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Tushtots, how I came to live at Tom Cat Towers!

I am very slow at typing, the fur on my paws gets in the way and as I'm a bit of an old, lazy cat these days I have to get the typing done in between my catnaps, snoozes, sleeps, dozes 18 hours a day kip and forty winks! But I curled up last night, my tummy full of hand carved butter basted turkey scraps and pondered on my early years.

I must be about 10 years old now. In fact my birthday is April 16. That's the day I first met Carol and came to live at Tom Cat Towers, so that's the day we say is my 'official' birthday. I always get a birthday fish-cake with lots of candles!! I get pressies, like a new catnip mouse to play with and lots of cuddles and my fans send me cards and letters from all over the world!

10 years ago is a long time to remember for a little cat, but I'll have a go.

I was born at the same time as my brothers and sisters. There were about 6 of us and we all looked very similar, we really were adorable Persian kittens, all tabby and furry. I remember my mummy-cat, she was all soft and warm and I just loved snuggling up to her and padding my paws on her soft tummy fur. She would lick and love me and purr to me for hours. She always told me that one day I would find a human to love who would love me back and that I would be the happiest cat in the world and she would be so proud of me. She also told me that I was a bit of a posh-paws as I was a pedigree Persian puss so I would never have to hunt for mice to eat I would be so pampered and spoilt and never have to find food for myself. Apart from 'hunting' bits of paper so she never taught me how to hunt or feed myself, but I didn't mind because I just loved her and would rather snuggle up for a purr than be out learning something I'd never need as a posh-puss!.

Soon all my brothers and sisters left to go to new homes with humans who would love them for the rest of their lives. I was the last to go but I didn't mind because it meant that I had more time with my mummy-cat, we would cuddle up together and sleep whilst purring to one another all night all snug and warm curled up together.

One day I had to leave. I was very sad to go but she told me to be a good boy and to make her proud as she licked me between the ears to say farewell. I went to a home where I was a 'present'. It's not a wise thing to give pets as presents. At first I was loved and cuddled, but as I grew up from a cute kitten into a chunky tom cat and the children got older my novelty value faded and my little humans lost interest in me.

At some stage I had a terrible accident. The vet where I now go thinks I was either run over, or, even worse a human kicked me in the face and broke my jaw. I was in so much pain, I cried and cried but no-one bothered with me. I was very sad and frightened. No-one loved me anymore so I was never taken to the vet to have proper treatment. My jaw eventually set but it was all crooked so I lost my handsome looks. I wasn't cuddled and no-one played with me anymore. I couldn't understand what I had done wrong because all I ever wanted was a human to love me so that I could love them back so I meowed and cried at them to cuddle me but they told me I was a nuisance and that they didn't want me anymore.

One I was rescued by a cat charity. I was taken to a cat sanctuary where they were very saddened by my state. As I hadn't been brushed and groomed properly I had to have all my fur, one solid, dirty mat full of fleas, shaved off. I was put then in a cage all on my own, it had a cold concrete floor and wire all round it. I was so sad, I cried, but no-one came. I was so cold without my fur, I just wanted someone to pick me up and cuddle me so I could feel warm and purry. There were lots of cages full of cats; all sorts of cats that no-one had wanted and they were there to find a new humans to take them home and love them. A big battered old tom called Grizzler in the next cage told me it was like a halfway house where we had another chance at life, if we were lucky enough to be chosen by humans who came in and looked at us so we had to look cute and appealing so that we would be chosen.

Needless to say when humans came I would eagerly sit at the front of the cage and smile as much as my curly whiskers would let me. But I was a sad scrap. I had no fur and my face was all crooked from where my jaw had been broken. Nobody wanted me Some people called me an ugly cat and laughed at me. All the cute cuddly cats got picked and went off to start a new life with humans who would love them, even Grizzler was taken by some really kind looking humans who fell in love with him and wanted to give an older cat a loving home for the rest of his days. This happened so many times that in the end I didn't even bother trying to look cute and appealing because no-one wanted me I would just sit at the back of my cage when humans came to look. My whiskers drooped and my ears were down with unhappiness sometimes my tears would splash onto the cold concrete floor. I was so unhappy, the cold wind whistled through the wire cage at night and I would curl up tight into a ball and dream about being cuddled and loved in a warm home where there was lots of food and I dreamed about a human who would love me.

I thought that I would never, ever find anyone to love me. I was the saddest cat in the world.

Then one day when some humans came to look at all the cats, my cage was opened and a lady came in to look at me. She felt very sorry for me as I did look a wretch. She picked me up and cuddled me, next thing I'm in a cat box and off to start a new life.

I was so happy. I purred all the way to my new home with my new human. For the first couple of weeks she was quite delighted with me, but after a while the attention stopped. I meowed for attention but she was too busy to bother with me. Instead of staying inside where it was warm I was thrown outside and left out all day, and most nights too. It was cold and rainy and I was miserable. I wasn't given enough food and my weight started to fall off, and I wasn't groomed so my pelt became a solid lump again. Most of all I wasn't cuddled. I don't think she realised just how much attention a Persian cat needs!

It had all gone horribly wrong. Then my new human bought a dog home, a great big German Shepherd who chased me round trying to bite me I was terrified of him, he was a vicous thing. What bit of food I was given he would eat, he would snarl and growl at me and when he barked it was so loud I was sure my ears would fall off!. By now I was so thin my ribs were sticking out.

I spent all my time outside in the cold. I would walk up and down the street crying for someone to pick me up and love me, so that I could close my eyes and feel warm and loved by a human, if only for a fleeting moment, but no-one did. Who would want to pick up and cuddle a cat in such a wretched condition as I was in? I was full of fleas too. I was so ashamed of myself. I would sneak into houses where other cats lived and try to eat their food, but I was shoed away. I was so sad and so unhappy. All the other cats in the street were big, fat and happy with glossy groomed pelts, but no-one wanted to bother with me. Some cats were spiteful and told me that I should have been taught to hunt by my mummy-cat like alley cats do, but I was a posh-paws and nobody had taught me how to hunt so I didn't have a clue and I got hungrier and hungrier. One night it snowed, I sat shivering on my doorstep, crying to be let inside where it was warm, but nobody came. The snow piled up around me and some stuck to my fur.

One day a red car pulled up outside my house. I was sitting on the doorstep, it was Easter Monday in 2001 and it was freezing cold, I was shivering as I had been outside all night, I was desperate to be warm and cozy. For some reason I liked the look of the lady in the car so I rushed over the road and jumped in through the car window. I sat on the floor at her feet and purred for all I was worth. She stroked me and looked into my eyes, she felt very sorry for me. She told me I was gorgeous. I so wanted her to pick me up, and she did just for a quick cuddle. I was ecstatic, a human had cuddled me - fleas and all!

This lady was so kind and gentle to me that as I looked into her sad brown eyes I fell in love with her. I wished with all my heart that she would take me home and love me so that I could be a happy cat. I purred so hard, trying to tell her that I would love her so much and be her best friend and please would she take me home with her. Please, please, please......................

Then her husband came back, he gently took me out of the car then he got in. I watched the car drive away, I sat down with tears in my eyes, I so wanted that lady to rescue me. I didn't realise that the lady was crying too, she sobbed all the way home her heart was broken at the sight of me. That was my first meeting with Carol Claws and John Paws authors of the Willi Whizkas books.

Later that day there was a knock at the door, my human opened it and there stood the lady from the red car. It was Carol! They both looked at me, I wondered if I was in trouble for getting into her car and forcing her to cuddle me. I was at the top of the stairs I had been let in for an hour. I was peering round the bannister. I was so frightened because the dog who now lived in the house with me had been chasing me, I really thought that if he got hold of me that he would kill me.

I was so happy to see Carol again but I was too frightened to go downstairs as I would have to walk past that dog, besides, I didn't want to build my hopes up as I had been let down so many times before by humans. I didn't realise it but Carol had come back to buy me she had spent all afternoon on the phone pleading with my human to let me go and live with her. My human had had enough of me, if I wasn't found a new home I think I would have been put down. Carol bought me with a bottle of cheap champagne, all she had in the house. Yet again, I was put into a cat box and driven away.

When I got to Tom Cat Towers where Carol lived, I cautiously got out of my box and had a good nose around my new home. It was brilliant!! There were cat toys, a snoozzzee to snuggle up in, there was a feeding station where cat food was always there for a cat to eat, a plate of butter basted turkey........... hang on, how did they know I was coming?

Then the door opened and the biggest gingeriest cat with magnificent whiskers I have ever seen in my life walked in, he was smiling from ear to ear. This was Willi Whizkas, a Maine Coon cat and he became my best friend, he looked out for me and let me cuddle up in the snooozzee with him. He wasn't at all jealous that I had come to share his home and his food. He never hissed or spat at me, he just saw what a poor specimen of a cat I was and his heart went out to me, he was very protective. At night, if I had nightmares, he would lick me between the ears to calm me down.

The next day I was taken to the vet. When asked, I told the vet my name was Tushtots. (After my broken teeth had been fixed, I never said Tushtots again!) The vet shaved all my fur off as I was one solid, dirty mat infested with fleas, I had tried to groom myself, but as a Persian I do need a helping hand! Whilst my fur was growing back I had to wear a romper suit which made Willi Whizkas snigger and laugh but he was very kind and would always share his food and cat crunchies with me trying to fatten me up and he would snuggle up at night and keep me warm whilst I had no fur.

So that is how I came to live with Carol and John at Tom Cat Towers. It really is a brilliant place. It is run around me and my needs. I sleep in my snoozzeee during the day and at night I lie on a sheepskin on top of the duvet over Carol where I purr her to sleep. The catering department (Carol!) Serves top class nosh and I only go outside on a halter for a walk up and down the street escorting my humans as we talk to the neighbours.

I have been here for 6 years, and every year on 16 April, the day I arrived here at Tom Cat Towers I have my 'birthday' I'm ever such a lucky cat, and very happy. I love Carol to bits and she just adores me. I sleep on her bed all day whilst she is at work then when she comes home I do 'meet and greet' and purr so loud my whiskers vibrate!! I supervise her when she has a bath, I sit on the toilet seat and chirrup and meow my tales to her.

I'm 10 now and getting a bit old, my joints are stiff and my bones are weary. I am loved beyond diamonds and I have a human who loves me so much that we have been called the 'love affair of the century'! Never again will my tummy be empty or hungry. My fur is brushed regularly, even though I grumble and growl when it's done, I also purr too so it's just a bit of an act! I look like a furry pom-pom when I'm groomed, sometimes I even have a bath and come up smelling of Molton Browns Rose Granati, which make Willi Whizkas howl laughing as he called me a big puffy-cat!. I am spoiled to bits. But I think my mummy-cat who loved me as a kitten would be so proud of me. I think that she would be even prouder of me if she knew that I feature in Willi Whizkas' book (Willi Whizkas Tall Tales and Lost Lives ISBN 1903 506183 fom Amazon) I get fan mail from all over the world and have been 'interviewed' on national American radio and have been in many magazines website!. I wonder is she has ever seen a picture of me on the Internet for example and thought to herself 'That's my boy!?!

Story by Carol Claws and John Paws


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