Ricky came to live with us back in 1998. He was probably around 5 years old, although he could have been older, he could have been younger. It’s hard to tell as he had no teeth having lost them all through neglect. He’d been the subject of a cruelty case and it took him many years to finally trust that I wasn’t going to lock him up for playing with a catnip toy or for getting on the sofa or my bed. Whenever he did any of those things, he always looked at me with fear in his eyes as if he’d been found out and was about to be punished.
But he learned to trust and love again, and love he did – in spades. Whilst not being a vocal cat, he head butted and purred like a tractor with the best of them whenever life was going his way – which, since coming to live with the rest of the Daily Mewsers at the Daily Mews Mansion, life certainly was going his way.
He loved the garden and had a few favourite spots where he sunbathed or took the ‘air’. He had a particular fondness for wedging himself into oddly shaped garden containers and there he’d remain all day, snoozing in the sun. He always looked most uncomfortable but he didn’t seem to mind. He’d make each container his own and it would be the snooze-spot of the month until he chose another equally odd shaped container and so it would proceed until he’d slept in all the containers in the garden – with or without plants in them - and then he’d start over. None of the other cats have done anything like this and that’s why each cat is unique.
Ricky didn’t feel comfortable sitting on my lap but he’d sit as close as he possibly could without actually being on my lap. His purring would vibrate through my legs and every now and then he’d look at me to see if it was ok that he was so close to me. I always smiled at him with deep love in my eyes – how I wanted to hold him close and cuddle him. But Ricky didn’t do cuddles. I don’t think he’d been held in a loving embrace before and he panicked if he was picked up. During his last month he did let me hold him – briefly – for a cuddle and I was able to tell him softly how much I loved him. I think he knew how precious he was, but he just couldn’t quite believe it somehow. His previous life had shown him – and left a lasting scar and memory – that humans were not to be trusted and although I’d never given him any indication that he couldn’t trust me, he couldn’t bring himself to relax and enjoy the moment.
Ricky had 9 years with the Daily Mewsers and me and we all feel his absence keenly. He was a very special cat, very loving and affectionate on his terms and I think in his heart, he realised that he had landed on all four paws. He will be greatly missed.
You can read about how Ricky came to the Daily Mews here:
And his love of the garden and yoga here: