A Little Girl’s Best Friend

Happy Tails – A little girl’s best friend

When it came to choosing a kitten, 12-year-old Rachel Pinhey knew which pick of the litter she wanted as soon as she spotted Sunny.

“When I first saw her, she walked towards me and sat down near me,” she recalls. “She also has a really cute tail, with just the very tip white, and she looked really active.”

The two quickly became inseparable.

Sunny was part of a litter that had been fostered by a Saint John SPCA Animal Rescue volunteer about two years ago. Rachel’s father, Craig Pinhey, says she had been asking for a cat for some time after their two older cats had passed away. When they heard about the litter being fostered by an SPCA volunteer, they went to look at the kittens.

 “Rachel loves cats so eventually we relented,” he says. “My wife and Rachel went to see the kittens and then went back to visit a few times. Rachel would go over and play with the cat even before we had her in our house.”

As soon as the kittens were old enough to leave their mother, the Pinheys adopted Sunny and the energetic, multi-coloured kitty came home to live with them.

Pinhey says like all cats, Sunny loved lying in the sun so the family quickly settled on the name Sunny for the happy-go-lucky little ball of fur.”We also have a tradition in our family that cat names have to end in ‘y’ for some reason,” he says, with a laugh. “It’s kind of funny. I suggested to Rachel that her name should end in ‘y’ and someone mentioned the name Sunny when she was lying in the sun and Rachel liked it.”

Pinhey describes Sunny as the friendliest cat the family has ever had. “She’s super friendly to strangers – our other cats weren’t,” he says. While she’s independent like many cats, Sunny loves to sleep close to a member of the family. “She’ll sleep on my wife’s lap when she’s trying to work,” says Pinhey.

Sometimes Sunny likes to find a place to sleep in a secluded spot in the house. “If you leave a closet door open, you’ll find her in there,” he says.

“One day I found her underneath our bed. She had crawled under the bed and up onto the wooden slats that are underneath the mattress. It must have been so uncomfortable. She was sleeping on those little wooden crossbars and you could see her little leg hanging down. It reminded me of the Wild Kingdom TV show with the wild leopard sleeping in the tree and you wonder how it can sleep there and not fall out.”

Pinhey says Sunny has been a wonderful addition to the family.

“Cats are supposed to relax you and make you happy to have them near you,” he says, who admits to seeking out Sunny to be close to her. While she spends time outdoors, Sunny doesn’t often leave the family property.

Most of all, the little kitty loves spending time with Rachel. “Every time she’s hungry, she sits by the stairs and makes little squeaky noises,” she says. “If you walk by the stairs but don’t go down, she’ll rub against your legs, but if you go down our spiral staircase, she does figure eights around your feet and rubs against your legs lovingly. If you get down to the room where the cat food is, the bowl is usually full and you just stand there while she goes over to her food and eats. She does this every time she’s hungry.”

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