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In memoriam
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steelbreeze23


Thomas.

We knew you were the cat for us, the moment we met you at a foster house in Nuneaton. You came bounding in, greeting everyone in a friendly way. Couldn't believe your owners had got divorced and given you up for adoption. You peed up the side of the foster carer's kitchen cabinets. "He doesn't usually do that!" she said, panic in her voice. She had her own cats, I think you were making your own mark. We had gone to look at another cat, but he just sat there, and we felt he might get beaten up by the locals.

You didn't trust us to start with. You'd only eat food in your bowl, and turned your nose up at salmon or anything offered at the table. That changed within a few months, though - and in later days, you'd demand to try anything I was preparing in the kitchen (banana, baked beans, celery).

You were always "the boy" - "Is the boy in?" "Have you fed the boy yet?". You had a knack for sitting in awkward places, like in a doorway, earning you the nickname "inappropriate cat". You were a people person, and always wanted to be wherever we were. Which often meant the rug on the landing, halfway between the knitting room and the office. You loved the sheepskin rug by the fire, and the radiator bed. You hated being constrained under a blanket and learnt that the garage door noise might mean the cat box. You got expert at hiding behind or underneath the sofa.

You'd often come in to see me when I was knitting, and demand food. As soon as a lap was available, you'd be on it. You would sometimes make a strange sneer (Flehmann's?) which made us think your second name ought to be Elvis.

You had a knack for finding the sunniest spots and you loved your radiator bed. You constantly tried to hide in the bedroom at night, so we wouldn't shut you out. You had a penchant for drinking out of the toilet. Only the ensuite, though - you had standards! You never buried your output in the litter tray, that was just your way.

You had a penchant for drinking water out of puddles, and hiding in the bushes. You liked to get our attention by sitting on the front windowsill, although just lately it's been icy so you'd taken to sitting on the wheelie bin instead. You learnt how to rattle the front door to be let out or to get attention.

You came to something of an entente cordial with the local cats Bowie, Giggsy and Eric. You learned to tolerate Houdini, a boisterous lump of overgrown kitten muscle that moved in next door, who always wanted to play too roughly.

You once peed in the Cog's wardrobe. He'd left a pint of milk to go off in his bag, and you didn't like the competition. Well done for getting his suede shoes, too!

You loved catnip, and once almost got it out of my bag before I did. You learnt which drawer it lived in, too.

You liked being groomed, but only if you could move around. You hated being held down.

You were always pleased to see us, no matter what mood we came home in. You were always talking to us, telling us about your day or asking to be fed. Neither of us speak much cat, but we appreciated the effort.

Sometimes we took you for a walk around the block. Once, you got into somebody's garden, and waited there whilst we were in the pub, not being able to figure out how to get back out again. The Cog had to rescue you.

One famous afternoon you didn't come home for hours, and when you did, you had blood on your chin. We reckon a dog had spooked everyone, because Eric was sat way up a tree all afternoon. About a year ago you came home with a torn ear. "Well, he just doesn't look brand new anymore!" was the Cog's comment.

I used to play a game called "Jump!" when I got home - you'd jump on your hind legs for fuss, and it meant food. I would pick you up and sing "You are the sunshine of my life" to you.

You often greeted the cars when they came home. If I was outside in the garden, you loved to join me on the table or on the picnic rug.

Your favourite part of the day was 10pm, for an hour of snuggles and fuss on the bed, where you permitted me to tickle your tummy. You'd always check around the bed before mounting though, in case of other cats. Lately, you spent most of your time indoors, and preferred to go out when we were at home.

We took a fortnight's holiday last year, and when we picked you up from the kennels, you were almost beside yourself with excitement. I truly think you thought you'd been abandoned.

When I took you to the vet with a mild skin complaint, I had no idea it'd lead to the discovery of hyperthyroidism, and pills for life. You really hated the pills (it was a two-person job), so to alleviate your stress we decided a thyroidectomy was the best option. Alas, a blood clot after the operation ended your life, and we had no option but to put you to sleep. It would have been easier to take, had you been ready to go, but you were full of vitality.

I cannot tell you how empty the house is now. Even though I saw you put to sleep, I still rush home in the hope you're just lost and have found your way home to us.

Sleep softly, dear boy. We'll never forget you.

Kisses and smooches.

More photos here
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