6 years ago today (20th June) we adopted my kitty Flash. She came into my life unexpectedly and I couldn't imagine life without her now, I'd be lost without her.
She has an unknown past as she was a stray living on the streets until she was taken in by another family (from whom we adopted her). Due to her unknown past no one knows exactly how old she is or when she was born but our vet estimates she's between 14 to 16 years old. We celebrate the day we adopted her (today) as her birthday.
Me and Flash met through a friend of a friend; their boyfriend had taken her in off the streets a few months before, neutered her and had been meaning to find her a forever home. They were now moving and wouldn't have space to look after her so they needed to find her a home fast. When he asked if they knew of anyone suitable who might be interested they said they thought of me immediately.
Flash (then called Lightening) was living in a house with 3 other cats and 2 large dogs. She was already very timid and scared when they brought her in off the streets but this was made worse by being bullied by the other cats and cornered/pinned down by the dogs. She would run away for days at a time only briefly returning for food before running away again.
When I heard about the heart breaking situation she was in I was desperate to help. I immediately explained the situation to my mom and asked if we could adopt her. She had no objections but said we should make sure that dad was okay with it too first before we said yes. Pretty much as soon as my dad came in from work I started to tell him about Flash and asked him if we could adopt her. He said he had no objections either and that it'd be nice to have a cat in the house again.
Arrangements were made for them to drive her to our house (a 35 minute journey) a few days later. A few minutes into the journey she was so terrified she wet herself. When she arrived at our house she was hiding in the far corner of her carrier with her lower back, bum, back legs and all four paws soaked in her own urine. There was no way she would have been able to clean herself so the first thing we had to do once she'd started to calm down was take her upstairs and wash her. Understandably she hated being washed but she let us shower her down (avoiding her head) and gently rub her dry before she ran under my bed to hide.
Later that evening she crept out from under my bed to eat some of the food I'd put for her earlier. After eating some food she cautiously made her way back over to my bed and started sniffing around my room, getting used to her new surroundings. She spent a while checking out my room, becoming familiar with the layout and new smells before she ever so slowly peered her head up over the edge of my bed. After lingering there a while she slowly eased herself up onto my bed and laid down at the bottom of the bed. She'd never done this in her previous home so for her to do this on the first night was so exciting!
After sleeping for an hour or two at the bottom of my bed she decided to approach me (this was our first 'proper' introduction/meeting). I slowly held out my hand, palm upwards for her to sniff me. She sniffed me a little then gave me a single lick of approval before she cautiously made her way onto my lap, where she proceeded to curl up and go to sleep (this is where her first photo was taken). She had made so much progress in just one night, I was so happy I could have cried with happiness.
They came to visit her a week later to see how she was doing and check that she was settling in okay and they could hardly believe that she was the same cat. She was sitting on my lap, purring, accepting fuss, eating regular meals and her coat looked so much better. It just goes to show just how much of a difference being in the right environment can have on an animal's quality of life; all she needed was a quieter, calmer home to thrive and come out of her shell.
She's no way near as timid as she used to be and her confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. She spends most of the day either cuddled up in bed with me (she loves snuggles under the covers) or sun bathing. Her gentle, affectionate personality and super soft coat seem to leave a good impression on anyone who meets her. All fuss is good fuss to Flash (including belly rubs!) so you can stroke her and kiss her as much as you like without fear of being clawed. She truly is such a special cat and I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I never thought it was possible to love an animal this much until I met Flash ❤️
The first picture I took of Flash: The first time she built up the courage to come and sit on my lap, about 10pm on her first night in her new home.