From stray cat to ‘student’ at TAFE

From stray cat to 'student' at TAFE

Apple Juice focused on her TAFE assignments. Photo: Kristyn Blackley

Kristyn Blackley wasn’t looking for a feline companion when a stray cat came into her life.  This young stray, now called Apple Juice, was very weak and flea-ridden when she was rescued by Kristyn.  After a lot of love and commitment, this sweet little cat has transformed from stray cat to ‘student’ at TAFE.

Kristyn and Apple Juice live a happy life together in New South Wales.  This is their story…

Pets4Life: Did you grew up with cats around?

Kristyn: As I was growing up on a property with my dad, mum and sisters we had cats from kittens to when they were adults.  I’d say to a friend/mentor if I had my own cat I’d call it Apple Juice or Orange Juice or maybe Vegemite. I told them about a cat that I knew when I was younger whose name was Vegemite.

Pets4Life: How did Apple Juice come into your life?

From stray cat to 'student' at TAFE

Apple Juice watching a blue tongue lizard through a window. Photo: Kristyn Blackley

Kristyn: I wasn’t looking for a cat at the time I found Apple Juice. I rescued her from the street that was very close to the road. I heard a very faint meowing coming from the garden and looked down she ventured out very weak and covered with fleas and looked like she was very young still. So we gave her a bit to eat which was some of my egg wrap (the egg part) then she had a little drink before taking her to the vet to see if she was microchipped.  She wasn’t (microchipped), so I took her home and gave her a flea bath which she didn’t like but knew it would help her.

Ever since about 2011 I’ve been looking after her giving her lots of love hugs and cuddles and heaps of treats.  I’m 100% responsible for her feed and vet care. I sometimes get some help from my friend/mentor when I need someone to watch her while I’m out and get home late. So, she stays at their place overnight.

Pets4Life: From stray cat to ‘student’ at TAFE is quite an achievement! How did Apple Juice become a student at TAFE?

Kristyn: I was going to TAFE at the time and I didn’t want to leave her by herself as she was still so young.  So, I just took her to TAFE with me in a cat carrier with her toy pink thong/flip-flop and her small towel. The teacher loved talking with her and she would go over to him while safely contained in her carry case.  When she was still very young she would come with me every time I went to TAFE that year. I had some wonderful TAFE teachers that understood that I needed to bring her with me, as they knew I lived further away from where I was going to TAFE.

Pets4Life: How do you two spend time together?

From stray cat to 'student' at TAFE

Cooling off in the basin during those hot summer days. Photo: Kristyn Blackley

Kristyn: I have a little basketball stress ball that we play with.  It’s the simple things we love to do together, like helping me make the bed. Apple Juice curls up on the bed, she’s a cutie who loves her snuggle cuddles before bedtime.  She knew when I was packing the house from top to bottom away into boxes ready for storage that something was up, she would help by hiding in the cupboard or draws or sits in the boxes as I was trying to pack them.  She also loves hiding in “her” wash bucket peaking over the top of the edge while crouching down in it or hiding in the washing basket poking her paws through the holes to get your toes or the piece of wool. She loves helping me while I’m on the computer by sometimes sitting in front of me while I try to type or read through my emails or when I’m not on the internet she’ll sit on the keys to get some attention.

Pets4Life: You’re planning to move house, how’s Apple Juice coping?

Kristyn: I haven’t moved house yet as still looking for somewhere suitable and saving for a bond. She has been good through all this. She knew something going on when she saw the boxes being packed and fewer things were there each time she explored after her snoozes. And that there were a lot less hiding spots for her to go snooze when she had enough. She’s had sleepovers at a friend’s place where she’s been many times before. I tried to minimise her stress that way and give lots of attention to let her know it was ok. Oh and don’t forget lots of cat treats help too! She was a bit unsettled for couple weeks but she has settled down some since.


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