I'm sorry for the few times I've sworn at you in the middle of the night as you decided my head or tummy looked like a good landing spot. They were not! But these were rare occasions of disquiet. I've rarely if ever come across a feline soul so intelligent, independent, quietly demanding (only on your terms) and affectionate when offered the possibility of duvet time (evidenced by extreme pogging, purring loud enough to warrant an asbo, and dribbling like you had no off switch on your saliva).
There are some occasions I want to capture here whilst I write.... I first met you when you lived in your first home, back in the days when you were a city boy; your humans at that time were Jackie and Ollie and you lived in the big smoke of London Town. I stayed up one night visiting them and hadn't seen much of you (as is your way), then went to sleep and suddenly you materialised as soon as I was under the duvet. Suddenly no longer this shy tabby but some sort of gleeful, pogging dribble monster.... As long as I didn't stroke you you were immersed in joy. Little did either of us know then that later you would move to the country and I would become your human. When Jackie and Ollie upped sticks in 2007 they dearly wanted to take you with them, but there was an issue dear Soros that you may have been some other animals dinner... So heartbreaking I know it was for them to say goodbye to you I offered to home you and you literally did Escape to the Country (inspired by your move the BBC later commissioned a whole series about people doing the same.... But I digress)...
Moving here wasn't easy for you... Not only had you had teeth taken out so felt crappy and were on antibiotics but you were moving AND into a house with another cat. All in all a stressful time for you wasn't it little one. It definitely took a while for you and Muffin to settle, Muffin being the big black jealous cat and you being the Towny. Over the course of the next months you both got used to your own spaces and places and began to tolerate each other and even I think like each other. Muffin having breakfast time with me and you having the pogtastical duvet time in the evening. You both shared your human well..... The time you found dear Muffin and let me know where he was I will never forget and I have never been able to thank you for enough (because you don't understand human language, but I've often mentioned it to others)... That was his last night, had you not ran to and from the bush meowing (which is a noise you rarely made) I would never have known Muffin was there and he may well have died a lonely nasty death. As it was you made sure I could find him, I know we couldn't save him but at least he was not so scared.
The time immediately post Muffin I know confused and disturbed you.... You came out of yourself a bit more which was nice to see.... And then I decided to get another kitten to keep us both company. To say it scared the living day lights out of you is an understatement! You looked at me with big fearful eyes and a WTF expression as you saw this little black mini furball for the first time. At first you ran away from it (which incidentally was a little pathetic), until you and I had a face to face chat. I even demonstrated how you were supposed to pin the kitten down and reprimand it should it be needed. After this chat you did change and realised you didn't need to be afraid but lead.... And that you did. Caribou was nothing more then a very frightened little thing and took to you like the older cat brother you were. I know at times you had found yourself a nice sunny patch and he came and lay next to you but I thank you for that tolerance. You showed him such things as the cat flap, how to sit patiently to be fed, but he has never got the hanging of opening doors towards himself the way you can/ could. You were a master of many little cat tricks, intelligent Katski that you are.
... And this is how you sit on the shed Caribou...
Pesky paparazzi! Who said you could take my moggy picture....
A year after Caribou arrived there was another disturbance to your routine, but this one was most welcome and I know has brought you both moments of quiet bliss together; yes when Alison moved in you had I think your human equivalent of sole mate in the household. Someone who is happily quiet sitting reading a book in your company who will just let you be (unlike me, I know I fuss too much). You have spent the last few years insisting on being able to sit on the toilet seat at both bath time and shower time.... Insisted on being in the bedroom at bedtime and being my Alison's feet or side. Insisted not in a loud way, but a persistent way. You've shared study time being on the windowsill mostly (occasionally on the mousemat) when she has been working, always present but never, or at least rarely, a bother.
I know we left you for 5.5 months nearly 2.5 years ago as we travelled and had some adventures. And whilst we worried if you'd be ok, you didn't seem to mind ... and had mostly a lovely time with house sitter Mike (and Shula) who soon realised your love for tuna and how being allowed on the duvet turned you from a quiet almost reclusive cat to this enthusiastic, pogtastical dribble monster. So I think you actually were more then fine and we worried for no reason.
You've had some moments little Soros and have rarely been a hunter. Allegedly you did come home once with bird in mouth when you lived in the big smoke, but I've never seen you hunt since being here, despite the opportunity.... Although there was that one time.... You know the time I'm talking about.... When you say on the windowsill watching the birds in the garden (number 3 all time favorite hobby after duvet time and car bonnet bathing)..... As you watched I remember being nearby when I heard a massive thump on the window. I've never seen you move so fast as you hastened your way from the window, sped down the stairs, through the kitchen and out the cat flap at breakneck speed. Closely followed by myself. I was a bit behind you as I had t get keys and unlock doors and found you almost beside yourself with amazement with a bird in your mouth. I will never forget Soros. You were so excited but didn't quite know what to do as the bird came too and started moving .... Despite flying into the window it hasn't been killed, just stunned ... So all your dreams came true in that moment, you looked so happy and cat proud and then unsure. I asked for the bird and you gave it to me and let me put it in a hanging basket to recover. I swear I've never seen you so happy in the moment (other then at duvet time of course).
You've even tolerated the arrival of another black cat, the stray Mawnan Smith who has been a challenge ..... But you've just got on with it in your easy going, quiet tabby way.
Whilst you've been eating well these last few years we have noticed you losing weight, last time we took you to the vet, about a year ago they checked you out and said you were light but ok (and compared to caribou who is now a big black furball you will also look skinny).... This winter we've been more worried about you as you didn't want to go out so much and finally we took the decision three weeks ago as you had been sneezing and coughing a bit to take you to another new vet. I know these few weeks you have gone through quite a bit for a cat that doesn't want to be touched too much.... But you've been stoic in your tolerance of vet visits and attempts my Alison or I to give you tablets. Whilst the tablets have helped you be more comfortable we knew your time was coming to an end.
It was really hard making this decision now and we will all miss you my furry kitten. I will miss your dribbles and especially the soft dark yellow fur behind your ears.
Rest now little cat. Breath easier and sleep.