On August 17th we celebrated ‘National Black Cat Appreciation Day’ so it seems ‘purrfectly’ fitting to have a stunning black feline to appreciate in this month’s Happy Ever After section, especially in this our 30th year as Claude was yet another needy soul rescued and adopted by Pauline our Founder. As you’ll see, Claude is still a talented writer and a very comfy one at that – he certainly is ‘The Cat who got the Cream’!

‘Hello, it’s me Claude. A few of you may remember I put out an appeal for a special home back in August of last year. I used to be a street cat with very little street cred as I was really a scaredy cat! I was rather moth eaten with a badly matted coat pulling on my skin making it very scabby and sore, very underweight and in urgent need of a dental. Well, after I was all sorted out, my foster mum said it was time for me to tell everyone about my ‘tails’ of woe and write a plea for my forever home. I did this and quite a few nice people offered me a home, but their situation wasn’t quite right for me, so a few of our Holly Hedge cats were found their forever homes through my appeal instead which gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Secretly I was pleased to stay longer so I could creep round her and be on my best behaviour as I really wanted to stay. I forgave her for taking me to the vet to be neutered, I sat on her lap, allowed her to worm and deflea me, and sometimes I would let her brush me to get on her good side. I would hide if anyone else came in the house so she could see I only trusted her and would purr away and play with my toys so she could see how happy I was when it was just the 2 of us. I thought if I kept this up I would wear her down – and guess what, it worked – she was so worried I would try to find my way back as I was so attached to her and frightened of everyone else I might get lost and end up a street cat again. I am now the cat who got the cream, and the happiest I have ever been. You can see by my lovely glossy coat I am pampered and loved, and I’ve always got a full tummy. I’m also not so afraid of people anymore but I pretend to be sometimes just in case she gets a guilty conscience because she’s a ‘failed fosterer’. I’m not silly! I have my forever home right here, and this is where I’m going to stay for the rest of my life.’