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Pip was found at the tender age of four weeks on the median strip of a major arterial road in Manila, Epifanio de los Santos, or “EDSA”. He was taken to the CARA shelter, which is actually the garage of the President of CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals), where he stayed in a cage for the next three months, and was named Edsell.  When I visited him, I thought he was so tiny! And he was very thin, with all his ribs showing, but he had a fat tummy so I knew he was about to have a growth spurt. His eyes, ears and purr were all enormous, as were his paws. He came home with me a few days after I met him.

At home, I had a guest bedroom set up for the two cats I was getting – they would be Pip and Maxi. I didn’t 2014-05-14 1400105764have any furniture at that stage as it was stuck in storage in India, from where I had just returned from a 12 month posting. I just had a few cat toys and a low foam chair in the cats’ room. So for the first two days, I sat in the room with Pip while he sniffed everything, played with my toes, and generally got comfortable with his new environment. I had a little soft kitty mattress over by the window where it was warmest, and when I left the room, Pip would hurry over to his mattress and hop on, and he would be there when I returned. He was a sweet little boy, very friendly.

As Pip grew up, his body and legs grew very long and lean and he is striking with his tiger striped leggings 2014-05-07 13994284402014-10-11 1412989511and little white socks. He eats a lot, but doesn’t gain weight. He established himself as the big friendly brother for all the kitties that came into the house, grooming them, checking on them, and playing with them. He has loads of energy so likes to gallop around, and one of his favourite game, which he himself officially invented, is “bite-yer-bum-chasey”. He will nip another cat on the bottom then run off, inciting them to chase him – he loves this! When the other cat catches him, they bite him on the bum in return and then run off. Whoever isn’t involved in this game will gallop after the two main players to join in the fun. It sounds like there is a stampede in my house!

Before the cat condo and many cats arrived, Pip would have a cuddle in extravagant positions, sprawled all 2014-08-27 1409180436over me, but he hasn’t done that for well over a year, which is a bit sad. He doesn’t much like being stroked when he’s up and about, but loves attention, and purrs loudly, when he’s snoozing. He quite likes being picked up and carried, as long as I keep moving. Once I stop, or sit down – he’s gone.

When we moved to Cebu and I was getting the cats used to going outside, I thought Pip would love it! If I went outside, and especially if I had a swim in the pool, Pip would go nuts inside, hurtling himself at the windows as if trying to get outside to rescue me. So when I first took him outside, in a cuddle walk around the garden, I was happy that he purred all the way. We walked around in the sunshine, looking at 2015-02-04 1423057244the birds, smelling the bushes and the flowers, listening to the wind rustling in the trees, and Pip purred and purred! The next day when I did the same thing, poor Pip shook all the way, his little body was positively vibrating! I realised sadly that he hadn’t been purring in happiness, he had been purring to comfort himself as he was stressed. We had a few cuddle walks before Pip wandered around on a harness, and then the cat fence was built and by then he was enjoying his outside time. He’s a bit of a loner, and often will be alone on the catio, snoozing in a hammock.

The most recent adventure of Pip was a dip in the pool – which I am thankful that I missed. He likes to walk along the edge looking for insects trying to clamber up the side of the pool, and then he fishes them out with his paw. One morning I noticed he was a bit damp on the scruff of the neck and thought he had been fighting, but when I picked him up, his entire body was a little damp, and soft and fluffy from an impromptu wash. I’m not sure if he fell in near the steps so was able to get out easily, or if he was able to get out the deep end. It’s worrying, but I don’t have an easy solution.

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I bought the wheel for Pip to help him burn off his energy and he adores it. When we moved to Cebu, he had been without the wheel for almost a month, as our shipment of goods was delayed in Manila port due to the Pope’s visit. When I let them out of their room after the removalists had delivered our belongings, he saw his wheel and ran up to it in glee! He kept running for a few minutes, hopping off, getting back on, running, hopping off…..he was beside himself with excitement. Also quite funny, since we’ve moved to Cebu, he’s taken to warbling while he’s on the wheel. It’s quite a funny noise, made all the funnier with the rhythm of his little paws on the treadmill. I commented on it on Instagram once and a follower said their cat also does the “Marge Simpson”, which is a perfect description!!

Pip is a rule-following good boy, if there is pee or poop somewhere it shouldn’t be, it wasn’t Pip. If there is fighting, it’s never Pip unless he was provoked. Pip is my second-in-charge in the house, and everyone knows it.

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