We Are Siamese, And We’re Pleased

, , , , , , | Hopeless | February 26, 2019

Fifteen years ago, I finally had a flat to myself again and, full of excitement, I had a friend drive me to a local shelter to adopt me a cat. To be specific, two cats. Indoor cats. Female. Indoor cats are a lot of hard work — and no one likes to deal with litter trays — but my new flat was on the junction of two very busy streets in a pretty grotty neighbourhood so outdoor cats seemed irresponsible.

We pulled up at the shelter and I leapt out of the car like a demented gazelle, giddy as a kid on Christmas morning, and barely managed to wait for my friend before charging inside. I explained what I was looking for to the young lady inside and she took me to look at the cats that were up for adoption. To my shock, about half of the cats seemed to be chocolate point siamese — several hundred pounds a pop, so not what you expect to find in a shelter.

The girl explained that they had all been rescued from a mad old cat lady who was keeping all twenty of them in a one-bedroom house and feeding them enough for maybe fifteen cats. They’d been in a real state when they were brought in, but they’d been fed up and were now full of beans. I was now, if anything, even more excited at the prospect of adopting as the thought of a pair of these magnificent kitties wandering around my flat was really exciting to me. I wandered up the aisle, taking my time and greeting each of the cats in turn, trying to not just yell, “OH, MY GOD! JACK WANT ALL KITTIES! GIVE KITTIES TO JACK NOW!

Cage after cage was filled with these huge, beautiful, and very, very vocal cats, pressing themselves against the front of the cages for pettings. I was totally confused — how would I ever choose? — until I got to the last cage. There, my confusion ended.

In this cage were, once again, two siamese cats. But these two were maybe half the size of the others, and they weren’t pressing against the front of the cage looking for cuddles. They were huddled at the back of the cage, as far away from humans as they could get. I later found out that they were also recovering from cat flu. The cat I would come to know as Sif was huddled into the corner as tightly as she could squeeze herself, and the warrior who would be Freya was lying half on top of her, cuddling as close as she could and I knew. I just knew.

Those other cats, brimming with health and confidence? They could go anywhere, be adopted by anyone, but these two were going to need a special home with someone patient, and I was determined that I would give them that home.

It’s taken years to get them to act like proper, confident goddesses-of-all-they-survey — y’know, cats — and they still get skittish around new people, but Sif will now walk up to people in my flat and demand cuddles — remember, siamese — and even Freya will allow people to pet her, though she has some hilariously specific rules.

And now, beloved readers, those two terrified little cats — the cats I didn’t even see for the first two weeks that they lived with me because they were hiding behind the fridge — those two cats will now not only climb onto my lap at any chance they get but, if I’m wearing a front opening top, they will climb inside that top — with no regard at all for my tender, easily-punctured skin! — and they curl up and they purr and purr as if they’ve finally found their happy spot. And sometimes this makes my face leak, just a little bit.

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