Emily Walker’s lovely six year old rescued tabby, Pebble, is our Moggy of the Week, and was her surprise 12th birthday present.
Choosing to adopt rather than shop, Emily’s parents took her down to the Cats Protection near her home, where she met and fell in love with little warrior Pebble, whose mother had been abandoned on the street when pregnant before she gave birth to Pebble. Thankfully though Pebble, his mum and her large litter were all picked up by Cats Protection and taken good care of.
Emily told us: “Pebble is a larger-than average cat which means he’s constantly requiring more food to keep him going on his grand adventures through the countryside (we live in the middle of nowhere so he ‘owns’ a lot territory). He gets pretty demanding when it comes to food and I can tell you those treats won’t last long! But he would sure scoff them very happily! However in the past he has also had upset tummies due to highly manufactured treats, so I very much look forward to the chance of giving him 100% natural goodies that are sure to keep him happy & healthy!
Pebble is the boss around here, and he’s pretty feisty when it comes to the outdoors, but the one thing he won’t tell you is that he’s actually a bit of wuss when it comes to the cold and the rain. (Shhh, don’t tell him I told you that!) So having him stuck inside, particularly when its winter, means there’s a lot of pent up energy… resulting in him going slightly cray-cray. I’m pretty sure anyone who knows cats understands how cray-cray they can get! It’s rather funny when he gets a bit over-excited, but I think it would be much more beneficially for everyone concerned that he uses the Swat & Sway box, the lazer pointer, or the plush owl toy, instead of running off with my ear-bud headphones, stealing my socks, or attempting to destroy my computer as he hunts the curser point on the screen! ”
Considering he had such a sad start to life, we’re delighted that wee Pebble now has a loving home that includes a dog sister, Cookie.
Pebble’s story in Emily’s words
We drove down to the cat shelter and met a very lovely lady who took us out to her ‘cat shed’ in the back garden. It was a ginormous shed, with heating and specially decided cat-cages with levels and tunnels and well… it was cat haven! Anyway there were three ‘cages’ in this shed for the separate ‘batches’ of cats she had. And I walked passed the first two to see adult cats, staring and watching me. The final cage was where I was taken too. The cage of the mother and her huge litter. And there CLIMBING the mesh fencing were two adorable kittens, one grey and white speckled like a cloud, and the other a beautiful tabby with bottle green eyes. The women immediately announced, “these are the two naughty ones as you can tell”. To this day I still feel a little guilty about glancing over the grey and white one, Peaches as she was later named after she was adopted, but my eyes were immediately drawn to the little tabby, confidently throwing himself at the railings try to clamber towards these new and exciting people at his front door.
I was let into the cage and just sat on the floor with them. Their mother was nodding off in the back, whilst many of the kittens kept away from me, too timid and shy, they hid under the play things or climbed into their mothers back. But the tabby kitten and the grey & white kitten didn’t. They decided instead they wanted to climb ALL over me, clambering into my lap and sniffing every inch of me as I sat on the floor. I was their new glorified play thing and they loved it. It was an experience I will never forget, their little mews and their soft paws clambering over me. It was all too cute.
Love at first sight
I knew that I didn’t want to “pass up” any cat, I didn’t want to just pick a favourite and that be it, and I had noticed another long haired tabby peer out from one of the nests. So I approached him and some of his other siblings fairly cautiously, within a blink of an eye they all hurtled back to their mother, timidly rushing away from me as if I was some great monster. But the tabby and Peaches did not. Instead they chased me trying to catch my ankles with their paws and trying to get me to the stroke them non stop. I knew then that the little tabby cat that was so confident and so demanding of my attention was the little cat I had always dreamed of having. In fact I knew it from the moment I saw him staring at me through the mesh on the cage, but I had been to afraid to admit that it had been ‘love at first sight’ without seeming unfair to his brothers and sisters. But I knew we were meant for each other, and it’s hard to explain why – we just clicked. I told the women that I want that little tabby and she announced, “ahh that little one, that one’s quite a handful!” I laughed.
At this age they were too young to know the sex off, let alone take them home, but I was told that my little man was most likely going to be a little girl. However I’m not pretty in pink lady so when I went to buy my kitten supplies they were all bought in baby blue. If I was to have a she-cat, she would definitely be a tom boy. Possibly a little wrong of me to push the stereotype on ‘her’ from a young age but pah I was 12!
Anyway a few weeks passed and it was announced the ‘she’ was actually a ‘he’. Thank god the name I had set on was gender-fluent. Another ploy from 12 year old me, I wasn’t going to have a ‘female name’ for a ‘female cat’ – that would be too obvious! So Pebble the she-cat became Pebble the tom-cat, but I didn’t mind either way. Pebble was going to be mine and that was all that mattered. Then Pebble was old enough to come home. I was advised to put him in the smallest room we had and coincidentally that was the bathroom adjacent to my room. We padded the room down with another bedding to make sure nothing was dangerous and tucked my little monster up for the night.
Pebble the ‘Little Monster’
This was the night Pebble earned his nickname, ‘Pebble the Little Monster’. I’d never had a cat before so I wasn’t sure what to expect but his wailing calls for his mother broke me that night. He didn’t stop crying for one moment. He cried from 10 pm when I left him to 1 am in the morning. I couldn’t sleep. So I clambered out of bed dragging my duvet and climbed into the bathroom, where I lay with him till 2:30 am. But alas although he stopped his crying he thought it was terribly exciting that I was lying on the floor and therefore proceeded to play his aggressive hunting game – claws included. I grew incredibly bored of this, and incredibly tired and so decided that I would give in and just take him into my room. At least then he could run through the whole of my room and settle somewhere for the night. Somehow I fell asleep as he rushed around like a mad hatter, but I didn’t hear him cry again. The next morning I awoke at 7 am to find him curled up in the teeniest tiny ball at the end of my bed beside my feet. He was breathing very deeply but you could tell he was content, he had found a place for himself.
The next few days continued more or less the same, but he grew better and better and soon he would settle through the night. We were told that we should introduce the house to him slowly give him a week in a small space, then a few months before he goes outdoors for the first time – supervised at first and then when he’s had his injections you can let him run free. I think we sorta ignored all of that. Pebble had the run of the whole house within 2 days, and was outside within the week. Of course we kept our eye on him constantly – he hadn’t had his final jabs yet – but he was safe in our garden and it was so bloody happy! He loved adventuring, he loved smells and he just loved the outdoors. But without fail he would come back inside for cuddles and love when he demanded it. Miraculously against all odds I had that warrior cat that was loyal to his family. How? I don’t know, but nor do I care. I had my precious little monster and I couldn’t ask for a better little ‘floof’!
Missing the wee man while on holiday
We went away on holiday for a week and I was so stressed about leaving my little chap so young, but we had to go and we had a dog sitter in looking after the dogs so I knew he would be okay. The week passed and I missed him and when I returned home he sat looking at the door and greeted me with the best mewing and purring ever! That night he curled up right next to me in bed and purred his way to sleep. It was then I realised how much I meant to him, just as much as he meant to me. I was his mother now, and I loved every bit of that little kitten. It was another moment I will never forget!
He had his jabs and he started going out for longer periods of time, unsupervised. We live in the middle of no where surrounded by trees and forests so its the best for a cat that just wants to go out unconfined to just one garden. He is also the only domestic cat for miles so he’s not got any competition – except from the local wild barn cats, but he was very quickly adopted into their motley crew, and you’ll often see him hunting down their with them, or curled up in a bale of straw living the rough life for a little while before he decides he’s hungry and comes back home!
At this time we didn’t have a cat flap but Pebble came in without fail for his dinner at 6 pm and we would just not let him out after that. However he’d reached teenager years and one night he didn’t come back for supper. I cried and cried and cried, and called and called and called for my little puss but he didn’t come home. I feared the ultimate worst, Pebble loved his food, why hadn’t he come back. If we shut the door for the night he wouldn’t be able to come in till the next morning because there was no way in. I was so stressed.
In the end I got a few hours sleep and ran downstairs the next morning to find my wee man sat very happily outside the front door looking at me with his big cat eyes. I laughed and cried some more as I fed him an extra-large helping of breakfast. He was okay! Unfortunately he had actually caught a cold and spent the next two days cuddled up in a box, but he was fine. He didn’t do it again for a good few months – until we bought the cat flap!
Growing up quickly
Pebble grew up quickly, turning into a very masculine, confident, independent, adventurous cat and although he doesn’t particularly like being ‘squished’ and cuddled, he does put up with me, and above everything he is so unbelievably loyal. I don’t tend to worry about him so much anymore, I know he’ll always come home (although there are times where he’s been gone for a little too long and I do start to stress!). He’s put up with dog after dog, puppy after puppy, and most of the time they drive him insane but he pushes through. Here and now he’ll pop up to my room and spend a night cuddled up with me before waking me up at 3 am in the morning because he wants to go hunting and the downstairs door is shut so he can’t get out. Or he’ll decide that a 5 am wake up is best finished with a cat lay sprawled out over your face, smothering your eyes and filling your mouth with fluff, whilst he enjoys his breakfast-a-la-hair. But he’s always there, a constant presence in my house.
A constant presence in my life, and without him I definitely would feel incomplete. He is a big part of me and I love him.
He will be six soon, I am 18. At some point I’ll probably be moving out, and as much as I treasure my little handsome young man, I know the time will come when I will have to leave him behind. Not because I can’t take him with me, but because this is his home, his territory and removing him from that, taking him somewhere not-so-wild will destroy him.
He’ll stay with my parents if I leave, and I’ll just have to pop back every day for the cuddle session that Pebble doesn’t particularly enjoy, but he’ll have to put up with! He knows the sound of my car now and he’ll come up expectant for food if he hears me come down the drive, so I’ve got no doubt he’ll be waiting for me when I come back. I doubt I’ll be leaving any time soon and it tears me up just considering leaving him, but I’ll face that when the time comes.
Pebble believes he is the almighty powerful one, you see, doors open when he miaows at them (how incredible!), and food magically appears if he stares at people long enough (what a talent!) and he seems to get away with murder, literally the murder of lil unsuspecting mice :(, 99.9% of the time just by looking fluffy (wow!). You see Pebble is the light of my life, no matter whats being going on in it he’s always been there, my rock, my stone, my pebble. He’s a class character and he makes my life that much better by just breathing. I will never have a moggie like him again, and I don’t want too.
Pebbles will always be my little Warrior Cat, no one can take that away from me!”