We have had Minnie for 2 years now and she fits in well with the family. Read on to learn more about our golden oldie.

Believe it or not, Minnie is a staggering 22 years old! Sadly, her previous owner died and no one in the family was in a position to take her in. She was given to a neighbour but she didn’t fit in and messed on their floor, so she has now come to us.

Minnie is teeny tiny – possibly the smallest cat we have ever owned. Although fairly old, she is still pretty active for an old girl, more so than other older cats we have had! She is able to jump onto the sofa, windowsill and our bed. Once we left the ladder down to the loft and Lee caught her clambering her way up it!

She loves being in the garden and snoozing in the sun. Amazingly she can even use the cat flap (although she doesn’t look very elegant when she goes through it!)

When she first arrived, she was very wary of the dogs and probably had never lived with any before, let alone the 4 we had at the time! Our dogs are so good with other animals and hardly even sniff new cats, so whilst Minnie hissed and spit should one pass her, the dogs never reacted and over time she has learnt to accept them and will even sit on the sofa with the dogs, which is lovely.

She is now happy to lie with the dogs. Here she is with Eric, our pug.

She wasn’t too keen on our other two cats when she arrived, and because we had these two from kittens and they are used to new cats coming and going from when I used to foster cats, they weren’t bothered about her arriving. They sometimes have a hiss at each other if one is sitting in the hallway and the other wishes to pass, but that’s about it. I did use Feliway Friends when she arrived to help her settle around the other animals.

We do have to be careful at dinner time and feed her on her own or the boys will help themselves to her food once they have polished off their meal as she likes to savour her dinner and doesn’t inhale it like the other two cats. All three can usually be found asleep on our bed together, especially during winter!

She took a while to warm to Lee and I, but we gave her space and time to approach us when she was ready. It didn’t take long to win her round, especially with food bribes! She loves her daddy and used to prefer him over me every time until I became pregnant and now she is glued to me! She has been the first one of our animals to notice that our family is growing and I think she will be an excellent guardian to our baby.

She’s very much a lap cat

Minnie is very sneaky – on several occasions, I have been struck with panic as I couldn’t find her. One time, she was fast asleep in the bag of rabbit bedding and another time she was blissfully unaware of my sheer panic and was napping under a bush in the garden. I remember I checked the garden several times but as she is so small, black and hard of hearing, I didn’t see her and she couldn’t hear me shout her name. I eventually spotted her and she walked over to me, wondering what the fuss was all about!

She wasn’t too pleased when I moved the bag of rabbit bedding after discovering she was using it as a bed.

Her favourite time of day is probably dinner time. She hovers around me in the kitchen when we make everyone’s food and has the tiniest, cutest meow that we think sounds like she is saying ‘beef’! – It must be her favourite flavour!

Minnie has had several health issues over the years. Soon after arriving she developed cystitis which is blood in the urine. We think this was due to stress – she had just lost her owner, her home and now she was in a new place with lots of new animals, it wasn’t surprising really even though we had Feliway plugged in. I took her to the vets and got her Cystophan and antibiotics and thankfully it’s never returned.

Any new animal gets a vet check when they have settled to ensure any health concerns are noted early so they can be monitored. Minnie had blood tests taken and they showed that she has kidney failure. Sadly, this has progressed over the years and deteriorated even with a special renal diet, however, this is what happens with kidney disease and it will get worse over time.

She still has a great quality of life – in the warm weather, she can usually be found napping on the decking and in the evening, she is on one of our laps. We love her very much and hope we will have a bit longer with her still.

Want to meet more of the animals at THOA? Say hello to Dobby the Crested Gecko!