This is how my lovely girl looked on her 20th birthday. She was painfully thin, but was still enjoying her rather limited life.
Now she's gone, down from 7 cats, I only have one, 15-year-old Twiglet.
Here she is snuggling up her large frame with Jaspa in happier times. She is a lovely girl.
Twiglet brought me in a present a few weeks ago in her latest catch-and-release programme. Not the usual mouse, but a rat. It escaped under a kitchen cabinet and down into the cellar. I tried to catch it in a humane trap, but it wasn't interested in the lovely foods I offered it, preferring to eat its way through foam insulation and pipe lagging, electrical cord and plastic drainage pipe, leaving my dishwasher unusable and the floor flooded.
The first pest controller, sent by an insurer I've been paying good money to for years, refused to go down into the cellar, backing off with fear in his eyes and yelling "health and safety, health and safety". This is because he would have to lower himself through an opening on to a step ladder - no danger of falling, as he could easily hold on to the edge of the hatch. Once down there, there is no tiny cramped space, but the full size of the house. But he claimed he might get stuck. No doubt going into a loft area to destroy a wasp's nest would have produced a similar reaction. Maybe he should consider a change of career.
I called in a company of my own, and a man twice his size in every direction inspected the area and left the dreaded poison. Eventually an unpleasant smell permeated the house, which I presumed to be mummifying rat. He had to hunt quite extensively for it, as it had tucked itself away into one of its many nests high in a corner. And the insurance company has paid me the fee I had to fork out on my own behalf.
Even the company supposedly repairing the dishwasher initially said it wasn't covered because the damage was caused by "rodent infestation". When I pointed out that such an exclusion didn't appear on my policy, they decided that it wasn't an actual infestation (which would have counted as "neglect", I kid you not!) if it was just one rat brought in by a cat. They will pay. Yippee.
Then I'll have to persuade a further insurance company to pay for the flooring to be replaced. No chance this will all be done before Christmas.