Gillian came across Sparky, an extremely shy 2 year old male cat in the shelter. She couldn’t understand why others couldn’t see beyond his scared exterior and decided to give him lots of love & attention. Over the weeks Sparky carved a place in Gillian’s heart and she just had to  adopt this gentle soul. She didn’t want to upset her 2 cats at home, Tom, a Maine Coone and Puff, a pretty female, but when she took Sparky home, instead of hiding away, he approached the others and came to make a close bond with Tom.

Gillian knew that Sparky wanted to be friends because he returned her slow blinks, but at first he moved away when she approached him. But after gently persisting, Sparky finally allowed her to stroke him.. Time passed and their relationship gradually and slowly developed. Now Gillian asks Sparky if he wants a pat waits for him to put his head down by invitation. If he wants more he softly meows or taps her arm gently.

Sadly, Sparky’s best friend Tom passed away, but instead of grieving, Sparky became more confident. He wanted to join Gillian on the sofa so badly that he started leaning towards it, then he balanced his leg on the edge of his bed and finally after many aborted attempts to jump up,  he succeeded. Of course his bravery was rewarded with lots of strokes.

Sparky will be 9 in November. He still has a tendency to hide if he’s unsure and it has taken him 7 years to sit next to Gillian on the sofa, but from their first meeting she understood this brave, gentle cat and gave him the time & space he needed, with the odd gentle nudge along the way.

The last word goes to Gillian who says “Cats have their own personalities and we must let them be who they are and love them for it. There’s not a mean bone in Sparky’s body and he’s such a sweet natured boy. He lives a quiet life and is very, very happy. It’s simple – He loves me and I love him”.