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September 8, 2013 / Aware of the Void

Can You Ever Love a Cat?

Pure Evil

In the spring of 2008 our home was over-run by mice, we had long grass in the fields surrounding the cottage and we had started on the major renovations. There was a lot of disruption and I think that the local mice saw it as an opportunity to invade. We were returning home after one of our daily trips to the builder merchants and I stopped the car and few hundred meters from our house. I asked my wife to open her door and have a look in the hedge. Someone had abandoned a litter of kittens.

We took a small ginger and white cat home with us.  It turned out that this kitten was so young it had not been fully weaned so we had to feed it little bowls of kitten milk. Every day I had to walk to our neighbors and milk their cat to provide sustenance for this stray.  It grew strong and became the mouse killing machine that we had hoped for. Each day he would please us by arranging a pile of dead mice on the backdoor step of the house. He was never supposed to be a house cat, he was supposed to be a working animal. From time to time people asked us what he is called – we were never really able to answer this. No name ever stuck and I have never seen a cat come when it was called so it seemed like a pointless exercise. We have applied various titles – Pure Evil, Stuart, Banjo and most recently due to a nasty habit of lying on the top step of the stairs in total darkness – Trip Hazard.

I can’t say for certain if I ever really got on with Kitten, we seemed to have an uneasy relationship throughout our time together, a sort of mutual hatred coupled with a grudging respect. He always had time for a little photo shoot. If I tried to pet him or engage with him on an emotional level he would  run off and moan in an a way that suggested he did not want to be my friend. This of course inspired me to torment him at every opportunity. Normally my wife would rush to his rescue and he would sit still and contentedly in her lap. He wandered through our house like ninja which tended to give the impression that he was  always there and never there at the same time.

Last night Kitten was outside the kitchen window, he has a little routine where he announces his arrival home by rattling the cat flap to annoy the dogs, the dogs bark and one of us angrily gets up from the sofa to open the Kitchen window to let him in. As soon as I looked at him I could tell he was in a bad way. His left foot was just swinging freely from his leg. It was like his paw was being stored in a little fur lined purse. I picked him up and he wailed. For the first time ever our cat just wanted to be petted and held. I rang the emergency vet and we drove straight over. There was very little that could be done and at 11.55 last night Kitten was put to sleep.

The house feels emptier today and emotions are running high. There has been a lot of tears – more than I would have expected.
DSC_2799

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First shot was F100, and Neopan 1600, other are D90

This post was originally written in March 2013 and for various reasons I only wanted to post it now with a bit of distance.

19 Comments

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  1. Mary Kavanagh / Sep 8 2013 10:40 am

    That’s so sad. As Joni Mitchell sings “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. Lovely picture and lovely cat.

    • Aware of the Void / Sep 10 2013 3:30 pm

      Good old Joni “Sorrow is so easy to express and yet so hard to tell.”

  2. Carissa / Sep 8 2013 12:40 pm

    Oh my. I am in tears as well. So sorry for your loss.

    • Aware of the Void / Sep 10 2013 3:30 pm

      Thanks Carissa, I was a bit weepy myself…very unmanly of me and a real surprise.

      • Carissa / Sep 10 2013 3:57 pm

        Those furry beings have a way of weaseling themselves into our hearts. Crying is one of the most manly (and by that I mean: human) things you can do.

  3. Moni / Sep 8 2013 1:12 pm

    aww! poor little guy.

    • Aware of the Void / Sep 10 2013 3:32 pm

      Yep – missed but remembered..

      • Moni / Sep 10 2013 3:38 pm

        It’s crazy how those little guys work their way into your heart. I’ve never been able to have pets (Mr has allergies) so I’ve kind of adopted my mom’s pets. Many of her dogs and cats have died over the years and they often appear in my dreams. It’s weird.

      • Aware of the Void / Sep 10 2013 3:43 pm

        Well that guy was only ever supposed to be a working animal – we used to own a small farm – an as such should never have been in a position to get into anyone heart.
        Based on the reaction of Lolo to this loss I have real concerns about the dogs…one of them is getting on a bit and is very much her pet.

  4. drawandshoot / Sep 8 2013 2:06 pm

    That’s so sad. I guess you can love a cat…

  5. Teresa / Sep 8 2013 6:02 pm

    oh I am so sorry. He was beautiful.

  6. dk / Sep 10 2013 4:45 pm

    Well at least u got a pile of dead mice out of the deal.

  7. sibokk / Sep 17 2013 9:47 am

    It is upsetting when something treasured goes. My dad had a tiny wee kitten called Poco who sadly died when it was still very tiny, that was really sad but at the moment he has a border terrier who’s not doing so well and it’ll going to be really tough whenever she goes.

  8. squintphotographyart / Nov 8 2013 8:14 pm

    This sweet story brought tears to my eyes. Yes, it can be tough to love a cat, but when you do, it’s unconditional.

  9. (D)OCULAR / Feb 4 2014 10:53 pm

    I have two of those little monsters myself, and I couldn’t miss them. So sorry for your loss.

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