My Four Legged Friends – Eric The Cat
Eric is a special little man who deserves the best things in life
Cats, on the whole, get a bad reputation as being somewhat unsociable and loners. It’s not something I can agree with in my 21 years as a cat owner. However, the other parts of their reputation, that we are there to serve them I can certainly agree with.
The exact details of Eric’s background are a little sketchy but what I do know is that he was born into an abusive household.
When Eric was born he, his siblings and mother were mistreated which led to them all dying with the exception of Eric and his mother. At the age of about 5 weeks old Eric and his mother were rescued and placed with a homeless cat shelter called Föreningen för Höörs Hemlosa Katter (FHHK) based Höör, Skåne.
Happily, Eric’s mother found her ‘forever home’ too and is still alive and well.
The happy accident
I had no intention of getting another cat, I already had two in the form of Puss, my (then) 15-year-old call who moved with me from England and Molly, who I got in October 2010.
For some reason, I had liked the FHHK page on Facebook and saw their updates. During the time I was receiving their updates many cats had come up on my feed and I’d not thought about getting any of them. As I said, I wasn’t in the market for a new cat because I had two and my flat wasn’t, isn’t, that big.
Helen, the woman who puts the adverts up for new cats, always writes a few sentences about the cat including something about their character.
One day a picture of Eric appeared, sitting on the handrail at the bottom of their stairs. Something told me to read his bio and what Helen wrote just grabbed me. There wasn’t any information about what happened to him or that his siblings had died, just that Eric (the name Helen gave him) sometimes ‘liked to go his own way’ which kind of means he liked to be away from the other cats, be on his own. It’s how I am.
My kid has paws
Eric looked so cute and something instantly told me I had to adopt him and give him the best home I could give him. It’s hard to describe how you can have a connection to someone or something without meeting them. Maybe that says more about me than it does anything else?
I’ve never wanted children. I’m not sure if I think the responsibility is too much or if I don’t think I’m mature enough but whatever the case I developed a strange connection to Eric. I feel immensely protective of him and proud of how far he has come in the time that he has lived with me.
Eric is the most gentle pet I have ever had or met. He likes to sleep right up against you like he wants to be protected. All he wants is to be cosy and it was one of the things he has been missing until earlier this year when I found Mischa.
When Eric tries to take treats from my hand he has such a gentle grip that he usually drops them. Occasionally when there is a noise or a sudden movement he flinches and you can see a look on his face where he looks like he is having a flashback to something awful.
I have no idea how good a cat’s memory is but after getting Eric and getting to know Helen she told me what the situation was for Eric and his mother. It’s beyond sad and is a prime reason why I could never work for the RSPCA or WWF because I couldn’t just rescue animals. I’d want to torture the evil people who mistreat animals.
What’s in a name?
I collected Eric from FHHK once he reached 12-week of age and Helen asked me what I was going to name him. I said I was going to keep Eric, it’s the name that he had when I fell for the little furry sod and given my track record with thinking of names, it was easier all round.
When I went to collect Eric, Helen gave him to me and he struggled to get free. Today, 6-years on he still hates to be picked up. Is this a carry-over from what happened to him? I think it is because he was thrown around as a kitten but he does like to come and go to sleep in my arms if I’m on the sofa.
In his own time and on his own terms is fine by me. He won’t ever have to suffer again and my life has been enriched by getting to know him.
Eric the gentleman
Strange as it may seem, Eric has developed into something of a gentleman. Back when Puss was still alive and when she was not at her healthiest, Eric would protect her when Molly started harassing her. I guess he saw Puss as a mother figure even though she probably didn’t share that opinion.
To this day, over 6-years after moving in with me neither I not my other half have ever heard Eric hiss. Not one hiss in over 6 years! I find that remarkable. He meows, makes other weird noises but never hisses. If Molly is being angry with him he just sinks into a ball. Maybe it is a male cat thing but I have heard male cats hiss enough in my time.
Eric knows that Molly is a fussy sod and tends to leave treats and so on that she likes. It’s like an unspoken agreement they have.
I will expand on this when I write about Mischa, who I found by the motorway in March because Eric leaves food and cream for her, grooms her and has become a weird mix of a father and big brother to her.
Eric finally has another cat to be cosy with and despite what they have been through they have each other.