Oddly it is two years to the day that I wrote this piece as I had just lost my cat Izzy (who the vets insisted on labelling as Issie). Now I find myself writing an ode to his son, Jones.
Both Izzy and Jones came into my house pretty much as soon as I’d moved in which is approximately 10 years ago and where as Izzy was a normal cat, in as much as the descriptor normal can be applied to a cat, it was quite clear that Jones would be an altogether different sort of normal.
It is fitting that he Jones died two years to the day that his dad did. Looking over their “birth” certificates there were born 2 years apart and both died just after the age of 16.
Yesterday evening was like any other evening, the bowl of a hurriedly eaten breakfast was being transported down the stairs while I was trying not to break my neck tripping over Jones as he weaved in front of me, stopping to make sure I was following him and it wasn’t just a ruse and that quite possibly he was finally going to get fed.
Jones was a bottomless pit when it came to food, he would happily eat until he was sick (and then eat that) or it would come firing out of the other end in every conceivable location around the house. He couldn’t have milk because this too would cause the release of equally noxious liquids, so there was a finite amount that I could feed him that would keep him going to his cat box regularly and with good consistency and that would also, vaguely, fulfill his appetite.
Jones is a cat that whenever I was in the kitchen he was expecting food. He couldn’t remain asleep in his bed (or wherever he was sleeping) for fear that he may be missing out. When he realised food wasn’t forth coming he’d make a point of either drinking water loudly (yes, loudly) or licking his bowl for the last few bits of dried morsels that might be left from his last meal. I was going to do a blog about things that cats won’t eat if they fall on the floor but it would only consist of onions, garlic and bread with chilli sauce on it.
I fed him as usual, then stepped out for about 20 minutes and returned to find him on the floor, being sniffed at by our other cat. He regularly slept on the floor but that fact that there was no reaction, either to the sniffing Missy or that fact that I might be bringing him yet more food instantly rang alarm bells.
Then came the hail, the thunder, the lightning.
He is now buried in the April snow.
But it was last night when I was going to bed that I realised all the habits I’d developed because of this cat. The sofa seats could stay down as he wouldn’t be around to pee on them. He only ever weed on the settee, never “his” chair, I found that out in his first weeks in the house.
I could shut the door to the living room and my bedroom, to keep some heat in.
I can probably leave things on the floor, or things can fall on the floor and now not be targets for the biggest flood of urine I’ve never experience before or since.
I cleaned the cat box and it wasn’t automatically used straight away.
I can give Missy a bit more food, which she can leave and return to, and she can even have some milk.
I won’t have to watch any food I’m eating for errant paws being stuck onto my plate like the intro sausage off Grange Hill.
I might make it from upstairs to the kitchen in one smooth, non-delayed motion.
I wasn’t woken up before my alarm.
I was actually spread out in bed rather than hanging over the edge.
He wasn’t waiting outside my bedroom door this morning and he won’t be there to greet me when I get home.
Thanks for reading.