The husband, Alistair, and I have had Boo for five years. A new neighbour took her in when her original family emigrated. He travelled a lot and soon she came over to our flat more and more, crying to be let inside. She really just chose us. Our neighbour didn’t mind. Besides, you can’t change a cat’s mind.
The husband didn’t grow up in an animal-mad family like I did, but he absolutely adores Boo. She’s an indoor cat who’s very relaxed and affectionate, which also means lazy and fond of food.
When she got sick a few years ago, she became thin and listless. We were panic-stricken. Luckily some antibiotics and Hill’s Science sorted her out.
Now she’s fat and happy, despite her traumatic trip to Joburg. And that’s the problem – she’s getting rather heavy.
For an 8-year-old cat to weigh nearly 8kg is a little worrying healthwise. I try to be strict and only give her a sachet every second night (she has dry food the rest of the time), but the husband doesn’t like to “deprive” her. It makes me think about how we’ll act when and if we have kids.
Alistair had a stricter and less spoilt upbringing than me. I got a car for my 21st birthday, he got books. Yet I’m the one who insists the cat we love go on diet. So I was pleasantly surprised when he said we should chat to the vet about putting Boo on a kitty diet. “Daddy” has finally realised I wasn’t trying to starve her, just save her from feline diabetes.
Pets may not be the same as children, but they definitely give you an indicator of what you’ll be like as parents. I recommend the dry-run.