It’s the end of the year and there’s much to look back on… like how your cats have been with you, year after year, through thick and thin.

Tidy Cats is sponsoring “Throwback Kitten Week” – it’s a week-long celebration of your cats and the transformation from when they were kittens to their meowgnificently fabulous feline selves today.

For Throwback Kitten Week, I was reflecting on my senior cat, Wesley, who was the first cat I adopted as an adult, fresh out of college and living on my own for the first time.

Wesley has been with me through all of life’s ups and downs – from making the transition to adulthood, through many boyfriends, from being single to being married, through changes in houses, jobs and jean sizes… through happy times and especially the sad times, my buddy Wesley has been there for me.

This week, I’m honoring my sweet, shy, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly, 17-year old buddy, Wesley.

Adopting Wesley

When I moved out of my parent’s house and on my own, I had a cat that I brought with me from their house, named Jesse. She was a beautiful dilute long-haired ginger who was also diabetic with litter box issues. I decided to get Jesse a friend since I would be at work all day and didn’t want her to be lonely.

I went to Save-A-Pet, where I’ve volunteered and donated since I was a kid. I was immediately drawn to Wesley, then known as “Selwyn.” He was in a cage, cowering in fear. He had huge eyes and dilated pupils. I inquired about him and why he was considered a special needs cat. I was told that he was 10 months old and extremely skittish and that the staff was afraid he would disappear and starve to death because he was so terrified. That’s all I had to hear. I said, “I want to bring him home with me and give him a loving, stable and quiet home.”

Life with Wesley – The Early Years

As Save-A-Pet said, Wesley was skittish… he would hide everywhere and anywhere and only come out at night when the coast was clear. The strangest place I found him was hiding in a desk drawer… you know, the one meant for pens and paper clips… I have no idea how he squeezed himself in there, but he did!

I was extremely patient with him – letting him come out on his own, which literally took years. I recall one day, coming home from work during wintertime and I couldn’t find him. I checked everywhere, under the bed, in the closet, in cabinets and I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was frantic.

I went into the spare bedroom of my condo and saw fur peeking out from under the blind. He was hiding on the windowsill behind the window blinds. I went to pick him up and he was literally frozen to the window. My poor little guy took off like a rocket and some of his fur remained frozen to the window!

 

Naming Wesley

Wesley is named after “The Dread Pirate Roberts” in the movie “The Princess Bride.” Why you ask? It turns out that little Wesley was a thief in the night. While I would sleep, Wesley would be busy pillaging my jewelry from my nightstand and burying his “treasure” in his litter box. Every morning, I would go clean out the litter box and find a ring, an earring, a bracelet – whatever he could find and carry to this litter box and bury… and ever since, he’s earned the nickname “my little pirate, Wesley.”

In More Recent Years…

Eventually, with love, patience and treats, Wesley came around. He stopped stuffing himself into desk drawers and started hanging out in my closet on a shelf – making himself a nest out of my sweaters.

Years later, he started following me around and becoming a complete lap cat and my shadow. To this day, Wesley sleeps with me every night, and as I blog, he tries his hardest to lay on my laptop while I type. Instead, I set up an oversized warm wool pillow where he naps (and is napping right now).

Today…

Wesley is turning 17 years old in January. He has irritable bowel disease, hypercalcemia, and early renal disease, but that doesn’t stop him. He loves catnip and chasing jingle balls after breakfast. He has helped “nurse” my other cats through their own health problems and he’s become best buddies with my husband and my cat Romeo.

Wesley has been, and continues to be my loyal buddy – and I will always be by his side the way he has been by mine.

Tidy Cats Giveaway

Now it’s your turn! Tell us about your cat, then and now, and earn a chance to win!

Share your cat transformation stories with us on Facebook (see December 14, 2016 post below)! Post one of your cats with “Then and Now” pictures and a little blurb about your faithful friend!

What can you win?

Two manufacturer’s coupons for your own Tidy Cats litter with TidyLock™ Protection – available in regular scoopable or lightweight.

Rules

  • Post “then and now” pictures to The Catnip Times Facebook page by 11:59pm on Friday, December 16, 2016.
  • Add a short blurb about how your cat has blossomed throughout the year.
  • The winner will be chosen at random, but must have a U.S. mailing address.
  • The Catnip Times will message the winner and confirm address. The winner will have 72 hours to respond with their U.S. mailing address.
  • If the winner doesn’t respond, we’ll choose another winner.

The Fine Print

This post is sponsored by Tidy Cats. The Catnip Times is part of Tidy Cats’ Insiders Program which allows us inside access to Tidy Cats’ newest products so we can try them out and let you know (honestly) what we think. The Catnip Times will only cover products and stories that we feel will be interesting to The Catnip Times’ community. We hope you enjoyed this one!

The Catnip Times is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.