Meet Schnooks! He’s our furry little orange friend and adopted son. And when I say adopted – I mean HE adopted US!
We moved into our home around two years ago, which is nestled in a lovely neighbourhood lined with gorgeous old 1930s character houses. It was (and is!) the home of our dreams – filled with warmth and the scent of good family memories gone by, as well as having good architectural bones with space for us to express our own creativity.
As eager new homeowners we would often spend time in the garden pottering around trying to make things just so. (We didn’t know much about gardening back then, so essentially we managed to make it look like Crater-ville.) Anyhoo, whilst pottering we noticed that we were often not alone – we were frequently accompanied by a rather aloof but very pretty ginger cat.
Bit by bit we went from suspicious I’ve-got-one-eye-on-you to begrudging neighbours to polite acknowledgement and somehow from that to friends who eagerly awaited each other’s company. Gardening just wasn’t gardening without him. But I assumed that his name was Lucky and that he belonged to the family a couple of doors down because the mum of that household would stand outside and yell, “Luckyyyyyyyy-yyyyy!” every evening. Although I was a professed dog-person and somewhat cat-avoider (I regret that now), deep in my heart I pretended that his name was Schnooks and that he was really ours.
However, one evening I was sitting outside with Schnooks and, dare I say, feeding him tuna when as usual the cry “Luckyyyyyy!” filled the air. Schnooks didn’t move. He just carried on purring and looked at me like, “What?” or maybe more like, “More tuna please!”. And we both watched as a Russian blue cat dashed across our front yard only to be greeted and picked up by our neighbour. Tick. Tick. Tick. I came to the slow but very happy realisation that Schnooks was really Schnooks (not just in my dreams), a free spirit (the preferable term to stray cat) and he had most determinedly decided that he would be part of our little family!
Nowadays you will find him around our home (usually on the bed!), sprawled out on the rug, sleeping under the bushes in our backyard, or sitting patiently under “his” tree waiting for us to get home. He is an affectionate soul who actually comes with us on little walks up and down the street (I never knew cats did that!), and brings us “presents” (read rats, sometimes alive) to show us how much he loves us. We love our home, but we love it infinitely more now because we have Schnooks.