I thought I'd better introduce myself - and the cats - since I've already jumped in with a request for help!
My name's Ali, I'm 36 and I live with my partner in West London in the UK.
He's got a son who's nearly 7 who lives with us 2 or 3 days a week. We've also got the "fur kids" - Carrots, a black and white DLH who we got from the RSPCA 4 years ago (he'll be 7 this year) and Sooty, the neighbour's ginger cat who adopted us over 3 years ago (the whole saga is posted in Cat Chat!). I'll get the name thing out of the way - it started out as a joke, having the name-colours the wrong way round. Unfortunately it stuck and the poor babies now have to live with stupid names! (and I have to explain it constantly)
They're very very different cats. Carrots is one of those cats with a permanently "wild" look in his eye and lots of people find him scary. He's also very big (he weighs about 16 pounds) as well as being fluffy! A very very handsome boy. He was never nasty, but wasn't very friendly to start with. He'd been separated from the other cats at the rescue centre, and was the longest-stay cat, stuck on his own in a cage for over 6 months because he was "vicious". When my partner went to stroke him he hissed and bit him. Despite my protests, he decided that THIS was the cat for him. I still don't know why he wanted him, but I'm glad he did! Carrots has really blossomed. He's full of character - he knows what he wants. He likes to play rough with 'dad', and hisses and growls when he's annoyed, and bites sometimes, but never seriously - he's never broken the skin!
He didn't seek out cuddles for a long time, but over the past year he's started jumping on our laps for a fuss every now and then - I nearly fainted with shock the first time he did it! We don't know what his background is (we just know that his previous owners were evicted and couldn't take him) - but he hates trainers (he hisses at us if we wear them) and also hates being stroked anywhere other than his head (though he's getting more tolerant of that now). His big weakness is tuna fish and cardboard boxes! Despite his appearance, he's a total wuss - terrified of dogs, fireworks, and wary of new people.
So that's Carrots. Sooty is the total opposite. He's a ginger DSH. Weighs only half of what Carrots weighs, but can hold his own in their daily play fights. He's very brave, likes teasing dogs, watched the firework display, and can't get enough of meeting new people - any opportunity for a cuddle... He is sensitive and very very affectionate. My little feline soulmate. His favourite things are chicken bones and duvets.
As well as the cats we have two domestic rats, Fly and Badger (their brother Roger died in December, greatly missed by us all). They're getting on now at over two years old and are very very lazy. Extremely cute, and we love them to bits. It's fair to say that they are much harder work than the cats, but they're worth it!
I work as Community Affairs Officer for a food manufacturer doing all the charity stuff, which I enjoy. I graduated (as a mature student, obviously!) last year in biology/environment. I did a module in animal behaviour which I loved, so I'm now studying a course in canine behaviour. Mmm think that's about it!
Oh, and I write VERY long posts!