It was August 1999, and I had been living in my new flat for about two months along with my ginger tom cat Tiggs. I had remained close friends with my old neighbours, and often popped in for a cup of tea. On one of these visits, they told me about a litter of kittens that their sons' cat had given birth to in June; he had managed to re-home all except for one male. Well, being the big softie I am, I said I'd take him. What I didn't realise at the time was that their son was already on his way with the kitten as they had said that they knew I would say yes!
When I set eyes on this tiny black and white ball of fluff - it was love. I didn't have a carrier, or even a box with me, so I tucked him in my sweatshirt, and hoped he'd settle and stay still as I drove home. I needn't have worried - he curled up and slept, and even purred.
Tiggs had lived with other cats before, so I hoped that he would take to Badger without too much drama. Being the lovely natured, sweet boy that he was, he took on a "father" role, and taught Badger all that he needed to know, and they became devoted to one another.
One thing that Tiggs taught Badger, that he took to with great enthusiasm, was hunting. I think that he brought home every type of small mammal or bird known to man, and I became very well practised at the art of rehabilitation!
Another passion that Badger had was for food. This is not uncommon in our feline friends of course, but there was one unusual love that Badger had, and that was for anything tomato-flavoured, particularly sauce. He could sense a can of beans being opened from the far end of the garden and he would appear as if by magic at my feet. He also loved tuna, but only in springwater. This did have to remain a special treat though, as he would demolish a whole tin in one go!
It was because of the special bond that Tiggs and Badger had, that when Tiggs passed away, I knew that I couldn't get another cat. Over a few weeks following Tiggs' death, Badger became ever closer to me. He always had been a shy cat that wouldn't approach anyone else, but now I was his human and no-one else would do!
Whenever, my boyfriend came to see me, Badger would not allow him to sit next to me - firmly placing himself in between us - glaring at Gary - just in case he might try to get close to me. This was how things remained for years. Eventually though, in later life, he mellowed and accepted Gary as part of my life, and we became family.
I had 14 wonderful, fun filled years with Badger. He was my boy, and I adored him.
R.I.P. Badger boy cat. Xx
Elaine, Neutering Officer