A tiny kitten pressed tight against his brother, both dishevelled and a little scared. Uprooted from the comfort of the stable where they had spent their first few months, accompanied by a Shetland pony and the farms population of mice. Maybe that’s where they both learned the art of the pounce practiced so precisely on my duvet protected toes! Slipper, my slightly tubby tabby cat is the softy of the duo, his brother Finlay being the more feisty of the pair. As a kitten Slipper would hide behind his smaller brother and gaze up at me from soft green eyes, a hint of panic and the urge to flee suddenly quelled by the desire to be loved and fussed, which rapidly grew into an obsession. I call him my stripy tiger, his fur plush and dense, pale blonde mixed with every shade of brown form the most perfect of tabby markings, his eyes defined by dark sweeping lines giving him the look of Cleopatra, far too pretty to be a male everyone says. Patiently and somewhat regally he waits for my return from a long day at the office, always ready at the door with a cry of excitement and a well rehearsed ballet as he dances on his toes in and around my feet. No sooner have I sat down then he is there, face pressed against mine, whiskers tickling and he nuzzles in as close as he can, claws stretched in pure delight and deployed to ensure I do not escape from his embrace. Slipper is 8yrs old now, yet still retains his kitten-like appeal, trusting and loveable, always accepting of attention but completely unselfish in his desire to love and be loved, a truly beautiful cat inside and out.