moomin12This is Moomin. She’s six years old.

I first saw her when she was just six weeks, cage fighting with a kitten twice her size. Her three siblings – all jet black – sat quietly in a corner, as their ginger-striped sister rolled around on the floor.

The volunteer from Cats Protection sat her on the desk in front of me, where she promptly hissed and attempted to pilfer adult cat food. She was about the size of my outstretched hand, her bright orange fuzzy fur standing on end.

Her name was Cracker, perhaps because she resembled and behaved like a firework, but I re-christened her with a more fitting moniker: Moomin, an inquisitive and mischievous little creature, who runs amok in a Finnish forest. It seemed the most appropriate name at the time. I also thought it sounded cute, and she is often referred to as Moomoo, or simply Moo (yes, my pet has a pet name).

Moomin’s first foray into our home wasn’t her favourite day – she hid under tables and jumped off the couch whenever we sat down. She was a cautious kitty, but slowly we won her trust. She now hates being left alone and is not keen on outdoor life. Moomin loves to snuggle under our duvets, sapping our body heat and waking us with a gentle tap of her paw to our faces, or a swift lick of our eyelids with her scratchy tongue.

moomin2Six years later, Moomin is still a little firework – noisy and unpredictable, but she is also very affectionate and enjoys being petted. She loves having her fur brushed and licking ice cream lids. Her favourite toys are hair bands and nail files, which she likes to push off tables to play with on the floor.

Christmas is probably her favourite time of year. She clambers to the top of the tree, and bites the tips of the lights, making her entire head glow like a pumpkin. Then she parades around the living room with ribbons trailing from her snaggleteeth, before cramming herself under the radiator and wishing all a good night.