From Cape Town to Crowthorne for Cosette


Written by Carla McLachlan   

Little Cosette the calico cat turned up on my mom’s doorstep in Cape Town around three years ago and just never left. Little did we know that she’d end up becoming a well-travelled cat.

All change

We were originally relocated from Cape Town to Denmark 15 years ago, and our three dogs moved with us. My husband’s company then moved us from Denmark to England two years later and, of course, all three pups came with us. I might add they were 12, 13 and 14 years of age at the time and very well-travelled by then. Thirteen years later, we’re still living happily in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

However, three years ago, I received a phone call that no one wants to receive: my stepdad had taken seriously ill and I needed to get there quickly. I was on the next flight out.

Two weeks after arriving at my mom’s house, I returned home from a hospital visit with my stepdad and, as we sat chatting, this pretty calico kitty walked confidently onto my mom’s stoep. She jumped straight onto our laps, purring like a tractor, going from one person to the next, announcing she’d arrived.

Come inside

She then decided she really wanted to get into my mom’s house. After realising Cosette – as we named her – wasn’t going to leave any time soon, my mom relented. She waltzed into the house, made herself quite at home, and moved in permanently.

Our new family member was completely free to come and go during the day, but she never strayed far from home. I’ve often wondered where she came from and why she never went back; she’d clearly been well looked after. To this day, it’s still a mystery.

Regardless of where she came from, she wasn’t going anywhere now, and my mom, despite her failing health, loved and cared for Cosette for the next three years.

A very snuggly kitty

I always looked forward to my visits to my mom’s house, not only to have some quality family time, but also that I could get to see Cosette and snuggle with her – she’s a very snuggly kitty. My husband also fell in love with her, as did everyone else who met her. She’s a complete sweetheart.

As my mom had been starting to slow down she was very worried about the future and how she’d be able to take care of Cosette, who we think is only around four years of age. Of course, there wasn’t even a question: Cosette would have to come and stay with my husband and me, despite the fact that we live on the other end of the earth.

So, we started the procedures to bring Cosette to the UK.

On a jet plane

We used a pet travel agency and everything went very smoothly; the day of the flight arrived and she was collected and taken to the airport. The next day, I fetched her at Heathrow Airport, feeling extremely guilty having put her through this ordeal. I needn’t have worried as she was completely fine and was purring away as soon as we got her out of her travel crate.

She’s settled in quickly, is relaxed and happy, eating well and wondering about the squirrels that are running around our garden. She’s chasing them all and is very pleased with herself. Cosette doesn’t like the cold weather, so we’re not sure how she’s going to react to the winter here, especially if it snows. Being such a relaxed girl, she’ll take it in her stride.

We Skype with my mom regularly, and she can see Cosette and speak to her, so she’s happy too. We’re so glad we could make this happen!