It’s so hard to write a tribute to a much loved feline friend, so let’s go back to that horrible rainy day in late 1993. You were chucked out into the pouring rain when your previous family dumped you when they moved house.

You chose our cat flap, took a massive chance (could we be trusted??) and came through it, crying for help, a soaked to the skin little kitten. We tried to pat you (my Vet always says we have a "Soft Touch Lives Here" sign on our door), but you hissed, spat, growled and went back through the flap! You came back in, still hissing, so we left you to your own devices. Another neighbouridentified you and told us your family had moved, so we left you a warm bed and food in the Conservatory.

It took you nearly 2 years living in the Conservatory before you decided that we could be trusted (I dread to think how your previous family had treated you), then one memorable day, still trembling like a leaf, you nervously approached my Mum and let her gently stroke you. Suddenly, you started purring (loudly)!

Mum just said: "Oh Kitten, you DO have a purr! We did wonder...."

The look on your face just said "WHY am I making this funny noise?!"

Suddenly, the bed in the Conservatory was redundant! You had already made friends with our other cats while you were in there, so you moved right in, making up for lost time in the "love and petting" department, always ready with a nuzzle! You were still talkative, always mewing for love and sometimes growling and grumbling, but never vicious. You didn't like it when Mischa (another neighbour’scat) decided to have her first litter on my Mum's bed, and afterwards adopted us, but you never attacked any of them.

For the last 10 and a half years, you (with Mischa) have been the most amazing companion since Mum died of stomach cancer, sleeping on my bed, always ready with a nuzzle and purr and lots of love through lonely days.

Since November 2011, you bore your old age (arthritis and failing sight) with courage and grace (that even amazed my Vet) while your Mum flapped around with worry. Then about 9 months ago a lump was discovered in your stomach ...... not causing any pain (the Vet was pressing it, and you just purred) but I knew your time was running out. November 2012 came, and the Vet said it had grown. 

Then, in late December, it became difficult for you to lie down and sleep. I took you into the Vet on 22 December and the Vet sadly told me the lump had moved and grown another 10% or so in just 4 weeks. She offered a course of injections to stabilisethe lump, but I knew you had had enough, it wouldn't make it any smaller and it was already causing discomfort. I had to make the worst decision that any pet owner has to take, but it was in your best interest, Kitten, and I just hope one day you can forgive me. 

Thank you my friend, for all those years of love and loyalty you gave us. I don't know why you chose our flap all those years ago, but I am so glad you did. Until we all meet again at Rainbow Bridge, take care, and enjoy napping on a sunbeam (you are even in the graphic, middle left!).

Love from Mum (Helen) and Mischa 

Ed’s Note: Helen is referring to the graphic (drawn by the wonderfully talented Laura Dumm – at the head of the Napping on a Sunbeam page. 

In the Middle of a World...

"In the middle of a world that has always been a bit mad, the cat walks with confidence."

Roseanne Anderson

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