Coco, pictured above, is the latest in a long line of cats in the Bor household. She lives with Minnou, Harry and Josie.
Josie is the last surviving cat from our previous home. She moved with us, fifteen years ago, with her late brother Ginger and Mitzi. They joined Molly, an inherited pregnant cat, who lived in one of our barns. Molly lived into her twenties, and her off-spring still live with our next door neighbours from our previous address.
Mitzi had hated the move across Devon, and used to disappear for days or weeks on end when we moved to our present house. Maybe she found somewhere else to be fed, for one day, she walked off for the last time, never to return.
Mitzi had been inherited by us at our previous home in the Blackdown Hills. We had arrived there with just one ailing cat, Bimbo.
Bimbo had been with us since my wife and I had bought our first home in Hertfordshire, soon joined by Jasper, a large ginger cat. Bimbo and Jasper survived a move to a larger Hertfordshire home and then to our first farmhouse in Devon. Jasper died at that first Devon home, but Bimbo made one more move.
My wife was working in Camden Town, in the early 1980s, when she passed a house with a sign proclaiming "Kittens for Free". She brought Bimbo back on the train to Hertfordshire and our tiny two bedroom terrace house. We would take him to my parents house in Cambridge where he would play with my, twenty-something, childhood cat, Pussy.
Originally named Tinker, Pussy was also advertised as a free kitten. In the mid sixties, my father had seen the badly scrawled notice at the university he worked at. "Tabby cats, one with white underpants". He phoned the number on the advert and was disappointed to learn that the cat only had white under-parts. Never the less, Pussy was soon living with us at my childhood home in Wales.
How many cans of cat-food have they consumed between them?