Forty-three-year-old Amanda Thompson currently lives in Sydney as a human resources assistant. During her free time, she creates vibrant works of art featuring Australian wildlife. The cat mum shares how Lucy came into her life 18 months ago, and how the bitey tabby changed their lives completely.
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Waldo’s Friends (WF): Hi Amanda! Were you always keen on adopting cats?
Amanda Thompson (AT): I have always had adopted pets my whole life. I remember a kitten we named Hamish just turned up in our backyard when I was a kid. Then, we had Mootzi (who we adopted from a family friend who couldn’t keep her when they moved), Charlie (who we found as a kitten in the bushland in Perth), and Indiana (who we adopted from the cat shelter).
When I left home, I adopted Cactus the cat. She belonged to the man who lived behind my parents. A few years later, my husband and I adopted Rupert, who needed a new home and we had him for 10 years until we moved to the UK. He went to live with my family in New Zealand!
At present, Lucy is our adopted shorthair tabby cat. She is approximately three years old, as the RSPCA estimated her to be one year old when we adopted her. Her name was originally Codie. However, we have a nephew named Cody, and her name didn’t seem to suit her. She is affectionately known as “Goose” at home, which suits her personality!
WF: How did you come to adopt Lucy?
AT: Once we settled back in Australia, we decided to adopt a cat. We didn’t want a kitten as we had such a great love for our older cat, Rupert. We went to the RSPCA shelter in Rouse Hill and met a few lovely cats there.
Lucy really stood out to us as she wasn’t like the other cats. Rather than being attentive, she was curled up in her box and didn’t want to get to know us. When we tried to pat her, she bit our hands! We thought she might have a hard time being adopted by a family with this attitude, so we decided she was the one for us. We adopted her on the spot.
WF: Did you have previous experiences with other animals? How did this affect your decision to adopt a cat?
AT: Both my husband and I have always had cats. I tried to adopt a dog once, but it was aggressive and I had to return it to its owners. Having had many cats before, we knew we wanted another one. We felt that with us both working, leaving a dog at home all the time wouldn’t be fair, whereas cats don’t seem to mind so much.
WF: What were the initial challenges that came with adopting Lucy?
AT: We wondered if we had made the right choice for the first few months of owning Lucy. She definitely had a wild side. She liked to bite us quite a lot and scratch the furniture. We bought a couple of Feliway diffusers which helped calm her down. We also bought her lots of toys and scratching posts/blocks. She still bites occasionally, but mostly when she is playing.
WF: Aside from being a biter, what are her other quirks?
AT: Lucy isn’t much of a cuddle cat and doesn’t like sitting on our laps, but she loves to give us kisses and also likes to chew my eyebrows! She also loves stealing whole rolls of toilet paper and delivering them to us in the middle of the night.
She enjoys playing chase in which she chases you, or you have to chase her around the house. It helps me get my steps up! Hide-and-seek is also her favourite game.
WF: How has your life changed after adopting Lucy?
AT: We laugh every day at her antics, whether it’s her stealing things (like toilet rolls or my paint brushes) or her playing chase around the house. We travel less now that we have a pet, but that’s okay. It helps us save money. Haha!
WF: Your Instagram account is filled with beautiful animal portraits. Were you inspired to make these works of art because of Lucy?
AT: I love animals. I’m not sure if Lucy inspired my artwork, except for the portrait I painted of her, of course!
WF: As a longtime pet owner, what’s the best pet parenting tip you can give for first-time pawrents?
AT: Be patient. Sometimes, it takes a while for pets to settle into a new environment. Speak to your vet about behavioural problems and research products such as Feliway, as they definitely helped us a lot!
WF: Why would you personally encourage adopting animals?
AT: There are so many unwanted pets out there that I prefer to give one a home, rather than paying a breeder. I don’t know why but adopted pets seem more loving.
For people thinking of adopting a rescue animal, think about what kind of pet would suit your lifestyle and your home. Speak to the RSPCA or other adoption agencies to see which animal would suit you best. Make sure you have enough time to spend with your pet, then go for it!
See more of Amanda’s works (and occasional appearances by Lucy) on Instagram.
Read more rescue stories here! Do you know of an interesting pet adoption, foster, or rescue story? Share your suggestion with us by commenting below!