By the time I was 10 Mum and I, through a series of misadventures, found ourselves living in a former monastery in Sellindge. For the first time in memory we had no pets. We began working on my step dad Tony immediately, nagging, begging and moaning to be allowed a cat. He lasted a couple of months, but even he had to give in under our relentless barrage. Luckily (yeah, totally unplanned) at the moment he relented my auntie Melly's cat Sophie's kittens were ready to be rehomed and we went and collected our black and white kitten and brought her to her new place.
Millie's full name was Millie Wall P***** (my parents surname) after my stepdads favourite football team, in consideration of the fact he had allowed us to get her.
Millie was never a real kitten. She was always rather reserved, quiet and unobtrusive. If she didn't want food, she didn't want a fuss. Millie and I were thus soul mates from the get go. She was never a lap cat, nor, until competition arrived, bothered with sleeping on the bed; instead she enjoyed lying on the top of the couch, just behind my head where she could be close but not too close. She also loved lying on the top of the kitchen wall units surveying her realm and harboured a deep and never ending desire for salmon.
She acquired her taste for salmon from the fact that every Christmas my step grandad would send us a hamper. Included inside was a large salmon, and we just weren't too enamoured with it. Not thinking correctly we gave it to the cat (not all at once of course!). This was a very foolish mistake. From then on she refused to eat anything else if there was a Christmas tree up in the house. Weird, I know, but as soon as the Christmas tree was up, it was salmon or NOTHING. She was a particular fussy eater and not shy about informing you through dirty looks when she disapproved of something presented to her.
She had one set of kittens, 2 of whom became my Great Aunt Joy's beloved companions Annie and Chloe, who have become giant and over pampered cats who defy the laws of nature and continue to stalk Snodland at the grand old age of nearly 16.
When we got Angel Cat, Millie threw a hissy fit and left the house. Despite posters and searches she didn't turn up for two weeks. When she did turn up it was by sneaking back into the house, giving an inquisitive Angel a paw round the ear and then settling in to her usual place behind my head on the sofa. Angel would spend the rest of Millie's life desperately trying to be friends whilst Millie would spend it growling menacingly whenever Angel approached.
After Angel arrived Millie began a small war for my affections which got to the point of Angel and her fighting over who was sleeping on my bed. This fight would eventually end with them both doing so on either side of me so I couldn't move an inch.
Sadly Millie died in 2005 after I moved away from home. My most abiding memory of her will always be her endless ability to get fed. She must have eaten six times a day. Mum would wake up and Millie would meow at her for food and get it. Mum would go to work, and then I'd wake up. Millie would meow at me as if she hadn't been fed and I'd moan about Mum being cruel and leaving her hungry as I fed her. I'd head off for school and then my step dad would wake up and the same thing would happen again. She'd do the same in the evening. It took us a long time to realise what she was up to. Sneaky little thing.
To Millie. With Love.
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