To Shanti Shants, my best friend
You brought so much joy into our lives in the 2 3/4 years that we knew you.
From the timid, unsure cat who hid under the sofa when we first got you – forcing us to feed you through that tiny gap – you blossomed quickly into the third and equal member of our family, often yelling at us in your silent way when you considered it was time for more food.
Walking through the front door will never, ever be the same again without you waiting just inches inside for dinner – or just for company from your humans.
Even when Frazer was already home, you almost always walked up the hallway to greet me when I came home from work and seeing you was so often the highlight of my day.
I’ll miss you every time we eat pizza, knowing that our Pizza Cat is no longer there. I’ll think of you when we get Byron delivered, remembering the time when we left the rubbish on the table and you mauled it, licked the containers clean and took the rubbish all the way to the bedroom to your bed (which you hardly ever slept in, of course, preferring to lie on our jumpers and in some really random places). I’ll always remember how you ate an entire bread roll one night, you fought through cling film to eat Frazer’s mum’s homemade fruit cake, and you got very sniffy and interested whenever Frazer had Sainsbury’s brownie bites. Continue reading
Not every job would let you go and pet cats at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Old Windsor on a Tuesday afternoon!
International Cat Day was the perfect opportunity to organise this – the day was trending on social media all day and we had incredible success earlier in the day asking people to send in photos of their cats on the Get Surrey Facebook page. I’m sure the fact I put a photo of my beautiful cat, Shanti, on the post made it all the more attractive to readers 😉
As anyone who’s met me in the past year-and-a-half is probably aware, I have a cat. She’s called Shanti and she’s very fluffy and cuddly.
On any given day, I’ll probably say most or all of these things to her:
“You’re lovely.” “You’re so pretty!” “You’re beeeautiful.” “You’re perfect.” “You’re my bestest friend!” and so on.
All normal things for a crazy cat lady to say to her feline friend.
But one day I got thinking – how come I, or indeed so many of us, don’t give these compliments to our real-life human friends with remotely the same regularity?
On Wednesday August 26, Frazer and I became parents to a lovely rescue cat called Shanti.
It was a whirlwind decision. We had been looking after my parents’ lovely Burmese cats, Boris and Cookie, while their new flat was being refurbished. As the date of their departure grew near, we began speaking about the void they were going to leave in our lives and how we should look for a rescue cat or two to call our own.
Then on Sunday August 23, the day of cat relinquishing and my dad’s 50th birthday, we were talking to our family about this and suddenly my sister-in-law Hannah recalled one of her friends was looking to rehome her cat as a sad side effect of moving house.
We got in touch with Claire immediately and within hours had gone round to meet Shanti – and she moved in just three days later.
Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, located on Bethnal Green Road in East London, is the city’s first cat cafe. A sensation that first got huge in Taiwan and Japan, the idea is that diners can enjoy some food and drink with the extra joy of being surrounded by cats who are relaxed in their environment.
Sounds perfect, right? Thankfully, Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium actually lives up to the hype that has built since its Kick Starting.
On both first and lasting impressions, the cafe’s design and layout is inspired. It is simplistic, with a small shop at the entrance, a buffering zone and then two floors for both cats and diners to spread out and wander over. But it is also interesting, with some genius cat hidey-holes, stairs and platforms made of shelves, hammocks, a giant cat wheel, and a mish mash of sofas, stools and chairs. It even mixes traditional and minimalistic styles, with antique chairs downstairs and a white, modernistic vibe upstairs.