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Ever though of adopting semi-feral kittens? No, neither did I. But then I met Holly and Polly, and I’ve never looked back…

Over four years ago we adopted our beloved Minnie from AARU. Then, three years ago we adopted Florence, our beautiful, but naughty, Tortie. Florence took against a pigeon in our back garden. Poor pigeon lay flapping his injured wing on the lawn, whilst Florence looked on with glee in her eyes. I rang the AARU, who swept in and saved said pigeon. I felt such guilt with Florence’s behaviour that I offered my voluntary services to AARU. About two seconds later I had three small balls of fur living in my study. They were Eddie, Holly and Polly, ten weeks old and just released from their mother’s care to ours.

We were so excited to have kittens to play with! But soon we realised that something was different. Eddie, the little long-haired black kitten, was great fun: ready to play and sit on our laps. Holly, the tiny Tortie, was terrified of us, and if we managed to pick her up, she would hide her head under our arms: ‘If I can’t see you, then you’re not there!’ Polly, a little black kitten, would hiss and spit at us. I was devastated. I really wanted to help these little babies.

A lovely couple, yearning for a black cat, came in and swept Eddie away (we hear he’s doing brilliantly!). I took a long hard look at Holly and Polly…surely no one would adopt them if they hid and hissed? I made a difficult decision. Not an eye for an eye, but an injured pigeon for two semi-feral kittens. Suddenly we became a four-cat household. And…we wouldn’t have it any other way. We love the babies (ok, they are nearly three years old, but they will always be our ‘babies’).

There are small but wonderful victories when caring and bringing up semi-feral kittens. I can remember the first time Holly sat on my lap. The time Polly snuggled under my blankets with me. When they first purred. When they both sat on my lap. When Holly became my husband’s very own lap cat. When they ran down the stairs to greet me when I came in from work. When Holly discovered the back garden. When she discovered (to our alarm) our neighbour’s back garden. When Polly decided that she must be present each night on my son’s bed when we tuck him (and Polly) in. When Polly decided that once my son was asleep, she was obliged to tuck me in. When she sat by my side when I was ill, looking on with concern. They are the most most devoted and loving of all our cats. They purr constantly, snuggle on our laps as soon as we sit down, present their bellies for rubbing..they are just purrfect. Polly still refuses to leave the house: we are her universe, and she wants nothing more than the company of her sister and us. If she wasn’t living with us, she would be an ideal cat for anyone living in a flat (but sorry, you can’t have her!). Holly is the sweetest girl, always looking for affection. She needs to be strictly supervised outdoors as she is too trusting. She thinks every human and cat is a friend, so we always keep a close eye on her and steer her away from any danger. All we need to say is ‘Holly’ and she comes running back to us.

We love Minnie and Florence unconditionally, but Holly and Polly actually show us more affection! They are devoted to us, and we to them. So please think twice about such little kittens: if they are not subject to human contact in their initial formative weeks they can act semi-feral. But with love and affection they are yours forever, and more importantly, you belong to them.

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