Happy Tail: Walter (formerly Bud)

When a new job required Beth to work out of the office more, she and her husband Dan started looking for a companion for their 10-week-old kitten, Lemon. After a friend shared their experience rescuing pets, a quick internet search led the couple to the Annex Cat Rescue and they arranged to meet a litter of kittens being fostered.

Twelve-week old Bud, a small black cat with a white patch on his chest, immediately stood out to Beth and Dan. “Lemon is super-energetic and has heaps of character, so we wanted to make sure a new cat wouldn’t be too territorial with her. He seemed quiet and shy and perfect,” says Beth. Beth and Dan named the kitten Walter. “We like human names for animals and really wanted to name our second cat after a very serious human person,” Beth laughs.

Happy Tail: Walter

It was a long weekend in the heat of summer when they introduced Walter to their home. The first few days were not easy. “Lemon needed to re-establish her status as top cat,” says Beth. So the couple followed some long-standing advice on introducing cats, like feeding them on either side of a closed door and giving each cat something with the other’s scent to sleep with. In the end, the two cats sized each other up over the course of about an hour and became pals. “As soon as I stopped helicopter-parenting they became best mates. They play together, they cuddle and clean each other. It’s lovely, we love him,” she says.

Happy Tail: Walter

Walter is still really little. Though he and Lemon are about the same age and size, the female cat weighs about three times as much and has taken Walter under her wing. “She’s really protective of him, which is sweet,” says Beth. Walter is timid and takes a while to warm up to visitors, but is cuddly, quirky and sweet with his family.

Walter and Dan have struck up a great relationship. “Walter is in love with my husband,” Beth says. “They are thick as thieves. In the middle of the night you’ll hear this ridiculous little cry and my husband will have to move over and make a little nook on his side and Walter will come and snuggle up there and be happy. Even when he takes out rubbish Walter will wait by the door. It’s like he’s saying ‘Oh is that where you’re going? I am also there, I will be there too,’” she laughs.

Happy Tail: Walter

For Beth and Dan, rescuing Walter meant introducing a second cat to their home but they wouldn’t have it any other way. “Everyone says you should have two kittens and I entirely agree with that now. It’s freed us from feeling like we need to be home all the time. The cats enjoy spending time together and spending time with us. It’s the best of both worlds!” she says.

“It’s really lovely knowing that there is a little animal that didn’t have a great upbringing that you’re able to give a lot of love to. I don’t like to imagine what would have happened to Walter if the Annex Cat Rescue hadn’t found him because he’s so perfect in our family.”

-Jessica Pellerin

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