‘I’ve researched everything a responsible cat owner needs to know,’ I tell my sister. ‘The closest pet surgery in Moorabbin is just a few streets away.

‘Ooh, they’re meant to be good.’ my sister replies, tense again.

Personally, I think she’s afraid to love a pet again. (Never, ever ask her about what happened to our childhood country cat, Mr Jellycakes.)

I was so surprised when she called last week begging me to come with her on Friday to the local pound. Just for a look, she whispered.

We pulled up in the car, tense as anything. Even the calmest person hates walking into a pound. It’s a feeling that can only be eased by walking out with a new friend.

Which is exactly what we did. You see, her daughter, my niece is turning seven on Saturday and all she can talk about is cats. I mean, not that age has anything to do with how much people talk about cats, but I can tell you now, the kid is a professional cat lover – she can’t stop.  She’s been collecting cat related paraphernalia since she was four. You should see her room! It’s basically a cat museum. She has stuffed cats, cat wallpaper, cat quilt, cat curtains. If it doesn’t have a tail and attitude, you won’t see it in her room. But the saddest thing of all, until now,  is the cat-bed with no cat in it. The kid knows how to work on her folks.

‘Hopefully we’ll only ever need to visit the Bayside vet  for checkups’ my sister said, getting teary again.

‘Sun’, as they called him, was a tiny orange kitten with bright blue eyes and a whole bunch of tabby siblings that broke our hearts. We asked to hold him. It was over from that minute on, I could see in my sisters face that she had found the greatest friend for my niece she could hope for.

Sun stays with me tonight until he meets his new bestie tomorrow.I can’t wait to see how the friendship of a lifetime unfolds!