Caring for Cats in Northland and Auckland, New Zealand
Hello, my name is Dirkje van Ordafa. Paul and Ellis later thought of calling me Frédérique Juliette Joséphine, but they only call me that on Sundays and when they try to impress people.
I first met Ellis when I was only 5 weeks old. It was in Alkmaar, in The Netherlands, in a vet clinic where they saw many cats. They also had a boarding cattery. Ellis was only at vet student then, and she used her holiday to learn more about cat practice, she loves cats, you see. The vet and the nurse held me with my (ahem) bottom under the tap, as I was dirty. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I had bad diarrhoea, as I couldn’t drink my mother’s milk. I was very thin and very sick. Ellis always loved Siamese cats and the deal was that Paul would get her a real Siamese when she would graduate as a real vet. She had to study for six whole years, day in and out, evenings, weekends, always, but she was still only in her fifth year, I believe. But when she saw me, she told me later on, she thought: ‘This will be my Siamese’. I don’t remember what I thought; I guess I was too sick and too wet to care. The vet called me ‘Kleine urkeplurk’, which is not even Dutch; I guess she wanted to say I was a brave little one. Ellis spent the week helping to feed me and clean me, and by the end of the week the vet said: ‘If you love her that much, I’m sure the breeder would be happy if you took her home.’
And that’s what happened. Ellis put me in a little box with a hot water bottle and some nice soft rags and off we went, on the train to De Bilt, where she lived with her husband Paul and their cat Vincent, the ginger/white moggie. On the train Ellis put me under her jersey, where I was very comfortable. When she rang Paul at the station to ask him to pick us up, she said: ‘Dirkje and I will wait for you’. Paul wasn’t impressed. That same night I cuddled up under HIS jersey and I’ve been his girl ever since.
The first week I was still quite ill, I lived in the cardboard box placed on its side, sitting on a hot water bottle. As sick as I was, I always made it to the litter box placed right next to the box. I’m a very clean girl, you know. Still, I got a dirty (ahem) bottom and dirty fur, and Ellis and Paul put me in the sink with nice warm water, bathed me, blow-dried me and brushed my fur with a toothbrush. I was very very little, you know. They syringe-fed me and slowly I became stronger.
Vincent thought I was a funny looking rat at first, but once I started waddling around the living room, he felt he wanted to protect me and he took me in his mouth by the scruff, as my mother would have done, and put me somewhere safe, how nice is that? I loved Vincent very much ever since. He was my big brother. I loved to sleep on top of him; he was very very big, you know. And fluffy. We shared the same cat basket and other nice places to sleep
This was my first story, if you like, I can tell you more, I’ve been through a lot for a cat, you know, all exciting things, and now I live on the other side of the world and I am in charge of looking after our boarding cattery Cat Hotel Stoney Creek! I have been a very happy and healthy cat ever since that difficult start. Hope you like the pictures of me as a baby.