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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Pets 'n' Stuff | Happy Birthday Princess Ethel

"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
Terry Pratchett


This week was Effy's approximate birthday. Meaning I don't actually know the real date but it's my best guess considering the date I got her and how old I was told she was. I don't think I've written the full story behind me getting her before so I thought since it's her seventh birthday that she deserved a little post of her own. Unlike Edwin I didn't buy her anything. I know that sounds awful but she doesn't really play with toys and I have a whole giant box of Dreamies - something she'd kill for - she's still making her way through. So that's why she's not getting a birthday haul post. Instead I decided to dedicate a post to her story and some things about what makes Effy Effy.



I got Effy in June of 2009. At the time I was dating my first love, Robert. He lived in England so we were doing the whole long distance relationship thing. So we spent a lot of time on MSN - oh how I miss thee, MSN not my ex - chatting and (something I never do these days,) using webcam. He'd recently gotten a little tabby kitten - which I totally can't remember the name of - and that sparked my broodiness for my own little bundle of feline fur. I'd have to watch him and his cutie on webcam every day and every day my need for one of my own intensified. It has often been said that I 'can't see green cheese' and it's not completely unfounded.

So I got to work on my parents. It took me a couple of days to talk them around but I did succeed. I always do. We didn't go to a shelter as there was some history with our local one and my aunt working there. She worked in the cattery and I guess things ended on bad terms. So we found an advert in a local newspaper for kittens and my gave them a call. I had it in my mind that I wanted a ginger kitten. I have no idea why. So when my mum called she asked them did they have any ginger kittens but they said no but they had 'some with ginger in them'. I had no idea what that meant but figured it sounded good enough and let's be honest, the kittens could have been any colour under the sun and I was still going to want one. We set off that evening to go have a look. I got there and my mum went indoors and I stayed in the car. As the home wasn't very wheelchair accessible they decided it would be easier to bring the kittens out to the car to me. So out they brought two female tortie kittens and one male brown tabby. They were so adorable. I really could have taken them all but I had a choice to make. I had never seen a tortoise shell coat before and I don't know how because they seem to be everywhere now. So I was decided on getting one of the females but then this little bundle of fluff just clung to me. There was no way I could give her back. She picked me.


So I headed home with my little bundle of tortie fur. I couldn't believe she was all mine. I hadn't told Robert where I was going or that my parents had agreed to let me get a kitten so when I got home I hooked up the webcam as usual and at first he didn't even notice her. I just sat there holding her until he looked at screen, a bit like I am in the MSN screen shot to the left, although that's not from the day I got her. When he finally noticed her he was surprised I'd been able to keep her a secret. I don't know how I did either but his reaction was totally worth it.

One of the first photos I took of her. 

It took me over a week to name her. I went through a lot of ideas but the three that stuck with me were Effy (short for Ethel), Cassie and Little Foot, like the dinosaur from The Land Before Time. The reason I liked the name Little Foot was because of her little sandy paw. I got to know her more before I finally settled on a name and eventually - obviously - went with Effy. She was too serious to have a name like Little Foot and Cassie just didn't feel right either. She was too feisty.


The day I got her she hid behind my electric wheelchair in my room and refused to come out. I called a thirteen year old Eva to come help me get her. When she tried to get her for me Effy started hissing at her. This tiny little bundle of fluff was all hissing and claws because she didn't want to come out of her hiding place and it actually scared Eva! I'm pretty sure she was just overwhelmed by her new surroundings. She had much the same reaction to my Labrador when we finally introduced them too. She was willing to take anybody on.


Although we didn't 'rescue' her in the traditional sense it felt like she was a rescue. When we got her she couldn't go to the toilet. TMI warning: She was so constipated that when she finally did go some of it was stuck and I had to help her get it out.  I took her to the vet - which had to be done anyway for her vaccinations - and was told part of the problem was she was younger than the people had told us she was and rather than eight weeks she was more likely six or seven. She also had cat flu and a bad case of ear mites. The woman I had gotten her from was heavily pregnant and said she also had a litter of older kittens living under their house. I guess she just wanted them gone ASAP. I'm sort of glad as I don't want to think what might have happened to Effy if she hadn't have gotten treatment when she did. I just hope her siblings went to good homes too.

Out of all my pets Effy is the one that makes me feel the most loved. I mean they all love me in their own way but Effy wants to be around me all the time. If she's not outdoors she spends most of her time curled up in the space behind me in my wheelchair. She has ever since she was a kitten. She's even there now as I write this. It's well and truly 'her spot'. Luckily we both fit nicely and I've never ended up on the floor.


She's always giving me nuzzles and kisses. To the point she sometimes nuzzles my glasses right off my face.


Although she spends most of her time in my wheelchair that doesn't stop her from popping up just when I'm about to try to be productive to put a stop to it.

Doing class work.

Putting clothes in my drawer. 

Through the years her personality shifted some. Torties are known for their feisty personalities, known as 'tortitude' and while she does have a healthy dose of it she's also quite skittish. She's very picky about who she trusts but I like to think she's a good judge of character. I mean it's obviously why she loves me so much.


Back in 2014 we had a scare when we thought Effy had been knocked down and killed on the road outside my house. It is probably the worst experience I have ever lived through. I wrote about it in this blog post. Every day since that I have felt completely and utterly blessed to have Effy in my life. I mean I always did but you get complacent. Like most things you take your constants for granted.

Seven years ago a little kitten was born in an accidental litter and six or seven weeks later I brought her home. How did I get so lucky? I'll never know.

Some photos from through the years.

1 comment:

  1. Awww, Effy is adorable! Her colouring is gorgeous, I love tortoiseshell coats and she just seems like the most lovable cat. Love the video you posted too, what a cutie. Happy Birthday Effy! - Tasha

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