Not Jaffa, but Rafa

1 Dec


It’s nearly three years now since Jaffa disappeared one evening and didn’t come home. We have never found out what happened to him.

But a few weeks ago we were contacted by someone who had a cat from the same litter as Treacle (Jaffa’s mother) and who had given birth to 6 kittens, including 2 gingers. So we went to see them straight away and a week later we collected another gorgeous little ginger boy.

He is called Rafa (like Rafa Nadal, the tennis player) – near enough to his cousin without being the same. There will only ever be one Jaffa. And now there’ll only be one Rafa. He looks very like Jaffa but of course he has his own personality. He’s very affectionate and also bold and  very, very naughty! He has his own adventure playground with cardboard houses, climbing frames and plenty of toys but he desperately wants to play with our other cats. He has been tormenting Treacle and Zanzibar (Jaffa’s sister), always chasing and pouncing on them. They are not impressed and there have been quite a few fisticuffs. Coming from a litter with lots of siblings he probably can’t understand why they don’t want to join in with his games.

Zanzi has started to thaw a bit now though and we’ve even caught them rubbing noses and whiskers although she will give him a smack with at least one paw when he gets too cheeky. But Treacle still hates him and hisses, spits and growls like a tiger whenever he gets near to her. It doesn’t put him off though – he still keeps pursuing her and it’s Treacle who flees and looks for a safe place to hide. Rafa is not allowed outside yet. All that new world to explore!

Poppy is wonderful with him though and incredibly tolerant, given that he leaps on her, dive-bombs her when she’s trying to sleep, even using his needle-sharp claws to climb her delicate back legs and tries to chew her ears and tail. Poppy sometimes looks at us as if to say ‘How long do I have to put up with this?’ but of our three pets, she is the one who engages with him most, play-biting and letting him roll about under her tummy. She is even letting him share her bed. She really is a dream dog – perfect Poppy!


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