Three years ago today we took Oscar in for the first time! In lieu of any other date to go by we count 14th September as his birthday so give or take Oscar is 13 today!
The tail (pun intended) of how he came to us is the stuff of legends!
Oscar turned up one day and started sleeping outside our house on an old bookcase that was waiting to go to the dump (it's like Steptoes yard my back garden!). We assumed that he belonged to a family who moved into the area but due to the hot weather was kipping alfresco.
Meanwhile, our neighbour was feeding him (well he was nipping in through her cat flap and nicking her cats food) but she had no idea where he was sleeping.
This went on for two weeks until one day hubby was working from home and realised that Oscar (or Chatty as we had named him due to the constant miaowing) wasn't going "home" or anywhere for food and seemed increasing desperate to come into our house. By chance we spoke to the neighbour and realising he was a stray took him in.
One tin of tuna later and he and we were in love.
We took him to the vets and discovered he was a neutered male, possibly about 8 years old, covered in fleas and most importantly he had a chip with his name and owners details enclosed.
We called them and discovered he'd travelled about 3/4 mile and had been "on the road" for 6 weeks.
The original owners had split up and with Mrs moving out of the family home with the kids, Mr had struggled to look after Oscar due to travel for work and stays in hospital so with a spirit of adventure and a red and white knotted hankie over his shoulder (not really but indulge the panto story teller in me) Oscar set off and found himself at ours.
Mr offered to come and get him even though he'd given him up as a "goner", we said that was his call but we had grown very fond of Osc. Mr said he had been struggling to take care of him so us having him could make sense but would like to come and see him so 30 mins later he arrived for a cuppa bringing feeding bowls and tins of food with him.
We found out that Oscar had a mate called Chelsea who had died earlier that year and coupled with this and the other changes at home and Mr not being around much he'd stopped coming into the house and only showed up for meals then disappeared altogether. They had got him from a rescue centre 7 years ago and guessed he was about 3 years old then, making him 10.
Happy that Oscar was being well loved and cared for with us he wished him well in his new life and said he was ours with his blessing.
The extraordinary way Oscar arrived in our lives is typical of this extraordinary cat!
He truly is a one off and we wouldn't be without him. He's brought us love and giggles and endless black fluff everyday now for three years and we love him with all our hearts.
Given how he arrived I'm thankful each day that he doesn't just take off like he did from his last home but I think he's come to us for a bit of comfort in his old age. He certainly has his paws under the table!
13 is a good age for a cat but there's life in the old moggy yet and given we are his third owners I'm hoping there's at least 6 more lives in him.....