When I first announced we were formally adopting my cat Sabr (a tennis reference because that was the one common interest my family shares), one of my friends commented 'this is going to be the most photographed cat in the world'. Well...that actually didn't end up happening - partly because cats are difficult to photograph properly but also because having a pet is an experience made of dozens of little multi-sensory moments of wonder that you can try to capture, but really can't. 

It's true when people say 'cats sometimes just happen to you' but Sabr was definitely one of the best decisions we made this year. So to celebrate her first birthday, I thought I'd share some shots from the few 'photoshoots' I did with her throughout the year at 3mths, 5mths, 8mths and 12mths old (read: me chasing her around the house with a camera in one hand and desperately waving around a treat in the other).

What's been most interesting is seeing her personality and little quirks emerge while she grew from a tiny slip of a thing with too-big ears and gigantic paws to what she is now. So, a year with Sabr and these are some things I know: she's always alert, quick to react and more aloof than cuddly, which makes the times she does deign to sit in your lap extra special. She makes little startled chirrups whenever you pet her or when she's running away from someone trying to pet her. She's got some Siamese blood in her and you can tell when she starts talking to herself at 6AM in the morning (but never when humans are around). Somehow she got really really fat for a bit at 8mths old, but is now very slim again. She's a bit of a coward, prefers meat to seafood and really enjoys leaky taps and pawing around at water as long as she's not actually being washed. We joke she is never going to be an Instagram cat celeb, being the most default of default cats (domestic shorthair tabby with brown eyes) but I've trained her to sit on command, when food is involved so who's the real winner here. 

And yeah, she is a girl, actually

And that's not even half of it. Which I think is the point.