'Billie the Birthday Girl'

Today we're celebrating Billie's 6th birthday (40 in cat years!). My sweet furbaby goes by an exhausting array of imaginative pseudonyms; such as Billie Blob, Billie Bunny, Billie Blobasaurus, Billie Bear, Billie Bunter, Silly Billie, 'ickle 'bickle Billie Bear and so on. I chose the name Billie as she's not only a little princess but also a cheeky tomboy, so it seemed the perfect name for her split personality.

When I was living and working in Dublin city centre, stray cats were a common sight in and around the apartment block where I was living in, close to the Docklands. I'd always feed them scraps of leftover food and they became well loved little rascals around the apartments courtyards. One evening, I was strolling through the yard and was stopped in my tracks by a tiny piercing squeak coming from a large plant pot.

As I gazed down, I came across the sweetest little sight of a newborn kitten squirming out from the dense knotted shrubs. She was wobbling precariously close to the pots edge. Her eyes were still closed and she was shivering from the cold evening breeze. My heart instantly melted and I felt an immediate bond with her. After making contact with volunteers from the stray cat society, and sending Billie to be treated and vaccinated, she became my very first furbaby.

Every evening after work, I'd retire to my desk in a little corner of the living room with her by my side and we would spend hours researching resin, suppliers and articles on how to start your own business. Billie and I would indulge in lengthy one-sided conversations, with her squeaking back in agreement.

My circumstances then took an unexpected turn and I had to return home to my family, with Billie in tow. During this time she became very attached to my dad and started following him everywhere, earning another nickname- 'little shadow'.

She now has a great life in the Dublin suburbs, has a loving family around her, and a little kitty friend called 'Socks' who lives outside in the garden. Billie's now healthy, big and strong and a firm favourite with my followers on Instagram. N

ot a bad life for someone born in a flower pot in the inner city. I hope this little furball will stick around for a very long time, as I couldn't imagine my days without her; my buddy Billie.

She also has some strange quirks, which only further define her eccentric personality. Here are a just a few of her idiosyncrasies:

  • She only drinks her water from a tall glass on a coaster on the coffee table; very dignified.
  • She has a stick with strings attached that she's had since she was a kitten; we call it her 'stick baby' which she squeaks to at night and brings into her bed (she also throws it into the wall too, which is why it was probably a good idea she didn't have kittens of her own).
  • She has an unhealthy obsession with my dad.
  • She likes to play a game called 'hide and punch', she's the one who does the hiding and the punching.
  • Billie loves punching.... really loves it.
  • Her tail is called Bobby and appears to be a totally separate entity, who also likes to smack you in the face.
  • She has an unhealthy obsession with Tuna
  • She likes to give nose kisses, especially after eating Tuna.
  • She has to have her morning drink out of the tap, while sitting in the kitchen sink.
  • Apparently she owns the family house and we are merely her tenants and obedient servants.

Billie loves to 'hide' in small spaces, even my flower-pressing drawer!

Once there's a fresh batch of flowers in the studio, Billie has to investigate the finds first.

You never know when or where a Billie will appear!

Billie shares my love of all things floral - she's my favourite (and fluffiest) studio assistant.

- Gillian x