The first time I met Teddy she was only a few weeks old. A little ball of fluff with blue eyes and a moustache who lived in a wagon with her mum and three siblings. Not just any wagon though, a wagon next to a rush hour door watched by thousands of people each morning. Where, every morning of her little life she had heard my dad say 'greetings and good morning, and in some cases good night, it's rush hour'.
The little ball of fluff hadn't been born just anywhere, she'd come into the world on the most magical farm that I've ever come across. A farm where the animals talk, the humans and ducks dance and Mr Blue Sky always gives everyone a reason to smile. A place where new arrivals aren't just welcomed by a handful of people, but thousands of people all across the world and a whole host of different animals.
All of the animals at this farm are special, but for me there was a little something extra about Teddy. I don't know whether it was her gorgeous little moustache, or whether it was because she always felt like the odd one out of the litter, the one who'd be at the back of the group or off doing something different. Whatever it was, it made me want to find this one the best home possible.
To start with I was pretty sure that Teddy's home wouldn't be with me. I was (and still am) pretty sad about losing my cat Muffin and wasn't sure I was ready to open up my heart again to a cat. I don't work, so I really didn't think it was fair to put the cost of a cat onto my other half, along with everything else. Plus, I knew she'd need a lot of my time for everything from feeding to settling in and litter training and I already have a toddler to deal with. With that in mind, I watched her grow and change without getting too emotionally attached.
Then Teddy got adventurous and nearly every morning when I'd join the rush hour live on YouTube, she'd be there. Sitting at the front of the wagon with a puzzled look on her face telling me she wanted to come home with me. Yes, I know it was my dad's voice really, but it didn't half pull on the heart strings, so after a lot of conversations and realising that, for the first time, we were living our lives without plans or places to go thanks to COVID-19 we decided to bring Teddy home.
I didn't really have much time to think about the decision we'd made, Teddy was starting to venture out of the wagon she'd called home and play amongst the ducks, chickens, geese, emus and whatever else felt like coming out of the rush hour door. Every day venturing further away from the human team, getting more difficult to keep track of and care for.
The sooner she came home with us the better, so one Caturday morning I headed to the farm on a rare solo visit where I watched Teddy's last moments in the only home she'd known. The last time playing with all of her siblings, being cleaned by her mum and running out of the mini rush hour door.
I know she isn't the first cat to leave her little family and she won't be the last, but I couldn't help but feel guilty. Guilty that I couldn't bring one of her siblings home with her because we just couldn't take on the cost of two. Guilty that I was taking the most innocent looking fur ball home to live with an emotional two year old. Guilty that I was so afraid that it wouldn't workout that I just pulled together whatever I could find for her. Though I knew I had to put that aside because she was worth the chance.