You know, sometimes I hear people talking about their partners/boyfriends/wives/etc and they say, ‘You know, I say I love him/her, but if you asked me why I wouldn’t be able to list the reasons… I just do, I guess.’ Those people need to look at their partners/boyfriends/wives etc and maybe rethink if either of them are doing the love thing right.
I had a cat. He rocked. He died today. We had a lot of years together, and I can tell you exactly why I loved him.
My cat was called Mr Fing. He was a girl. When I got him he was called simply Fing, an abbreviation of ‘the Effing Cat’ which is what his old owners called him. This gives you a sense of his nature. He was funny. He was mental. He was French. When I got him he was about seven. When he died he was about twenty. Here are the reasons I loved my cat.
1) My cat knew he was at home with me. Whenever I moved – which has been a lot – I never worried about that ‘if you let them out they won’t come back’ rule. Mr Fing would get out of the cat box, look around, look at me and then shrug as if to say, ‘meh, she’s here. It’s okay. This is new home.’
2) When I first got my cat, I was married. Clearly my cat’s old owners had not had a lot of sex. Whenever my husband and I were getting it on, Mr Fing would come to check I was okay. It would make me giggle to open my eyes and find the cat sticking its face in mine, all concerned. My husband – and several men after – were less amused. I learned to be less noisy. My cat learned to stick its head under a pillow and wait till it was all over.
3) My cat liked to be where we were. He used to sit on the gatepost of our farmhouse in Devon and watch the world. We had a convertible car. There were several occasions when half-way down the lane we would look in the back seat and see Mr Fing sitting there all cool as a cucumber having jumped in as we drove out.
4) My cat used to come jogging with me. I kid you not.
5) My cat liked to share Doner Kebabs with me. Especially with chilli sauce and garlic mayonnaise.
6) My cat always came to greet me when I got home.
7) My cat used to wait outside the loo for me.
8) I loved watching my cat having a mad half-hour ghost chasing around the house.
9) Even in the last few days, when he was weak and sick and in pain, my cat would purr around me and face rub me. My cat had my back.
10) My cat was a kind cat. When my friend Nick came to stay when he was dying, my cat would always try to jump on his lap and chest for a cuddle. Nick would always push him away because of his cancer and it being painful. In the last week, when Nick was in bed and on a morphine drip, Mr Fing crept into his bedroom. He jumped softly onto the end of the bed. He slowly padded his way up, testing his way so as not to stand on Nick, and eventually reached his hand which was above the covers, and then carefully slid his head under it and lay down. I think my cat knew. Cats do. The right cats, anyway.
My cat was a happy cat. He liked to sit out in the sun with me. I hope the sun is shining on him now. And I hope he forgives me for doing what I hope was best.
Me and my cat – we were buddies. You can’t ask for more than that.