First of all Cat. The title of this blog is a give away, although I didn’t consciously realise that Cat, real name Freddy (the Gorgeous Boy) would play such a large part in it when I began. But he had a large personality and a way of being centre stage most of the time. As some of you know, I never intended to have a cat, but Freddy decided I had a vacancy I knew nothing about and moved in. He saw me through some very difficult times as well as good ones. He kept me company while I studied for new qualifications, made freelance journalism from home something of a challenge as he regarded the phone as love rival and would steal my pen as I tried to take notes, cost me a small fortune in vet bills as a result of his territorial fights. Tomorrow it will be twelve years since he died.
The date must be engraved somewhere in my heart as I have found myself thinking of him a lot in recent days, my eyes filling with tears at inopportune moments. I had absolutely no idea I could love a cat as much. Dogs yes, but I had never lived with a cat. Never truly understood how much they gave, how companionable they could be, how funny, loving, and also demanding. I shall be forever grateful that he lived with me for fourteen years. Mother and Aunt both loved him and he knew it, basking in their admiration.
So tomorrow night I shall light a candle to him when I get home. His ashes are still in the airing cupboard, a place he was not allowed in life, because I couldn’t when it came to it, bear to scatter them.
But the candle lighting will have to wait until after tomorrow evening’s talk, and maybe even after that. Celia has been away at her daughter’s in Wales, helping to pack up for the family’s imminent move to Stratford-Upon-Avon. Tomorrow she returns. We will have catching up to do. Charlie (Mr Celia) and Michèle, are coming to the talk too, so we shall be a little social bunch. Michele and I thoroughly enjoyed Hew Locke’s talk last Wednesday. He come across as a very thoughtful, highly intelligent, perceptive man. So interesting, honest and engaging, which come through in his art. I loved his comment about statues. This was in relation to the pulling down of Colston’s statue, a statue Locke had dressed in fake gold in a photograph back in 2007. There’s a lot more to it than that, but best you read about it here. There has been much talk about removing Cecil Rhodes’ statue from Oxford. Oh no, said Locke, not before I’ve had a go at it. Maybe that is what we should do, not just add explainers but add to statues of people lauded who profited by exploiting others.
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