It’s Saturday morning and I’m standing in the kitchen of the cottage. Looking out the french doors into the garden I see the old stables and the clouds above it – hopefully they will clear soon as the July sun so desperately wants to come out.
The garden was a bit unkempt when we arrived here but over a few weekends I managed to prune a lot back; the weeds and overgrown roses in the front garden, the passionfruit that had encased the clothesline, and the bushes that were preventing the backdoor from being opened.
I was deep in thought about the garden when suddenly a furred figure strutted past me in the courtyard.
I did a double take – it was a black cat! What was Willow doing outside!?
The cat noticed me doing a double take, and did her own double take. I got a good look at her fluffy little face and realised it wasn’t Willow at all. It was Jemima, who had clearly become so accustomed to the cottage being vacant that she was startled by my standing at the door.
Still in my pyjamas I grabbed my camera and opened the door. As I stepped outside Jemima realised that we had in fact met before a few weeks ago and meowed out as she wrapped her bushy tail around the courtyard seats.
Last week we came home to a gift on our doorstep. It was some toys for Willow from none other than Jemima herself. Though, I suspect she had some help from her lovely humans.
As I tried to snap some photos I was a little frustrated that Jemima wasn’t the expert model that Willow had become.
Face forward. Ears up. Eyes bright. Tail up and to the side, It’s simple, Willow will tell you.
Though, Jemima isn’t that only cat I’ve had difficulties photographing lately.
As part of my role at Ten Lives cat centre I am responsible for photographing the cats that come into our care. I couldn’t even count how many kitties I have taken photos of over the past 2 months. Some cats are natural born models, while others will require a lot of trust building before they let me capture them.
And as for the kittens.. well they never sit still!!
As well as photography I have also been responsible for article writing, and newsletters. It’s hard to express exactly how grateful I am to have this job. I am so lucky that I can put my skills to use in a way that helps animals and the environment. It is such a wholesome and gratifying feeling.
Though, there will be hard times ahead; and heartbreak and loss.
As staff at the centre we’re not meant to have favourites, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I have a favourite and her name is Jezabel. She is our office cat and every morning she greets me when I come in for our daily toolbox meeting.
Now, Jezabel is no ordinary cat – and I feel as though I’m qualified to say that as I have met a lot of extraordinary cats on my travels around Australia. So, when I patted her and felt the dust on my hand from her beautiful coat I was reminded of Willow and all the amazing places she’s taken dust baths.
Jezabel loves to be taken on walks on her harness around the centre, she loves to feel the wind in her whiskers, and the sun on her back.
The problem is, no one wants to keep her. Some would say she’s a bit too much. In fact, she has been returned to the centre two times already (no fault of their own, they just couldn’t keep up with her).
But, I know there is someone out there who is the right fit for her, and I know they will have a beautiful, adventurous life together. So passionate I am about this cat’s future that I wrote about Jezabel and her adoption journey for the Ten Lives website. Please give it a read and pass it on to anyone for whom Jezabel might be the missing piece in their life. It would mean a lot to me..
Okay, before I start getting teary about Jez I’m going to stop myself. It looks like it’s going to rain a little bit before the sun comes out, so it’s time to go back into the cottage and see what Willow is up to.
Surprise, surprise. There she is. Underneath the heater on her favourite blanket that was once my grandmother’s. She lifts her head up as I come into the room and sounds off a little chirp as she rolls over exposing her belly. I kneel down and smooch her fluffy cheeks.
Steph comes in from the kitchen having just made a pot of tea. She sits down in the chair by the window and Willow jumps up onto her lap as the sun begins to come out.
And, there she will stay until lunchtime..
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Thanks for joining us on a lovely Saturday morning! Tomorrow the three of us are heading down the Tasman peninsula for a little road trip so I hope to bring you that adventure soon. Take care.