A Cat Above the Rest

As those of you know who follow this blog, the cat I write about now, my sweet ginger ninja, is not the cat with whom I first shared this page. A boy of decided opinions, and strong personality, I’m sure had he been literate, the page would be called CatandIsobel. Or possibly, Cat.

He converted this dog person into a cat appreciator, kidnapped my heart and proceeded to conquer my friends and family, as well as making me new friends from his own large circle of admirers.

It sounds like a big claim, but he changed my life. He was a tie, a responsibility, a worry. All those things that people say when they tell you why they don’t want pets. Things I had agreed with. But he gave more than he took, even when he didn’t know it. A visit from Cat brightened Mother’s day. He sliced through her dementia to the animal lover she remains. She was proud that I could let him out of the car and he would walk straight up her garden path to greet her.

When she hovered between life and death last March, he slept on her bed, and she beamed to see him there.

Locally, he was voted the Mother and Toddler’s favourite cat, even by those who had cats. He was pushchair friendly, a benign ginger and white presence on daily outings. “We look for him every day,” mothers told me, as he rolled on his back, showing his white tummy, or rubbed his head against the pushchair.

One of the reasons I bought das Boot, was to have somewhere I could take Cat when I visited Mother. True to form, he adapted to his surroundings and gained new friends and admirers.

I told him he had to live to thirty, but he was around seventeen when he died last year.
Memories of him make me smile, though I wonder if the pain of his loss will ever completely pass. Still, I would rather have that sadness than to have missed him in my life. One friend called him a magic cat. Another, in the early days, told me sternly that he was a special cat, that not every cat was as interactive, as much fun. She also tried to persuade me he would be better off with her. I believe she thought she had a greater appreciation of his qualities.

He died 20th March 2011. A week later, I posted this, asking people to join me in remembering Cat, and all the other pets we have loved and lost. My personal list is pretty long.

Tonight I am asking you to do the same.

Lorely, of writingfromtheedge, had already told me she planned to join in, and then yesterday, posted this.
A while ago, she wrote most eloquently about what our pets mean to us, Four Legs and a Tail are Forever. As her husband said, “We don’t have them forever, but they have us for their-ever.”

If you write something of your own memories, do link it back here, and link my page to yours.

30 thoughts on “A Cat Above the Rest

  1. What lovely memories you have of a most special guy in your life…..Sam and I lit a candle for him on Sam’s blog today and I asked others to “pass it on” as well to honor their past pets. I love that they can claim a permanent piece of our heart…..and that it’s a pleasure to give it to them in the first place!

    Hugs, Pam and Sam

  2. That is beautiful, Isobel, and no – I don’t suppose you will ever stop missing him if my own experience is to go by. But as you say, I’d rather have the sadness than not to have had them in the first place.
    Thank you for putting the link to my little Empress and Bunny.

    We will certainly be lighting candles tonight.
    Like you, my list is rather long.

    It’s a beautiful day here – like summer. I hope it is with you too.

  3. A sweet Remembrance post Isobel. We are still on for tonight. I love the idea, I am so happy you started this lovely thing to remember our pets. The Z Cat was the kitty of my life but our Holly Cat was a close second and there is a long list of kitties, horses, hamsters and birds that we will be remembering tonight. Thank you Isobel!

      • Thanks, Pix. I have dropped by and commented.
        I just got an email from some friends who had a much indulged black cat, a stray who adopted them, and a larger than life boy. He was killed by two dogs two weeks ago. They think the dogs had been trained to fight and kill other animals. So horrid and senseless.

  4. Remembering Cat and all the joy he brought to you and your mother, too.
    Sorry for your loss. Will share your post on FB and with some special animal loving friends.
    And he is our sweet orange boy who passed about the same age as Cat. Fred
    http://rutheh.com/2010/12/23/fred-a-faithful-feline-companion/
    and his sister Tommie
    http://rutheh.com/2011/01/30/tommie-declared-male-at-birth-by-our-neighbor-a-sweet-girl-cat-remembered/
    Thanks for the opportunity to share with you as we miss our feline friends.

  5. I love to remember the many animals who have touched my life. Some through long-term commitments. Others through short-term interludes. Most of the memories make me smile.

  6. I am so sorry you lost your precious cat. But 17 years is an impressive life span for a cat, and he was obviously well loved, so you lots to console you in your loss, I imagine. Still, I know how hard it is to lose a loved one, animal, or not. This was a similar piece I did awhile back in remembrance of another special cat, one that blessed my life. He too, was well loved.

    http://orples.wordpress.com/2012/02/04/weekly-contest-photo-love-remembering-stray/

  7. what a wonderful tribute to Cat. i just found out about your proposition of considering this ‘remembering your pets’ day, and immediately posted a tribute to the most unforgettable feline i have ever had the privilege to share a place called home with. i deliberately don’t say ‘own’ – because who really can own a cat? They own their space and their place, and if you are able to win their trust, then consider yourself richly blessed.
     
    from what you say about Cat, you were richly blessed. thank you for sharing his story. Squeeky – she came with that name – almost made it to 21 years of age. 17 is a good age. almost 21 is also a good age. and yet it is always much too short, isn’t it?
     
    thanks for suggesting this special day.

    • Do you want to put a ping back here? You’d be most welcome.
      Actually, I have now come back from reading your wonderful post and added a link in your comment. And yes, it is always too short. Much too short. Did you read Lorely’s Four Paws and a Tail are Forever?

  8. Lovely, Isobel. Like you, I’m a converted dog person who has discovered that what I had been told about cats “They’re not interested in people” “They don’t care whether you’re there or not as long as you feed them” and “you can’t train a cat” is completely wrong. So it’s good to read what a special adorable boy Cat was.

    It’s been super to arrive back home to my cats today. They usually greet me anyway when I get home from work but I got two weeks worth of adoration from Leo and explanation-demanding miaows from Lily. Almost worth going away for! 🙂

    Bit too muzzy to blog today but the animals i have been very fond of are Hammy Hamster, Scamp, my first Springer Spaniel, gentle Gemma the second and Roly the third – the greediest and most handsome of the lot and still much missed.

  9. There are some brilliant stories doing the rounds tonight. I still have some work to finish, but my candles are lit, Not Cat has noisily demanded to go out once more, and the red wine is becoming nicely chambré in the kitchen.
    I am glad your two have made you welcome. I have lots of pix of bikes to post soon.
    Sleep well. I am looking forward to your next post.

    • My candles have been lit for a while, but I have just poured a glass of wine. Here’s to our darling pets. And thank-you for joining in and spreading the word. Sweet dreams to you both.

  10. My candles are lit too, and I’ve been thinking of all our dogs and cats and a few hens who were special.
    What a lovely idea this has been. I’ve spread the word around too, and had a few comments zipping back via facebook.
    Definitely a date for the diary!
    Here’s a glass raised to Freddy. He sounds a wonderful character.

    • hi Lorely. I just dropped by your page and tried to put a comment on the bunny poster’s page, but I was defeated!
      I have my wine. I shall stand and raise a formal toast in a minute to my boy, and think of him and all the others. Then it will be eleven and time to blow out the candles. And give Not Cat a special cuddle. I used to tell Freddy I would love him until the stars fell from the skies. It’s about time I told Not Cat the same thing.

  11. I have raised my glass and drunk my wine, blown the candles out and stood awhile. Cat was a force to be reckoned with, but also a loving boy, who was generous in his affections. A one off, the Cattery called him. They were right.
    Sweet dreams to all, human and pet companions.

  12. My candle is lite…my thoughts are with you…your sweet ginger ninja kitty was a miracle and blessing. I have a blessing kitty named Minne Mouse…I call her my kitty angel girl…she will be 17 this May and her health is good…her hind end is weaker now but she still runs and plays with her toy box of toys and hops around like she is a kitten….wish I could hop like she does:)…Minnie is my heart….she has been with me through loosing my parents….and going through breast cancer….life…kids…loosing horses….but mostly just living each and everyday with me…she is a joy and I love her as part of me…I know that Cat was specially made and was a blessing kitty too….thinking of you and of Mr. Cat…

    • It is hard for non pet owners to understand the comfort and support a pet brings. It does not judge (well, not much anyway!)does not say, why don’t you, or, you should. It accepts you everyday as you are, which at times of stress, is invaluable. I hope she lives long and happily, and that your own health and happiness are good.

  13. I lit the candle and pased the word. Your invitation is a poetic way to hommage our gone pets . Thank you for giving us this oportunity to stop and thenk them for all their affection and company.
    I am all moved by your words about Cat, Isobel.

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