Sooty is what I like to call a 'magic cat'. We first met around 2017, when she used to follow me home as I walked back from high school. It transpired that she belonged to one of my neighbours further down the street, who point-blank refused to look after her. She used to follow my sister back from the bus stop at the end of our street, so we called her Bus Stop Cat at the time.

I didn't actually know anything about cats, but I used to sit in my driveway and feed her my sandwich crusts. Slowly she started to trust me - every day I fed her it seemed she'd creep a little closer.

One night, she turned up at our door and I said "This cat is a Sooty cat." And she is! She is a sootycat!

Sooty is a chartreux cat - a breed known for their thick fur, mousing ability, and quietness. I cannot overstate how round she is. Her face is pretty flat, so I have to stack her food up on the plate for her when she eats. She loves to watch TV (Antiques Roadshow and any action movie are her favourite) but isn't much of a music fan (Kate Bush makes her leave the room and when I played my MCR compilation she jumped on the TV stand. Sorry, Gerard). Her favourite snack is this meaty stick - if you have cats you'll know what I mean - which we call her Crack Sticks, and when you feed it to her she stands on her hind paws and holds your hand to get it into her mouth. She also likes what my mother calls 'Gay Treats', owing to the fact that during Pride the company donated profits to charities, and whenever you say the word 'gay' now she perks up.