Posted by: christinelaennec | August 27, 2010

Tilly can purr!

Tilly purring

This is Tilly.  We got her over four years ago from the cat and dog home.  She’d been found wandering during a very snowy and cold few weeks, and no-one had come for her.  She was very thin, perhaps about a year old, and was fascinated by the Dafter (who was then eight).  Rather than clamouring, like all the other cats, for attention, she sat and watched us.  When we asked if she was litterbox trained, she demonstrated for us in a demure way that she was.  When the woman said she didn’t much like her dried food, Tilly got up and ate some of it.  Then she went back to sit down and watch us.  When the Dafter went off to look at the other cats, Tilly went to the bars to watch for her there.  So home she came with us.

Tilly’s an indoor cat.  This isn’t entirely because we decided so – although we have mostly had indoor cats (one was manifestly an outdoor cat so out he went).  Tilly is very frightened of outside.  We’re not sure what happened to her when she was loose on the streets of Aberdeen that snowy week, but we wonder if she wasn’t attacked by hungry seagulls.  She will watch the birds, but from behind something – for example, the side of the armchair.  If they come too close to the window, she runs.

When she first came to us, Tilly was friendly but not very affectionate.  She was amazingly well-behaved – never jumped on the table or counters, for instance.  She stayed close to us, and liked a scritch, but didn’t much want to be picked up, and preferred to participate from a distance.  She didn’t purr.

After a year, Tilly decided that she might try and be very brave and come onto my lap.  She now loves to be on my lap – but only if I’m sitting in my knitting spot!  (She is an excellent knitting companion and never ever bothers the wool.)  And after she’d been with us more than two years, she began to make funny snuffly noises.  It sounded like she had sinus problems, but I became convinced that she was trying to purr.  I purred to her, as best I could, and encouraged her.  The vet said, “some cats just don’t purr,” but I was convinced that Tilly wanted to purr, and would be happier for it.

So here is a picture of Tilly purring – and you can see a slight curly toe as she happily grips the mat the Dafter knit for her to sit on.  Tilly is now pretty good at purring.  It’s not usually a loud purr, but I can see by her eyes that purring does make her feel even happier.



  1. Awww Tilly is so cute!

  2. I’m very happy for her that she can purr, it was so nice of you to encourage her like that. I love the way her little paw’s wrapped round the knitted mat.

    • Yes, she’s become really good at purring now (much better than me!). When I took that photo she was “kneading” the mat that the Dafter knitted for her – a sign of contentment.

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