Pet Remembrance Day 2018

Since Cat died 20th March 2011 I have invited people to join me the Sunday following the anniversary in remembering our pets. It began the week after Cat died and brought me tremendous comfort. I was overwhelmed by people who emailed me telling me stories of their pets, how much they had loved them, how much they missed them, how much they appreciated those animals’ contribution to their lives.

Often when a pet dies it’s hard to talk about it. Colleagues can be unsympathetic; it’s only a cat/dog/guinea pig is a fairly common response. Yet it is normal and right to grieve, and wrong if we have to hide our grief, be made to feel ashamed, made to feel weak or foolish.
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Action Cat

Most photos of MasterB that I post here show him lying down, sunbathing, sleeping, or looking out of the window, maybe sitting in the garden. The most active images show him taking a leisurely stroll. So it would be perfectly understandable if some of you thought of him as a fairly static cat, a sedentary cat. Understandable but wrong.

This may look like a flat to you and me, but to MasterB it’s a racing circuit, a feline version of Brands Hatch combined with elements of Aintree.
He races about it, leaps from one piece of furniture to another, weaves between chair legs, refuels with some biscuits in pit stops.

I’ve been trying to work at home, but no work can be achieved until we have had interactive play. The current favourite toys are the play cube, now somewhat battered, and the equally battered fishing rod feather toy.

So here are a couple of shaky hand videos to see the boy in action.

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In Departure

I’m very much looking forward to be reunited with MasterB tonight. Having the dog, cat and kittens at Cousin’s is lovely, but none of them replaces my boy.

That said, and our reunion warmly anticipated at least on my part, I shall be delighted to see WestieBoy, Mistress Lily, Dizzy and Dora when I am next this side of the Irish Sea.

Last night I introduced Dizzy to the delights of technology, and he got the idea and the bug so quickly we were already talking about restricting his screen time access.

 

 

 

 

He reached a high score of 420. I was impressed. I deleted the game and tried to install another one, but my iPad decided this was all together too much and baulked, so I put it on my ‘phone, then had a little tussle reclaiming it from Dizzy. Still, it meant Dora was able to play undisturbed with the mouse which is everyone’s, including the dogs’, favourite toy, and to have forty winks undisturbed by her much larger brother.

 

Just look at that little face. I’m increasingly convinced she’s not from the same litter as Dizzy and that he is several weeks older than she. Did you see them with their mother, I asked Cousin. It transpires there were two adult cats with kittens. Do you think they could be from different litters? Oh yes, she replied, the man is a rascal. Dora remains shyer than Dizzy. That sentence is misleading. Dizzy and shyness are complete strangers. He has decided WestieBoy is his pal and role model and greets him confidently, quite without fear, and thinks his new big friend would be a handy cushion.

Dora claimed WestieBoy’s bed in front of the fire. Although it is much greyer than a week ago thanks to the muck and the slush that have stained the dog’s underbelly a dark brown, she seemed touchingly to think she was not highly visible.

 

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Thoughts from Luton Airport

So far so good. Up betimes thanks to MasterB who anticipated the alarm by two minutes, making me wonder if he some special sense of when it’s about to go off. Breakfasted, showered, cat litter replaced, coffee grounds and banana skins deposited in the garden compost bin, crockery washed up and put away, and, with MasterB’s inimitable aid, bed stripped and remade with clean linen for Birgit.
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Windows

This week’s photo challenge is Windows. I am reposting two pictures of MasterB; one sitting on the sill outside the kitchen window, remarkably insouciant – we live in the second floor (make that the third if you are in a country that counts the ground floor as the first floor); the second is of him looking out at the night at das Boot.

Not a care in the world

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In Praise and Recognition of Pets

Watching a fascinating programme about immigration and its history in the UK. I missed the beginning as the signal was poor, but now I have moved the aerial and balanced it on a box means I have a good picture.

One of the things I enjoy about television on das Boot is how in this small space I can watch it while washing up, cooking, stowing the stuff I have brought abroad.

While I ate (a spicy curry with brown rice since you ask) I watched the Supervet. One of the owners, whose active puppy Noel described as a box of frogs, spoke about how much she loved her puppy, Nala. How Nala was more than she had expected.

Oh how I understand. On the road, when MasterB made the occasional complaint, I examined why I bring him to das Boot, when he so obviously believes car travel is over rated. The fact is das Boot is so much nicer when he is with me. And not just das Boot. Home is so much nicer when he is there. Life is so much better when MasterB is there.

He is affectionate, a moderately good listener, beautiful, funny, playful. He improves my life beyond measure. All loved pets do. To non pet lovers, this may sound crazy, deluded, maybe even sad, proof of impoverished lives where humans fail to make significant relationships with other humans.

Except that it has proved over and over again that pet owners are happier and healthier, that we connect not only with our animals but with others of our own species.

It has been hot in London the last few days. Fortunately much cooler today. As is our wont, Octavia and I ate together on Sunday night. We enjoyed the warm evening and dined in her small courtyard garden. The Grey Ninja lay on the wall. Her paws lifted to the skies. The very picture of a cat on a hot brick wall. If only I had had my big camera with me (a lament I may repeat over the next few days at das Boot as I am already regretting only bringing my point and shoot).

Octavia called to her. I wish we had been filming this. Her hot cat spread the toes of one paw in response. Fabulous. My own hot cat, the Ginger Ninja, slept on his back with his front legs stretched out like skis. His appetite flagged; he cried to me to turn the heat down; he wanted to stay in the garden late at night when I wanted him in. Continue reading