After our brief encounter, Pete and I didn’t speak again for another couple of years. I moved on with my life, enjoying my independence and freedom.
One of my work colleagues gifted me my very own kitten who had been named Tiger-Lily by her nephews. She was a beautiful little tortoise shell kitten and I referred to her just as Lily. She was very mischievious and if there was any trouble to cause, Lily would be at the centre of it. When she was old enough, I started introducing Lily to the outside world. As I lived in a first floor flat, I did it in stages to make sure Lily could find her way back. Then one day, about 6 weeks after I started letting her look around outside, I decided that it was time to trust her and let her venture further afield on her own. I can’t tell you how nervous and worried I was. I let her out of the door and left her to it. To my relief, about 2 hours later, she was back and ready for her dinner. The second time she went out on her own, I was a lot more relaxed about it…….unfortunately, I never saw Lily again. I was heartbroken and looked high and low for her. I knocked on doors, put up posters and notified the vets etc. but nothing resulted in her coming back. I swore I would never have another pet again.
About 6 months later, I was sat in my flat alone and realised how quiet and lonely it was without my little furry friend. I made a decision to get another cat. This time however; I was going to get one from the RSPCA as I wanted to give an animal a better life and I was determined to find a cat that was an indoor cat so I didn’t have to go through the pain of losing another pet in the way I lost Lily. When I arrived at the RSPCA there were at least 30 cats looking for homes. They ranged from tiny kittens, to older cats. It was quite overwhelming and I couldn’t decide what to do. One thing I did know though was that I didn’t want to make a healthy cat an indoor cat, as it would be unfair to limit it’s life to just our home for no reason.
Then right at the very end of the viewing area, I happened to spot a little white bundle of fur all snuggled up in a tight little ball. I asked a staff member about her and they told me her name was Ivory and she would have to be an indoor cat as she is albino and completely deaf. This meant that the outside world was very dangerous for her and they couldn’t believe she had survived as a stray for so long. They said she was about 2 years old and when she had been brought in, she was heavily pregnant. She had since had a litter of beautiful kittens that had all been rehomed. Sadly, no one wanted the responsibility of looking after Ivory. They also said that she didn’t tend to like it when people gawked at her and so she would just ignore them and go to sleep. At that exact moment, I kid you not, she opened her beautiful crystal blue eyes and looked right at me. She stretched and wandered over to the window and started meowing at me and rubbing up against the window. The staff member gasped and said she had never done that before. I knew right then and there that Ivory was mine and when they opened the window she came straight over and let me lift her up and I cuddled her to my chest and she snuggled in. I adopted her that day and arranged for to have her vaccinations and to be spayed and then I would collect her.
The day I picked her up, I was so excited. She bounded straight over to the window when she saw me and ran into the cat carrier, snuggled up and went to sleep. When they say you don’t choose your pets, they choose you, it couldn’t be a truer statement. Ivory had chosen me to be her human and I couldn’t have been happier. I took her home and she became my beautiful little princess. We did everything together. She even slept in my bed with me. I would curl up on my side with my knees bent up towards my chest and she would climb under the duvet and snuggle up against my tummy where she felt safe, as she could feel me breathing. She was my little furbaby.
During this time, Pete’s mum and stepdad decided that they were going to move to the South of France and buy some land and animals out there. I loved going over for visits and spent lots of time with the animals too.
A couple of years later, I was at home on my computer. Ivory was snuggled up on my knee asleep and I was chatting to my friend Richie on MSN (Messenger). All of a sudden, a message popped up from an unknown source. I normally ignore them if I don’t know the person but for some reason I chose to open the message. It was Pete! He explained that he had gotten my MSN address from his mum and he hoped I didn’t mind him contacting me. I had a fleeting thought at that moment that he was a cheeky sod for thinking he could drop off the face of the Earth and then just contact me out of the blue like nothing had happened……but then I grew up and got over it. I don’t hold grudges and so replied and said it was fine and asked how he was. Pete explained that since we had last spoken he had been in a relationship and bought a house with his partner but they weren’t getting on anymore. Then he made the life changing decision to join the Royal Air Force and his partner couldn’t accept it and so they had gone their separate ways and were selling the house. Pete apologised for the way we had left things previously and asked if he could visit one weekend to catch up. I thought that this was a nice idea and invited him to stay for the weekend in a couple of weeks when I had had the chance to prepare the spare room. I didn’t have visitors to stay very often and so I used the spare room as my office and storage room.
After the conversation was finished, I realised I was actually quite excited to see him. Even after our little fling, we still got on really well so I was looking forward to the company and a catch up. Pete was currently stationed down in Portsmouth doing his trade training and so would travel up after work on the Friday and would stay with me until Sunday when he would head back to Portsmouth. It was about 11:30pm when he eventually arrived at mine. He was exhausted after a long journey and so we had a snack and then went to bed. Let me just point out that he went to his own bed in the spare room, not mine. Ivory got into my bed with me ha ha.
We had a lovely weekend. We didn’t go out anywhere. We just relaxed, ordered take out food and chatted and watched movies and generally just got re-aquainted. I was sad when he left on the Sunday but we agreed that we would like to get together more regularly and arranged for him to visit again in a couple of weeks time. He visited every couple of weekends for a couple of months and we suddenly realised that we actually wanted to be more than just friends. We became a couple, although we didn’t tell anyone and from then on, he spent almost every weekend that he wasn’t working with me………he’s bloody lucky I believe in second chances huh……….