My “just a cat”


Arthur and Merlin came tumbling into my life over 15 years ago. A bundle of affectionate fluff, limbs constantly intertwined in brotherly devotion. Fur staggeringly gossamer silk, owed to a Burmese parent. A trip to the rescue centre was to find Merlin as a companion to Tilly after Soda had passed on. The brothers came as a package.

Arthur pawed for my attention through the cage and the deal was done. Lovely spiky Tilly was the queen of the household and didn't initially take to the boisterous pair. Thoughts of returning them disintegrated when the brothers learnt to respect her space. Sadly a year later Merlin died. Arthur was devastated. Tilly didn't even blink an acknowledgement. I suppose it was at this time Arthur turned to me to fill the gap in his life.

I have loved all my cats but Arthur stole my heart. He taught me a lot, much of which I am still trying to master.

Be kind to people even when they are unkind, we don't know the path others have trodden. Tilly would not deign to communicate with Arthur but he would be there patiently trying to get closer. Maybe he understood she had been rescued from a bad environment and that she hid for months before realising I was a safe bet. In her last few weeks she allowed Arthur to get close and it was wonderful to see them curled up together. Equally do not bother adjusting yourself to please the world, Arthur retained his gentle nature and let the world adjust around him.

Keep going even when the challenges seem overwhelming. When Arthur’s jaw was dislocated he was in a traumatic state. I was devastated by the pain he was in but he kept going and thanks to the life saving angels at Paws Vets he made a full recovery. Bless you for the compassion and expertise to restore him back to full health.

Learn to make compromises. Arthur never went far but he loved being outside on the grass, hidden amongst the shrubs, sniffing the air or having a nose at the world from top of the wall. After his dislocated jaw he had to retire and become an indoor cat. This brought benefits of not having to deal with visiting cats - Arthur was definitely a lover not a fighter (nor a hunter) and he had secret tunnels made (thanks Gordon) which would safely lead him to an enclosed catio (thank you again brother) where he could enjoy the fresh air and get a different perspective on life. Arthur loved swinging on the swing with me and we still managed to enjoy this, albeit with supervised visits!

Spend more time on the windowsill of life just observing. It is very useful to just shut up, really listen and observe. It is amazing what you will learn.

Love with all your heart but if it ends, do what you have to do (ie bore everyone with your cat memoirs) and then let them go. Allow yourself to feel the pain so that you can free it. Do not bury it, free it, and whatever the circumstance remember them with a happy heart.

Arthur has brought into my life huge companionship, love and affection. He has been the one constant in my home. He has shared the joys and sorrows of life. Many a time he was my reason to get up. He was also my reason to get home. He has been my covid restriction partner plonking himself all over my papers and keyboard during WFH. I will miss his constant chattering, his long escalating chirrup as he reached and raced me to the top of the stairs, his insistent tapping of his paw when he wanted some affection, his waking me up for a cuddle in the middle of the night, his bouncing around the bed when he wanted feeding, how he sometimes forgot how to work the cat flap, how he loved sitting on the swing, hiding in the garden, sitting on the brick wall, recognising his 6pm medication alarm, scooping him up and planting lots of kisses on his neck, breathing in his scent, sitting on the windowsill watching me go off to work, his welcome when I got home, his beautiful soft, soft silky fur, the crimped pattern on his silky fur, his most beautiful and gentle angelic nature. And much, much more. I have been so blessed to have him in my life. Now is his time to be free and play with Merlin amongst the stars.

Bless you Angel for being the sunshine during both beautiful skies and cloudy days and bless you for all the joy you have brought.

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