One day, a small Calico (Tortoishell) cat turned up on our doorstep in Saudi Arabia as a wild, feisty, underfed feral cat. We tried to persuade her to go away but she just knew that her new home would be with us and she kept coming back. She wouldn’t let us catch her for a long time, though, and when we managed to grab her and get her to the vet, we found that she was already pregnant.
The vet said that feral cats never settle down or become domesticated and that we should put her down – how wrong could they be as Isis quickly became such a lovely, placid cat! We decided that she should have her litter and we would keep one or two of the kittens, and give the rest to good homes. Isis set up a few nests all around our house and settled down really well. She had 4 kittens and was a super mother, nursing them all and moving them between her nests from time to time. Each kitten was very different and we suspect that there were 4 different fathers as Calicos/Torties are well known to be promiscuous. To cut a long story short, at the end of the day (predictably, I suppose), we couldn’t bear to part with any of the kittens so the whole family is still with us, having moved from Saudi Arabia to England and then to Denmark – Jet Set cats indeed!
Why Isis? Well, we had to think of a name quickly and our new cat had such gorgeous green eyes that the ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis instantly came to mind: we thought that green eyes were typical of Egyptian deities, though actually, Goddess Isis is not noted for green eyes. Historically, Isis is one of the earliest and most important goddesses in ancient Egypt. She was regarded as the feminine counterpart to Osiris, his sister, and later, his wife. She was revered by the ancient Egyptian people as the great mother goddess and she represents the maternal spirit in its most intimate form – exactly correct for our Isis. Isis is often seen suckling her young son Horus and is also depicted on the foot of coffins with her long wings spread to protect the deceased. Isis was a great enchantress, the goddess of magic. Isis taught mankind the secrets of medicine and was the embalmer and guardian of Osiris. End of history lesson!
Now, our Isis is still boss of the gang and is still very much at home. She only has to look at one of the other cats snoozing in front of the fire and they immediately give up their cozy place to mum. Isis has a big bond with Horus and they’re often seen cuddled together. She certainly changed our lives as we were adamant that we would never have a pet before we left Saudi Arabia as it would be too much of a tie!