In January 1997, I wrote my usual newsletter to the family. In the previous one at the beginning of December 1996 I had mentioned a new white kitten that had come into the Odense KV cat rescue cattery. Now read on:-
"Finally, the white male kitten, with blue patch on the head, was called Peter Pan by the children of the KVO childrens club. He was found wandering on a small island which has a village on it and the lady who found him kept him fed while she tried to find out where he had come from. She put up notices all round but after a week asked KVO to take him as she had had no response and could not keep him properly looked after. So he was caught and brought in. The lady was very puzzled about it as she says that there are not so many people to ask, but no one even said that they had heard of him. It is possible that he was driven over the bridge and abandoned.
So we saw him briefly on Sunday the 1st when he had just been brought in and was therefore still in quarantine. He was tested OK for diseases on the Monday and then let run with the others. On the Friday 6th during our normal work at KVO he talked to me a lot and settled on my lap saying "I like you, puurrrr, puuurrr" and I then saw that he has one gold and one blue eye! That was it, and I said to Myrtle and Sonja that I must have him for my birthday! So after shopping we went back and put him in a cat basket and took him home. We estimated that he was born around about 1st August (1996) so that is his official birthday.
He settled in very fast and explored the house almost straight away. He found the litter tray and the feeding room and within a few days had his place established with the rest at meal times. After a couple of weeks I fixed up the conservatory to greenhouse cat flap and he learnt to use that very fast. He also goes through it very fast - I haven't watched him lately, but I think from the noise that he just goes through it like firing a rocket! He also knows where the outside flap is, so we have to be careful to keep that room shut - for the time being, the others have to ask to go to and fro the rest of the house. Luckily, they are not keen to go out much at the moment. We have had to get used to counting heads up to eight again!
He gets on well with the others and there are lots of chasing and catch games. Interestingly, he and Snehvide like each other very much and at least once a day they play chase and rough and tumble. It is lovely to see the two white cats streaking around or locked in each others arms. She was not so keen when he started pinching her radiator bed, but that only lasted for a week and he is now trying different places.
He loves water! Every time he hears water running he rushes into the bathroom and peers into the left hand basin where he is convinced all the water in the house goes. He drinks our tooth mug water, pulls out the basin and bidet plugs, sits in the bath until the water covers his front paws, watches water running away in the basin with his head under the running tap and then settles down for a sleep on the chair next to the radiator in the bathroom."
So that was Peter Pan 6 years ago - has it been that long! Since then many things have changed in that kitten's life - to start with, he no longer has a blue patch on his head; that has faded away over the years. He has also learnt to live with several new cats (sometimes reluctantly!), and lose some of his old friends. The biggest change was when we decided, very reluctantly that we would have to stop their free ranging life. In Finchley it had always been our expectation that our cats could roam free and come to no harm, and that is what had happened there and for our first years in Skt Klemens. One of the things that led us to change that was an incident involving Peter himself! So on the 10th November 1998, we officially opened the new cat run, and closed off the access to the garden except for Misje.
What had happened more and more during that year was that Peter in particular would not come straight away when I called them all for their food at 10pm. I was having to go across to the old farm every night and call him there (quietly!). Eventually I would spot him, or he would walk in front of me, and we would then process back to home via their garden! We also had had a phone call from a lady living almost 400 yards away that she had found his collar in her garden! So, together with the other problems, we decided that for the cats protection, and our own peace of mind, they would have to be restricted to the house and run.
This of course, did not much please any of them, and especially our, by then, rough and tough Peter! We made other changes to get Peter back to the nice kitten cat he used to be by forcibly taking him to bed with us every night. Now he wouldn't have it any different, and tries to get me to let him go into the bedroom long before bedtime! He spends all night snuggled up to my back, and we are very comfortable - Peter, Snehvide and Misty!