My cat’s name was Jenny. We weren’t planning to get a cat, we had not long been married and we weren’t even thinking of getting a pet, but our next door neighbour had ten cats, some of them they ‘showed’ and every time we saw them, they mentioned that we should get a cat, we resisted for a while and then one day, had a mad moment and decided to go to the local shelter to take a look, promising ourselves and each other that we weren’t going to bring anything home, but we would think about it.

When we got there, we were taken straight to the kittens, tiny little kittens and the lady that ran the shelter asked us what our situation was, would we be able to give a kitten 24 hour attention. We said we couldn’t because we both worked, so the lady suggested we go for an older cat. We hadn’t told her that we didn’t want a cat, we didn’t want her to think we were wasting her time, which we were, until we got to the older cat area.

There were a few cats there, but one caught our eye, she was black and white with symmetrical patterning and she was absolutely beautiful. She purred around our ankles and seemed quite comfortable with us, you could say that she chose us, rather than the other way around. I looked at David, David looked at me and we both new we were going to take her home. She was nine months old, the perfect age for us. In the car on the way home, I considered names, I wanted it to begin with a J, because coincidently, everyone I knew with a cat, their names began with a J, so Jenny it was.

A couple of years later we had our first daughter and Jenny was the perfect guard cat, if the baby cried, she would butt her head against me as if to say “hurry up, the baby’s crying”. If I put the baby outside in her pram, Jenny would sit by the pram, sitting up, taking note of everything going on around her, she would not leave the pram until I went outside to bring her back in, she did exactly the same things for my second daughter too. If we went for walks to the park, which is about five minutes from my house, Jenny would walk with us, when we got to the park, she would disappear and then when we left the park, she would walk with us back home. We were and still are famous in our street for that.

Jenny died seven years ago and I still have people coming up to me saying they remember Jenny walking with us to the park and back. She really was a part of our family and I still miss her.