For my first ever Travel Linkup with other bloggers (Hello! This is fun, isn’t it?) we were given this short brief:

“We want to know what you adore. It could be a love letter to your favourite city, a special someone, a flavour you can’t live without or well, anything.”

I sat thinking for a few seconds about what I could possibly write. And then it dawned on me: this is basically a free pass for me to write about cats isn’t it? Because what is there (apart from English Breakfast tea, the odd person and a good night’s sleep) that I love more than anything in the world?

Nothing. There is nothing. (Except maybe no 5 on this list…)

So, for this special Valentine’s month post about things I love, I’m going to write about cats I’ve met on my travels.

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Over the last few years, I’ve been privileged to make the acquaintance of dozens of cats all over the globe. Some were obviously well-loved, some were in desperate need of a good home. Some were after cuddles, others just wanted to be left alone to sunbathe in peace. But they all had two things in common:

1) They were all absolutely beautiful.

2) I loved them and wanted to take them all home with me.

Because underneath any flea-ridden coats and behind any trepidation about being approached by humans, there was a loveable little fur baby that started out life full of innocence and hope. Just praying for a human to take them under their wing and give them a long, happy life. Ohhh, why can’t I just have every single cat in the world.

These are the cats I’m sending extra special Valentine’s love out to this February…

1. Bubba Rattigan, Cyprus

20150508_175817Oh, little orange kitty. The moment we set eyes on you in Paphos, witnessed your poor little nose and your dodgy limp, and named you Bubba Rattigan, you secured a place in our hearts forever. After dozens of cuddles, photos and suggestions of how we could sneak you home with us, we said our goodbyes and promised to bring you some food the next day. But every time we came back after that you were nowhere to be seen! *Cries for eternity*

Now, apparently the cats in Paphos are well looked after, so we’re hoping that you are perfectly fine and are being loved by a kindly older gentleman who likes to feed you pieces of chicken, you gorgeous, beautiful fluffball.

2. This Little Kitty in Amsterdam


The Cat Boat (Poezenboot) in Amsterdam deserves all the respect for its efforts to take abandoned cats off the streets, look after them and find them a nice new home. Because of the small size of the boat, and the unpredictability of some of the cats’ tempers, a few are kept in spacious cages for a short while. This particular little cat caught my eye straight away (maybe because he’s ginger…I have a thing for ginger cats if you hadn’t realised by now…). I’m praying this little poppet has found a wonderful new home!

3. Fang, Rome

165584_10150381516875245_480418_nAhh, Fang. The face that launched a thousand ships. Or, in this case, the face that brought into being the classic tune that is “Toothy Romance.” Because just look at him. That’s a cat who needs its own theme tune.

Fang was one of my very first cat loves, the subject of my affection when I visited Rome with my best mate way back in 2011. He lived next door to our hotel, and was apparently well looked after by an old lady who lived there – but that didn’t stop him running to us every morning for a bit of a fuss. I still hope to go back to Rome one day to see if I can find this little man again!

4. CJ, San Francisco

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Oh my gosh, CJ was absolutely adorable. A little scruffy in places, he reminded me of a well-loved teddy bear that had been hugged for years and years and years. I met CJ on the drive towards Yosemite at a little farm shop. We were assured he belonged to the farm shop owners – and, by the way he ran up to us for snuggles, it was a sure sign that he had been used to hundreds of cuddles from travellers!

5. OK, I’ve got to include this fella.

So, yes, I love my cats. But I can’t write a Valentine’s post without mentioning my other furry lover. (OK, that sounds hideously wrong.)

ian and emilyFrom dancing our way through open-air concerts in Barcelona, experiencing some of the most amazing days of my life in New York, scoffing our way through the wonders of Scottish food, and putting up with my temper tantrums when I couldn’t ski properly in Austria, this bearded creature has been in my life now for seven whole years!

He puts up with me spending ages working on this blog, pestering him for days about holidays neither of us will probably ever be able to afford, and moaning at him for moving anything before I’m able to take a picture of it for Instagram. Yeah, I’m sure he loves it really. Going away with him is my most favourite thing in the world. And I can’t wait to visit several new destinations with him this year – beginning with Copenhagen in just a few weeks!

OK, I’m going to stop now. He’s probably reading this, rolling his eyes and whispering “LAAAAME” under his breath. (Love you really, Fowlesy.)

What are you loving in this month of love?