Tiddles the Tabby
It's time to meet and greet one of my youngest cats, Tiddles the tabby. 'Tiddles' is apparently a traditional cat name, suitable for either a large, benign, immobile moggy or a sweet little bundle of fluff. Oops. My Tiddles is neither of these. She's an athletic brown tabby with attitude.
I've always wanted to have a cat called Tiddles. So when two kittens came up for adoption late in 2014, I'd already decided on their names, sight unseen. The little tabby was so sweet, shy, softly mannered, and pretty. The perfect 'Tiddles'!
Treat with Tenderness...
One of the meanings of the verb 'tiddle' is 'to treat with tenderness'. But if I scoop my Tiddles up and caress her in my arms I can get a bit of a surprise. When she's in one of her occasional ulta-smoochy (and hungry) moods, she'll purr loudly, rub her nose passionately against mine, purr even more loudly, and then - ouch! Should I be foolish enough to be wearing woollen sleeves, she'll lovingly sink her teeth into my forearm.
My natural reaction is to shriek out loud. Ouch again, as she leaps for safety, launching indelicately off all her claws.
Tiddles the Polydactyl Tabby
And Tiddles has super-effective claws. She's a polydactyl cat, with one extra cat-toe (and claw) on each foot. Her front paws look like furry mittens. And I thought she was a sweet, shy little thing! Tiddles the kitten was shy for all of three days, then started showing her bossy, pushy, in-your-face style. She's always been very energetic, demonstrative, and athletic. And I love her for this.
Tiddles has always been an intrepid explorer. She loves being outdoors - the garden is her playground. She's an amazingly strong tree climber - I guess that having extra toes aids her traction.
Tiddles the Tabby
'One of the Dogs'
She considers herself 'one of the dogs', accompanying us on our many dog-walks around the farm. She never gets left behind. And she is a very committed gardening cat.
Please don't think that Tiddles is at all aggressive. The 'bite' I've mentioned only occurs at moments of extreme, overwhelming passion, when my forearm is woolly. Maybe once a month, if that. And only to me, her most beloved cat-mother. To others she's absolutely, wonderfully friendly, even baby-proof. This seems rather unfair...
Tiddles the tabby, welcome. You are such a special cat. I love you so much, I really do. And I know you love me. I know you do! Ouch!
In the third week of February 2017, for no reason, Tiddles went out one afternoon - probably hunting - and didn't come home. I haven't been able to find any trace of her. I miss her so much.