About the soul cat series: This series celebrates cats you’ve had a soul connection with.
The beautiful black Willikins is a lively, loving soul cat to Maree-Louise Quay. They have a mysterious understanding of each other that you may relate to.
I love how she describes the first time they met.
How did you find each other?
“A friend informed me of a lovely black kitten he had seen at an animal shelter. I was told the kitten was a black male and that I should really go and have a look at him.
At the time I was hoping to adopt a black cat as a companion to my black cat Chloe. Since a young adult, I’ve always had black cats – I’ve been owned by black cats for over 25 years now – they’ve always held a treasured place in both my heart and home, so I was more than ready to visit the little one and offer him a forever home if he declared me worthy.
The great Cleveland Amory penned ‘To anyone who has ever been owned by a cat, it will come as no surprise that there are all sorts of things about your cat you will never, as long as you live, forget. Not the least of these is your first sight of him or her.’
My first feeling of Willikins was one of instant recognition. He was sitting alone in his pen, and when he saw me he ran to me, helter skelter as fast as his little legs could carry him.
The moment I held Wilikins in arms he started to purr his little engine overtime – so much so, I thought he would run out of steam!
He also showed off his very best nosebumps and cuddles, and I could feel this amazing love emanating from him. Straight away I informed the attendant I would adopt him. Since that moment, he has rarely left my side.”
Is there a trait, behavior, or experience that stands out about him?
“Willikins doesn’t like to be left alone for long, he absolutely thrives on attention. He is not what I’d term a lap cat, yet he’s always close by my side, whether that be sitting next to the laptop, or sleeping next to me on my (his!) pillow.
He loves to place his paw on top of my hand as I drift into sleep. He is extremely vocal and can be very demanding if he feels he hasn’t received his desired amount of attention. I am often the recipient of a wallop across my nose if I don’t adhere to his wishes in good time, sometimes this occurs during the wee hours in of the morning whilst I am sleeping!
He is also a sensitive and caring companion. I once observed him catch a field mouse and present it to another cat, who was frail and not able to hunt. Willikins caught the mouse and placed it at the other cat’s paws, and sauntered away, leaving the ill cat to enjoy the fresh caught prey.
Willikins loves games. One of his favourite games was to climb out the side window, run through the side garden and proceed to the front door, where he would meow loudly, asking to be let inside. One time my sister and I counted 17 times in a row in a sitting of this game!
I used to work as a Stable Manager for a horse agistment centre. Willikins would watch me ride the horses in the arena, and if I ever rode out, he’d wait by the front gate until I returned home safely.
He’d follow me everywhere over the 5 acres of property, basking in the sunshine by the water troughs as I filled them and also sitting outside each stable as I cleaned them.
We had a special daily ritual. I’d run to our special tree and pretend to use it as a scratching post, he always followed suit and copied me, meowing proudly as he did so.”
What made you aware of your special bond?
“A few years after adopting Willikins, I had to assist Chloe to the Rainbow Bridge due to her suffering from a terminal illness. I was heartbroken and fell into a deep depression and suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, together with panic and anxiety attacks.
Willikins helped me through every day by being the best companion you could ever wish for. He comforted me, gave me hope and helped me to feel positive and laugh, and enjoy the beauty of life again. I don’t think he missed Chloe as much as I did, I felt he recognised the moment as the chance to help me ‘live again.’
I can telephatically ‘call’ him to me, if he’s not already close by. I’ll envisage him being with me, and most often than not he’ll be at my side almost instantaneously. I believe Willikins is part of me, as I am part of him.”
(Optional question) Is there a cat care or feeding technique that has worked well for you?
“Willikins has recently been diagnosed with IBD. I have found that eliminating tinned food from his diet has been of great benefit. His immune system does far better when he eats raw meat, together with dry food specifically designed for cats with sensitive stomachs.
I think it goes without saying though, that the best tonic of all is love and care. I believe that a loved cat is a happy and healthy cat.
I have been blessed with the gift of Willikins and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him, he (together with his new fur sister, Spookykins) comes first and foremost in my life. Willikins will turn 13 years young on 15th April, he will forever be my soul mate, kindred spirit and baby boy!”