My Life With... Cats

Full of stories and advice

Welcome to My Life With Cats, a blog chronicling my life with cats past - Hugh, Jess and Chloe, and present - Teddy, Maisy, Poppy and Lily.  Cats have added such value to my life, and I love having the opportunity to share my passions and thoughts with Simon's Cat fans. Here you'll find my personal stories and tips on caring for animals and advice in collaboration with Cats Protection, UK.

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  • Simon Tofield

Mistress of Disguise

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

A couple of years ago I went to the cat charity, Stray Cat Rescue, to see about adopting another cat after the death of my beloved Hugh. In my mind I went with the intention of getting another black tom cat as Hugh had made such an impression on me and the family. However, while I was there looking through all of the pens, a tiny black queen cat caught my eye. She was so friendly and had such a big character for such a tiny cat that I fell in love. It wasn't until I took a closer look  that I noticed a tiny striped kitten hiding behind her in the corner. I hadn't gone there to take two cats but on seeing them both together, I couldn't split I took them both.

Poppy and her cheeky daughter Lilly

Both cats turned out to be amazing pets, the black queen I named Poppy and I called her daughter Lilly. Poppy, although being a mum, was in fact still very young herself and was really a big kitten at heart. It is great to watch them both even to this day, chase each other around the house and garden in an ongoing game of catch. So that is how I came to own my latest pair of cats, one by complete happy chance.

Little Lilly turned out to be a wonderful character too, just like her mother. Being a young cat she had endless energy and was always on for a game no matter the time of day or night, but the most incredible thing about Lilly, was her coat. Lilly has the most amazing classic tabby markings I think I have ever seen, that seemed to get even more beautiful as she grew bigger.

This all brings me on to the main reason for writing this post, Lilly's coat and it's amazing camouflage. Not only does it look gorgeous but it didn't take me long to realise the main function of this pretty coat. I was astounded to see how easily Lilly would disappear whilst playing outside in the garden. It didn't seem to matter the time of day or where she was, the swirling black stripes with their back drop of browns and greys would break up her silhouette and make her become almost invisible.

Find Lilly!

The most incredible time I noticed this was the occasion she climbed a maple tree at the end of the garden. It was late in the afternoon and the setting sun had cast shadows of the leaves all over the trunk on which Lilly climbed. The colours of the tree trunk and Lilly's fur were such a match that she just became one with the tree and vanished. She reminds me a lot of a tiny jaguar especially when you see her stalking through the undergrowth and dry leaves.

Another factor I have noticed about Lilly's coat is it seems to change colour depending on the season. In Winter her coat goes a lovely steely grey which blends her in to cold landscapes and piles of fallen leaves, whereas in summer, her coat becomes a wash of warm browns that helps her melt into the hot summer undergrowth.

All my cats are the happiest they can be when they come racing up the garden to join me for a game or two and both Poppy and Lilly are always the first there. These two cats have already made a huge impression on me and have become such lovable characters I would be lost without them and my walk up the garden would not be the same.

Although, I do have to wonder, Lilly has her amazing camouflage in the day time with her thick curling strips...but can you really get better camouflage than her mother hunting at night? The answer is no, judging by the amount of mice Poppy used to bring Lilly when she was very young.

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Thank you for reading!