarre system which means you are unable to ‘reserve’ a kitten to come and collect when it’s old enough to leave home. Instead you have to be quick off the draw on the day that they go up for adoption.

It was time to get serious.

We’d seen a litter of gorgeous kittens, all lovely little tabbies and Mum had her heart set. The following Saturday they were coming up for adoption.

That weekend I was away and when I switched my phone on in the morning I had one from my Mum to say that she was at the centre and was ready to do battle. This was at 6am.

And she wasn’t the first there.

(seriously)

At 7am someone came out and gave them numbered tickets and at 9am, when they officially opened, there was a queue of about 20 people and in no way enough kittens to go round. Aah well. You snooze you lose. Literally.

By the time I came home on Sunday our new kitten had been named Mabel (I’m not entirely sure who came up with that one).

(Why yes that is me hiding behind her, how nice of you to ask)

I think the best way to describe Mabel would be to say she had ‘character’. Another way would be to say she had ‘mental problems’.

She absolutely loved climbing. Mainly people. It was hilarious when she was a wee thing and she would scramble up your legs and body to get up to your shoulder. It became less hilarious when she got older and heavier and her claws got sharper.

She was also obsessed with water. She was my constant companion whenever I did the washing up and would howl outside the bathroom door until you let her in whereby she’d come and sit on the side of the bath, staring intently in (which was actually quite creepy).

But the one thing she loved more than climbing and water was being outside.

We could not keep her in. “Wait until she’s about 6 months and then let her out” the vet said. Yeah, right, ok then. She could sense when you were going to make a move towards the door and would hurtle towards it to try and get out. Eventually we bought one of those harnesses so she could come outside and wander about safely. Also it was summer and we were sick of having to keep all doors and windows closed.

One evening, a friend came round for a natter. She was telling me about a friend’s cat, Molly, that had just gone missing. Mabel was outside, doing her thing, she was old enough to go out alone now and she liked to just potter about the garden, checking out the birds. She appeared at the window to be let in and I brought her inside but she was adamant she wanted to go back out. It was late but she’d been out at that time before so I opened the window for her.
“Go on and find Molly” I said.

Talk about famous last words.
We never saw her again.
She just vanished into thin air. She’d never even gone outside the garden before, so to completely disappear was just bizarre.

We called and we searched and we called and we searched. We put up posters but nothing was ever seen or heard. She was micro-chipped so if she was picked up we’d have known about it. Same if there’d been an accident on the road, they check and inform you if they pick up any dead animals. She was just, not about anymore.

(So you can see why I freaked out when Fred went missing that time)
I sat in guilty silence for a long time. Mum still doesn’t know what my last words to her were. If only I’d kept her in she’d still be here.

But you know what? I think she’d have made her escape anyway, she was just one of those cats that would never really be tame.

Mum remains convinced that someone stole her because she was so pretty but I like to imagine her still out in the wilds of Hull, climbing things and chasing birds. Possibly with Molly, who never turned up either.

6 comments:

Petit Filoux said...

Oh my goodness... such a funny story until the end obviously... can't believe she just went missing like that and you haven't heard anything since... She looked gorgeous as a kitten - although i still can't believe the whole queuing up thing at the RSPCA, that's just mental!!

P said...

Oh that's such a shame - I hope she is still out there somewhere. She looked like such a cute little character.

notesfromthefrugaltrenches said...

Oh my gosh, I'm so sad for you!! I hope she turns up soon!!!

J said...

Poor Mabel - I hope she's living a happy life somewhere.
(And poor little Pumpkin - she was a beautiful kitten).
Why do these pets break our hearts so - next time I think I'm going to get a Tortoise instead of something bonkers with fur!

Heather said...

oh that's so sad! :(

Itch2stitch.com said...

Thats so sad, hope she is ok, I think she is such a lovely , characterful cat! suzie xxx