I didn't immediately leap at the chance - having been so used to resisting the children's petitions for a pet (dog, hamster, snake(!), rabbit, rat, tropical fish; one sleepy morning I almost adopted a Bearded Dragon until I realised what I was agreeing to), it didn't actually occur to me that the homeless cat might come to live with us.
And then it did occur to me. Maybe (like many, many others) the Covid 19 lockdown made me feel in need of furry comfort, or distraction, or perhaps I was just ready for something new, but within days the little black cat came home with us.
She is a rescue cat, abandoned when tiny, so she's a little bit wary and reserved after such a tough kittenhood, but after six months she is warming up to us, and is increasingly affectionate.
*Noodle. Yes, I know. Believe me when I say it could have been worse; you should have heard some of the suggestions. It is less than fortunate that 'Noodle' often gets shortened to 'Nood' or 'Noo', or (shudder) 'Nudders', but mostly she is 'Cat' or 'Little One'.
She is a little furry life-changer.
After initially thinking that she'd be good for the children (now 14 and 15), it has become increasingly clear to me that the main beneficiaries of Noodle's arrival are Bryan and I. We love her to bits. She has us absolutely wrapped around her paw and we love it. She walks all over us (literally) and we don't mind.
She is soft and warm and endlessly fascinating and has been so, so good for us at a time when so much in life has been turned upside down. A creative and unexpected answer to prayer.
Yes, I think that Noodle is a God-send. My friend and her Mum are happy that she's loved and looked after, and we are besotted.
She seems to know when someone is upset, and while she is definitely not a lap-cat, she will butt against you, purr in your ear and make it so clear that she wants petting that it's a therapeutic distraction. She likes company (on her terms, of course) and will follow me room to room just to settle down and nap nearby. She likes it when you scratch her head, her ears or under her chin but just because she lies on her back with her legs in the air and her tummy exposed does by no means mean that she is inviting you to stroke it. She prefers fishy food to meaty food and is more or less impossible to resist when she begs for treats.
A simple little thing, but transformational for our us. For me. A new focus, a sweet and beguiling new personage to get to know and look after. Interesting and absorbing, I find myself reading books about cat psychology and interpreting feline body language, much to my daughters' amusement. We are beginning to understand each other a bit, Noodle and I. It is an amazing thing when a creature gradually learns to trust you, to allow herself to relax and be vulnerable.
I think I am learning a lot from her.