The twins's story

Augustus Skimbleshanks

Augustus and Skimbleshanks
born 31st March 1989

Those are their full names - we had not long seen 'Cats', so were very much into 'Old Possums Book of Practical Cats'! We looked through it for nice names, and selected two of the "Cats" cast as possible characters for our new kittens. They were brothers in need of a home and we gave them their first names. Myrtle was not all that keen on Augustus, so Gus.

The brothers from the same litter were rescued by the local charity, Animal Aid & Advice. That charity does not have any rescue centre as such, but instead relies on volunteers who foster homeless animals until new homes can be found for them. In 1989 the Internet was in its infancy - that was the year that the World Wide Web was invented. There were only local newspapers, pet shops, and vet clinics where adverts could be placed, or arrangements made at local events to advertise and show the homeless animals.

They were born on the 31st March 1989, and were then fostered by a helper. Of course, he was out all day at work, so the twins did not get much human contact. We first saw them in July at a hobby cat show in a marquee. We were providing the whole of the light and sound fit-up in Victoria Park for the annual Finchley Carnival and had to check the systems in that marquee where they were in a cage with no hiding place and looked very forlorn; so much so that nobody showed any interest in giving them a home. We, naturally, had to say that if by the end of the Carnival they were still unhomed, we would have them. At the end, we were informed that they were ours! We could not take them then as we had the get-out to attend to. A few days later, after the usual check on our house, we arranged to collect them from their foster home, and transported two very timid cats back home with us where they hid in the basket, with Gus, the biggest at the start, desperately trying to stay behind his brother! In the end, they made friends with Bella, the recent newcomer, and started to join in with all the games. By the time we moved, they were two lovely big cats who had started to sleep with us and Sash at night.

Also in 1989 Bella had found they were good fun to play with, once they stopped hiding behind each other in their cat basket! That lasted for a year or so, but as she matured, she lost the habit of playing with them. When they were five years old (in 1994), we moved from Finchley to Skt. Klemens. With all the others, we loaded them into their own shared cat basket, and took them on the ferry, which is another story, and how! Bella had to have her own basket, as by then she didn't much like to be with any other cat, so it was necessary to give her her own one.

Their individual stories are linked from the pictures following on the main Cats webpage.

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