1. Missy will turn six in May and she's a domestic shorthair cat. We adopted her from our local RSPCA rescue centre, where she'd languished for months, in June of last year.
2. I don't actually like her name but we didn't have the heart to change it as, rather than a stray who the RSPCA named, she came into the rescue centre with it.
3. Before we adopted her we asked to have a one-to-one session with her in their 'meeting' room. This ended up not happening as, such is Missy's hatred of being handled, no-one could wrangle her out of her pod. Rather than put us off, this just made us want to adopt her more. Adult black cats are the hardest for rescue centres to rehome, and an adult black cat who was a bit feisty and grumpy struck us as especially hard to rehome, so we were determined to give her one.
4. She's still not a great fan of human-cat contact unless it's on her own terms. Things she likes include head rubs and chin scritches, giving us head boops to say hello, and little wet nose kisses when she's feeling really affectionate. She won't tolerate being picked up, being stroked for too long, or any hand-belly contact whatsoever.
5. Her favourite toys are, in order, an extremely ratty pink stuffed mouse, a second extremely ratty pink stuffed mouse (which we bought when the first one went missing for a while - later found hidden under the sofa), and an old leather shoelace.
6. One of her favourite places to sit is on top of our fridge freezer. Unfortunately, she often forgets how to get down and miaows pitifully from up there.
7. When she first arrived she was pretty much silent, but as the months have gone on she's become more and more vocal. Her range now includes an "I'm so happy to see you!" miaow, a "give me food NOW" miaow, a "where are you?" yowl, and a "why can't you make it stop raining?" grumble (which is very similar to her "leave me alone, I'm sleeping" murmur).
8. We suspect that Missy isn't the brightest of cats, as she can't seem to learn that head-butting a door she wants to go through will close rather than magically open said door. That being said, she was really quick to take to her cat-flap, so maybe she's not entirely hopeless.
9. Despite being a skittish and nervous little thing, she's not aggressive at all. She'll give a warning nip if your hand strays too close to her belly, but she's only ever scratched me when getting over-enthusiastic about Dreamies. Her more common form of warning is a hiss (or, weirdly, an open-mouthed silent hiss).
10. Her favourite game at the moment is to race up and down the length of the upstairs hallway, popping her head around the bedroom door every so often to check that we're watching.
11. She seems to have adopted me as her Person (it's common for rescue cats to be more wary of men, and with Thomas standing at 6'3" and hairy, he must seem very male to Missy) and will often follow me around the house, standing and staring at me until I give her a head scratch. Thomas calls her my shadow.
12. She's not a great lap sitter: the conditions need to be optimum (ideally her favourite yellow cushion will be ready on the lap for her to perch upon) and she rarely settles. It took her until October to sit on my lap and since then she maybe comes for a snuggle once a week, at most. Still, it makes those moments all the more special.
13. She is a great one for trolling us. Twice now we've made a vet appointment only to cancel when it becomes clear that no, she doesn't have a disastrous eye infection but instead is holding one eye shut while mewing pitifully for obscure reasons of her own (said reasons being to get food, I suspect).
14. Our nickname for her is poeshoofd, which is Dutch for cat head. Blame Thomas for this spectacularly unimaginative name.
15. Finally, she is (as we tell her daily) the best little cat in the world. She has immeasurably improved our lives and we are both completely obsessed with her. Remembering what a sad and angry little cat she was in the RSPCA makes it all the more lovely to see how happy and settled she is now.