Rufus & Martha
These two beautiful kitties came into my life in the summer of 2010 and I couldn’t imagine life without them now. They are siblings and named after the singers Rufus and Martha Wainwright.
They were born in Salford and the humans tasked with looking after the mother and her litter were sadly not doing a great job. The health of the mother and litter started to deteriorate quickly. She stopped feeding her kittens due to a suspected infection and her humans did not take her to the vets. Two of the kittens in the litter passed away at just three weeks old and we received a call to let us know that they were worried about the rest of the litter, including the two I had picked out a week earlier. The original plan was to take them home at about 8 weeks but we ended up taking them at just three weeks old. We later found out the mother and the rest of the litter didn’t survive.
Rufus, being the biggest kitten in the litter was already eating solid food but poor Martha was not and her health was not good. She was dehydrated and underweight. On first seeing her the vet couldn’t believe she was alive. Both of them were filthy and had fleas too. Martha needed feeding with a special formula by syringe for several weeks and with the help of the vet, the health of both of them started to improve. Martha had to be weighed regularly and I had to return home from work a couple of times a day to feed her.
The two were full of love for each other for at least the first year as you’ll see some of the pictures are of them together. As many siblings do they soon grew out of that and their relationship these days is more one of tolerance than love. They do play together sometimes though. Each one has their own favourite places in the house and they have very different personalities.
Rufus will eat ANYTHING! You can’t leave food out anywhere at any time, he’ll have a go at anything including curry but his absolute favourite things are yoghurt and tuna though. He can hear you opening a can from about half a mile away. So even if you’re opening a can of tomatoes he’ll still come running. His main territory in the house is the living room, where he has a perch next to the sofa. He likes to sit on your lap and will take his attention from anyone! He regularly has dirty paws and has an odd way of drinking. There’s the usual love of running water but he loves a big fresh clean bowl of water too where he will first flick off the top layer of water (on to the floor!) before commencing his paw cleaning/drinking ritual of dipping his paws in the water and licking them dry, dip, and repeat.
Rufus has allergies and needs a steroid injection almost weekly. It’s sadly not been possible to work out what the cause is to date. Inside the house he dominates Martha a little bit, although she’s got much better at standing up to him in recent years. Outside the house however he’ll run a mile if a strange cat comes into the garden! It’s Martha’s job to chase them off!
Martha is fussy. Fussy who she’ll take her cuddles from and also what she eats. She’s the most beautiful cat in Manchester and I think she knows it. Everything is always on her terms. Her main territory is in the bedroom. Her favourite food is chicken but it’s got to be good quality and fresh! It took her a long time to realise she does actually like the cat treats Dreamies after turning her nose up at them for years! Both of them can still be quite playful at 9 years old and often have a mad half hour of chasing each other around the house. Martha is better at catching mice than Rufus! There’s been quite a few brought in through the cat flap over the years. Sometimes they’ll be left to run around the house and other times you’ll just find parts of the mice by their food dish and on or under the rug. Nice.
Rufus loves looking at wedding pictures as he’s very social. Martha on the other hand can’t understand why on earth I’d want to photograph anything other than her!