“I went into the RSPCA shelter to look for a dog to adopt. While I was there, I had a ‘let's go look at the cats for a minute’ moment, and next thing I know, Trip [Tripod] had me wrapped around his finger, and I was applying to adopt him.
The early days were a bit tricky. I didn't have any information about his history and how he came to be at the shelter – all I knew was he was around three years old. Understandably, he was scared and timid, and he hid for the first month or so. I'd only spot him when he came out to eat. I helped him become comfortable with me by finding where he'd decided to hide that day, sit there and talk at him for a bit and then leave him to it. He eventually realised I was okay and could be trusted.
He was always a little anxious around new people for the rest of his life, and he would hide when people came into the house. Once he trusted you though, you knew you were one of his people, by the fact that he would insist on sitting on your lap while you were on the toilet!
Three legs aside, Tripod was actually a very healthy cat. He had no health issues until he was nine years old, and the missing leg didn't slow him down too much. In fact, our vet used to be happy for us, and sad for himself that Trip only visited him once a year for his shots - he was a relaxed patient and spent most of his vet visits having cuddles with everyone at the surgery.
Being Tripod’s owner was as great for me as it was for him. I love that I gave an older kitty a home, because I know many people head straight past the older cats towards the kittens. But for me, older cats are a known entity. You can get an idea of their personality, their health issues, their size and such before you even leave the shelter – you can make a very informed decision.
We had an amazing six years together.”
Read more: Caring for older cats