To absent felines

We have two rescue cats, Chocolat and Marmalade. A girl and a boy.

When we got them from the NAWT (National Animal Welfare Trust) in September 2013 they were called Marmalade and Gingernut: bizarrely the names seemed the wrong way around.

We liked the name Marmalade and it fitted the boy better with his tiger-striped ginger fur so we switched it. His sister was clearly a Lady Cat and, despite the little patch of ginger fur above one eye, her dark black and brown shades were a perfect fit for her new name Chocolat.

Marmalade went missing this year in mid-September and i’m still heart-broken. We did all the things we could think of: flyers, door-to-door, notifying the vets, laying scent trails.. all we can do now is wait.

Cats have a way of adopting humans and Marmalade had very much adopted me, while his sister gave more attention to my wife. I love them both. Now that he’s gone, Chocolat gives us both more than enough attention to make up for his absence and regularly sleeps on our bed and follows us around the house.

We’ve been keeping a regular stream of pictures going on Instagram under the hashtag #chocolatandmarmalade but I wanted to reminisce a little here tonight. Marmalade keeps popping up in my TimeHop notifications every day so he’s never far from my mind.

When we got them they were just a year old and so timid. It seemed to be a long time before we were allowed to take them home and I remember how scared they were that day we first let them out of their boxes in the dining room. They immediately found the smallest, safest corner of the room they could find to hide in.

Slowly but surely we coaxed them out for food and their new beds and they spent several weeks getting used to that one room. Chocolat was the more confident and it was a long time before Marmalade stopped hiding.


Eventually they were confident enough to be allowed to explore the rest of the house and they were very inquisitive. They climbed everything and one morning I came down to find a very puzzled Chocolat sitting beside Marmalade’s broken collar and a mop lying on the floor.. I finally found him stuck under the stairs behind the fridge!

They loved play fighting with each other and playing with their catnip toys. Marmalade particularly liked chewing on my hands. He liked a belly rub really though 😉 Chocolat has a thing for hairbands (video below)..

When not play-fighting they were both really sweet with each other and would snuggle up together a lot and give each other baths. Chocolat has coped well with Marmalade being gone. She seeks a lot more attention but seems content enough with our company. She brought us the same mouse as a present three times from the garden!

They both slept everywhere, pretty soon not bothering about their own beds. Marmalade particularly liked the radiator in the front room.

Chocolat loves climbing and once I found her on top of the extractor fan in the kitchen. They both loved investigating new things. Chocolat’s investigating our wedding flowers in the picture below – beautiful aren’t they? 🙂

Their personalities were so different. Marmalade was always very timid but once he warmed up to you very affectionate. While Chocolat has always been a bit aloof until now.

Marmalade wouldn’t ‘meow’, he just made a little squeak, particularly when he wanted his breakfast. He loved his food and would almost trip me on the stairs every morning running down to his bowl. Chocolat meows A LOT, so much that we started calling her Mrs Grumps because she’s so chatty!

They both did the kneading thing (Marmalade in the video below). Chocolat still does it – so cute!

In March this year, after all the building work next door had finished and the weather was starting to warm up, they finally got a chance to explore the ‘big room’ outside. Again, Marmalade took a while before he plucked up the courage to follow his sister.

After a few outings they claimed the garden as their new territory and both liked hunting the birds in the hedge, and the toads near the pond. They were quite fussy when it came to using the cat flap though(!)

This was the last picture I took of Marmalade before he disappeared. We still don’t know what happened to him. If he wasn’t so timid and so fond of his food, i’d think he’d gone wandering but sadly I fear the worst. But cats.. you never know, he might come strolling in one day..

We’re very happy to still have Chocolat and she’s never far away. She loves ‘spooning’ with us at night and chatting away to us. She follows Lizzie all round the house and scratches at the bathroom door until she comes out!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip down memory lane with our two babies. I’m grateful for the time we did have with Marmalade and the joy Chocolat brings to our lives every day. Having grown up with dogs and been adopted by all the cats Lizzie’s family have had, they’re very much part of the family to me.

Do you have any four-legged friends? What are their most endearing behaviours?



3 thoughts on “To absent felines

  1. Liz Ward says:

    Thank you for writing about them like this – I miss him every day, too. Coco’s ginger patch reminds me that he’s never far away, and she has so much love to give which I’m so grateful for ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wendy says:

    That was lovely to read We have 2 cats and I understand what you are going through they become part of the family so quickly, hope he comes home safe. Love to you both Sean, Wendy and Niamh 🐱🐱

    Liked by 1 person

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