Welcome to our new monthly feature, “A day in the life of…” which will share the tale (or should that be tail…) of some of Syros Cats best-loved residents. This month, we’re hearing from Cookie who needed a helping paw getting to grips with shelter life…

It’s Sunday morning and very hot.  The ceiling fan blows welcome cool air. My mum has a day off today, so she’s sleeping in and I’m snuggling next to her on the bed.  With my long coat it’s a bit warm, but outside someone is using a noisy machine and I’m scared.  In fact, I’m scared of most things and most people and it’s only recently that I’ve felt OK about exploring outside the house.  I don’t use the cat flap because it makes a nasty noise, but have found that if I wriggle around the mozzie netting, I can squeeze out this way.  It makes my mum mad because insects get in, so I try to escape when she’s not looking. I can’t get back in that way, because it’s too high, so I have to squeak outside the window until someone hears me.  I don’t have much of a meow, or even a purr, but have learned to rub along with other house cats.

Just now Junior is on the other side of my mum.  He’s always with her, but lets me share the space so long as I don’t get too close to him – he likes his personal space. Frosty doesn’t try to get on the bed except in winter, he likes to be outside, looking for trouble.

I came to Syros Cats about a year ago. Someone found me on the street and couldn’t keep me.  I was a tiny kitten and very sick, with bad eyes, a runny nose and I couldn’t breathe.  It was cold and wet and I came close to giving up… Many of us winter born kittens die each year, because there’s not enough food, shelter or anyone to give us medical care.  But I fell on my paws, even though I was sick for a long time.  I had special food, a warm bed in the house and tablets every day, which I hated.  I had to stay in a large crate, except when I was being cuddled or treated, because I was infectious to the other house cats. I was a bit lonely as I’d lost my cat mum and my siblings – no one here wanted to be a special friend.

But it all changed when I met Jenny…

She’d been sick too and some tourists had rescued her and treated her pneumonia. When they left to go home, they brought her here.  She spent a long time in a cage too as she had to have medication.  She has ongoing chest problems, so can’t get adopted into a forever home.  She sneaked into the house one day and found me.  She’s older than me, old enough to be my mum.  A small tabby she’s named after the heroine in a Paul Gallico book, who teaches a little boy to become a cat. But I’ve only heard my mum tell her that.  I can’t read. But Jenny is teaching me how to look after myself.

From then on, Jenny took care of me.  We became such good friends that she moved into the house.  She cleaned my fur – I don’t really care about knots and sticky grasses but Jenny and my mum are very particular.  I have to be alert, because sometimes when I’m sleepy one of the volunteers attacks me with a brush, or worse still scissors… we play a lot too, rolling around together and always look for each other when it’s siesta time.

Jenny has just arrived on the bed.  My mum’s getting up, but Jenny and I are cleaning each other.  We’ve plenty of time for a long cuddle before the next meal.

I’ve heard my mum say that she wouldn’t split us up as we’re so good together, so I guess we can both call Syros Cats ‘home’ now. We’re happy here together.

A huge thank you to the incredible team at Syros Cats for rescuing Cookie and for letting us share his success story with the world.

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