Freya comes home

It’s another scorching hot day and I am off the Chingford to fetch Freya home. I am a little worried about her as she was slightly unwell during her stay at the cattery and I will have to keep an eye on her and consult the vet if things don’t improve.

We are not sure how old Freya is but I always take the year as her age, which makes her 10 at present. This is the beginning of a cat’s middle age when health problems can begin to appear.

Are you pleased I'm back?
Are you pleased I’m back?
Freya being winsome

Freya is always agitated at the cattery for the first few days, so they say. "It’s a case of open the basket and stand back," they told me. I had no idea of this though I know that Freya doesn’t like the company of other cats and that being in the cattery makes her bad tempered. Let’s hope that being home again will restore her in body as well as in mind. We have a couple of trips still to go this year so she will have to put up with two more stays in the cattery before winter calls a halt.

I sometimes feel it is selfish to keep a cat, but Freya was aready with me when I moved to Islington and after her unhappy past history I was determined to give her as happy a life as possible. She has certainly repaid my efforts many times over with her affection. From being a frightened creature who fled from me and hid from me behind the furniture, Freya not only showers me with affection but gives me that greatest of gifts, her trust.

While this pleases me, it also weighs on my conscience because of the responsibility it brings with it. I take decisions about her life that I know she would reject if she were able to. By what right do I impose my will on hers?

The only answer I can find is to ask myself what I think Freya herself would choose if she had the understanding and reasoning power of a human mind. That is a specious argument, I know, because a cat with greater reasoning power would still be a cat and would not necessarily work to my set of assumptions. For that matter, not even another human might work to my particular set of assumptions. This nonetheless remains my best approximation to a solution.

The train rattled its way to Chingford and I waited outside the station for the car to arrive with Freya aboard. When it arrives, M tells me that Freya has been fine for the last couple of days and that makes me feel me optimistic. I carry Freya in her cage to a waiting train and choose the last carriage because I think it is the least likely to become crowded on the ride back to London.

Freya, meanwhile has become vocal as always when I collect her from the cattery. She emits cries like a baby and does so almost continually throughout the journey, including the bus ride to Angel. I worry that someone will complain about the noise but so far no one has done so.

I can insert the tip of a little finger between the bars of the cage and rub Freya’s head or ears. She responds by rubbing the corner of her mouth against my fingers or the cage so hard that I am afraid she will do herself some damage.

At Liverpool Street there are people with luggage using the swing gate and so I follow them through in preference to using the ordinary barriers that are difficult to negotiate carrying a heavy cat in a cage.

We have to wait a long time for a bus and then two come together. I choose the 214 because I can put the cage in the luggage well between the two sideways seats behind the driver. Freya continues squawking and attracts the attention of an elderly couple seated nearby. I avoid eye contact as I am in no mood to engage in small talk.

At last we reach our stop and I prepare to disembark. The bus is now rather full and the gangway is narrow, especially as there are two large people sitting either side of it and almost touching one another. I heft the cage and manage to lift it to shoulder height to clear the obstruction. I am impressed by my own feat of strength but push my way through the standing passengers to the door.

Now we are in the street, Freya becomes active, perhaps sensing we are nearly home. She turns around and around in the cage, making it buck like a boat on a choppy sea.

Indoors at last, I put the cage on the floor, draw the bolt and lift the lid. Freya must know from the familiar smells that she is home but still lifts her head for a cautious look around before she jumps out and with a series of trills and squawks goes to greet Tigger.

If she runs true to form, Freya will be more vocal and more demanding of attention than usual over the next couple of days. Then she will calm down and slide back into the daily routine. If she is resentful at having been sent away, she does not show it. There is no room for negative feelings in the joy of returning home.

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger,, All rights reserved.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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8 Responses to Freya comes home

  1. BFG says:

    On the few occasions that we’ve had to take our two terrors Tom and Angel on a trip (usually to the vet for either shots and/or a short stay), the pair have created such a racket (Angel especially) that you’d think we were continually murdering them every inch of the way… And after about 14 years of being with us, too.

    It makes us feel like real sh!th33ls, and there’s no amount of soothing talk that will calm either of them. Luckily we’ve always done the trips in our own car so no worries about other passengers creating further problems.

    The action you describe that Freya makes when you wiggle your finger through the carrier bars sounds like she’s marking you (there are scent glands around the mouth – I think the activity is called “chinning”), probably to try and surround herself with a scent that identifies her uniquely; it might be part of a self-calming process.

    Hope her health scare subsides quickly. Any time one of ours shows a change in behaviour we’re on tenterhooks until they revert to normal…

    • SilverTiger says:

      I don’t suppose Freya is going to change her habits, so it’s a case of putting up with them, I suppose!

      I sympathize because of course, she has no idea where she is going when we put her in the basket and that would make anyone nervous. The curious thing, though, is that she makes more noise on the way home than on the way to the cattery. Perhaps being in the cattery and hearing other cats yelling all around her makes her more vociferous in her turn.

      She seems fine now she is home but I am keeping an eye on her and what she eats and drinks. I was told she was drinking a lot which can indicate serious conditions though she also has hairballs and that can cause them to drink.

  2. Villager says:

    A lovely cat ! I hope she shrugs off this episode very quickly.

    I was severely scratched by our moody moggy a few days ago for trying to move her off the couch.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Neither of my cats has ever scratched me on purpose, though both have drawn blood without meaning to, as when the vet says “Just hold her steady a moment, will you…?”

      I would be most unhappy if a cat of mine scratched me intentionally as I would feel that the relationship had gone sadly astray.

  3. Reluctant Blogger says:

    Oh I do hope that this was just a cattery allergy and that she recovers and stays well now she is at home. She is a very pretty looking cat.

    It would be a very mean-spirited person who complained that a cat was too noisy on the bus.

    Not sure I’d dare to take Phoenix – she is very loud even when she is happy.

    • SilverTiger says:

      Freya is indeed a pretty cat, though somewhat tubby. Not that that makes any difference in my book as my first cat was a real scruff bag but I loved her deeply.

      Cats do vary in how noisy they are. My previous cat hardly ever made a sound – though she could growl like a dog when she saw something that angered her – whereas Freya is very chatty and invents all sorts of strange sounds to communicate her feelings.

  4. Catz says:

    I know what you are saying SilverTiger. It is the same with Lucy. She came from terrible conditions and still suffers some anxieties from it and hates to be separated from me, but life has to go on and I always try and make sure that the choices I make are the best possible for her.
    Take heart – I know that animals know when we are doing our best for them out of love.

    • SilverTiger says:

      My last cat walked in off the street as a tiny (probably abandoned) kitten and lived to be 20 years old. Though she was very independent and showed affection only when she felt like it, she was very intelligent and there was an unusual bound between us. I cared for her through the long illness which eventually led to her death in my arms.

      Freya, is less bright but more effusive (and demanding) in her affections. She loves to curl up on my lap or beside me on the bed with a look of bliss on her face. She finds the world and especially people, rather troubling, and even a ring on the doorbell sends her into hiding under the bed. She no doubt remembers the long weeks of refurbishment when there were workmen stomping around invading her home with noisy implements and turning it upside down.

      The good news is that she is showing no signs of the health instability reported by the cattery and is not drinking unusually large amounts of water, even in this warm weather. I am hopeful that it was a temporary glitch.

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