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Tiddles

From: Byron Jones

Tiddles

I'm a Primary School Teacher, I teach young children English and Maths, a job I love dearly and enjoy a great deal.

Five years ago on a nice sunny June day, I arrived at the school to be greated by one of my pupils who had brought a kitten with her to school. The kitten did not belong to her, she had simply picked it up off the street. We tried to find the owner and had no success. I decided that I would take the kitten to my home and keep her there until the owner could be found. Well, the weeks passed and no owner was found! By this time I had got very attached to this little female kitten.

Decision time came! What should I do? I had never kept a pet before and was not sure about keeping the kitten. My wife Julia decided that we could certainly cope with a small kitten, so the decision was made for me. We decided to name the kitten "Tiddles" for obvious reasons! It took us two weeks to housetrain Tiddles, now she uses the litter tray perfectly and will also use the garden for her toileting.

Neutering her was not fun, we did not want any kittens from her so it was a necessary reality. A few days after the neutering Tiddles was soon back to her normal self. She is a real character, loving to share in reading, writing and socialising with friends. Her favourite toy is a big box with scrunched up newspaper, she will pounce in and out of the box for ages, and hide in there until someone passes, then a quick pounce on the unsuspecting victims foot!

We have only had one major scare with Tiddles, when she was two years old she came in from the garden choking. She had grass seed stuck in her throat. It was a quick visit to the vets and she was soon back to her normal self.

I have taken Tiddles to the school twice a year to show her off to all the children, and to warn them about picking up what may look like stray animals, when in fact they may well be loved pets. So far we have not had a repeat performance from any of the children bringing any animals in.

On reflection, it has really surprised me how a little kitten can affect a person. I was not a pet person before Tiddles arrived, now I will stop and pet a cat or dog in the street. Tiddles will always sit on my lap and follow me out into the garden, she is considered my cat by my family. It's a wonderful feeling having a loving pet, she is now a fully grown adult and looks beautiful. The warmth she has brought into our home is immeasurable, she is certainly a one of a kind character and will be loved for a long while to come.

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