I hope you don't mind me adding this via Magpie also. I've not been around for a few days. My best fwiend died in my arms on Tueday night, you see. At 11.40 precisely. I still have a best friend, but my cat, Simon was my best fwiend.
Simon had been with us for almost 10 years. Somebody, after 7/8 years (the vet's calculation at his age back then) had dumped him in a box near a local river's bridge. It's quite baffling really, as he'd obviously been around kids before and was in good health. It makes you both want to throttle the owners for doing so, but as cruel as it was, it brought Simon to us. And I'm so so grateful to have shared all these years with him.
He wasn't like your avarage cat. Simon 'spoke' to you. He meowed like buggery to get your attention, especially a 'good morning' or a 'your home now' acknowledgment. We could ask him anything, and he'd pause before answering. He could even sing Happy Birthday...... It was funny and entertaining to visitors. And he was anybody's friend. Every Christmas he delivered the neighbours' card with me. Followed me. Annoying kid or not. But he never got quite as close to our younger rescue cat, Boaby as we'd hoped. He tolerated and avoided him most of the time. They would, however, join forces to get rid of any invading cats in their territory but the affection never grew. He learned the little 'un a lot, though.
My daughter, Kerri, annoyed the living daylights out of Simon on her visits. Made him sniff lemon skin, a ping to the nose, tickling his ear hair as he slept, and even putting headphones on him! Yet he STILL chose to go lie on her lap over and over again! I couldn't begin to list all the fun times. There's so many, but you will see for yourselves from the pics (and that's just a fraction to how many snaps I've taken ).
My two fondest memories with Simon was his first ever snowfall. He loved the snow. Bounded about in it like a spring lamb, on all fours. He dived for snowballs that Adam threw in the air. Really quite bizarre. But that was my Simon. Slept soundly next to me while I caterwauled on my guitar, too. Bless his little kitty sox.
He did have a favourite, though. He loved GingerNut to pieces. Made the biggest fuss whenever Adam got home. Licked his ear during cuddles even. Near the end, his condition made him blind, yet he still knew when the boys were home from college and uni. Keeping his day as normal as possible. And even more admirable was the fact that despite being totally blind, he remained as clean as he could. Still wanted to do his duties outside on the soil and cover it up. It was quite a heart-breaking end to such a loyal and loved cat. He tried his best to readjust. Was walking into walls and furniture and things. Gee, we used to laugh at him doing that on catnip...! Oh, how compassion turns the deed.
Not just I, but we as a family, loved him more than any other pet we've had. While laying him to rest in his grave at the top of our garden, it was the men who cried the hardest. Them that made the headstone for the grave. Them that chose the shrub to flourish above him. Mammy's boay. He loved, shopping, Tuesdays, raw turkey, hiding and Adam. I know, but it makes sense to him........