On my birthday in November 2005, even though it was not a warm day, I decided to do some work in my garden as I was feeling very sad and restless. The day before, my beloved Russian Blue Bebop had been put to sleep, so I felt I needed a bit of garden therapy.
As I opened the door of my conservatory, I saw this cute little kitten sitting on the tree bench in my garden. She had been eating the bread crumbs for the birds. When she saw me, she came straight to me and started to purr and rub her little body against my legs. While I was doing some weeding she started to play with me. She was purring away, rubbing her little head against my hands and she loved being stroked and petted. I didn't know what her name was, so I decided to call her Kadootje (which is Dutch for small present) because it was my birthday.
Kadootje cheered me up - something I really needed at the time - with her friendly, playful way, her purring and the gentle kittie kisses she gave me. As I held her in my arms, I noticed how thin she was and, while muttering under my breath about how some people don't know how to look after a little cat properly, I got her some cat food. She ate it all and then looked at me for more. So I gave her some more food and she finished that quickly too.
After her 2 meals she decided that she wanted some quality time with me sitting on my lap. As it was November and not very warm I could manage half an hour with Kadootje, but then it got too cold. Reluctantly I put her down and told her to go home. And away she went.
The next day she returned, and the next and the next. And every day I gave her food which she ate, and slowly she put on a bit of weight. In the meantime I had been enquiring in my neighbourhood if anybody knew to which people the cute little kitten belonged. Everybody seemed to know the charming kitten, but no one knew where she lived. I had phoned the local vet and Amivedi as well, but to no avail.(Amivedi is a organisation for lost and found pets.) I was very surprised that I couldn't locate her home, as Kadootje was such a friendly little cat and so used to being around humans. Was she really a stray, this pretty little thing?
Kadootje came to visit me at least 3 times a day, every day, and started dropping large hints about wanting to come and live with me. And she knew me and my ways very quickly, because every morning as soon as I opened my bedroom curtains, there she was. Then I would open the curtains in my living room that has 3 windows and she was behind each window in turn as I opened the curtains, very funny, a sort of peek-a-boo. Then she would run to the conservatory because she knew that I would open the door there and come out to feed and pet her. And I would play with her for awhile too, of course.
If I was in the conservatory during the day, she would climb on the roof just to be close to me and to see what I was doing of course. We are talking about a cat here and curious is what they all are. I discovered that, as soon as I was anywhere near my garden or a window looking out on the garden, Kadootje appeared. And every time she told me she wanted to come inside the house and live with me.
In the end I decided to put a collar on Kadootje with a note saying: if this kitten has a home please phone me at ......... Kadootje wore the collar for a whole week, and was very proud to wear it too, but nobody called. And that was that, Kadootje got her wish and has been living with me and my other cats ever since. And she is a joy to have around, she is such a gentle and sweet little thing.
It's not very often that you get such a wonderful present for your birthday, and from your own garden too!