Ode to a Pussycat

Blackie in a box
To our poor Pussycat,

Our little Blackie Whitesocks. Blackster. Blackalino. Blackie. 

You were always determined that we would be your family. You came to see us in the early days. When it was just me and Devo, working hard to make this old house a home. We didn't take much notice of you at first. Our end of terrace house seems to be a thoroughfare for many cats and you were just one of the gang. It was Devo who named you Blackie Whitesocks. Just as he named the cat with no tail - Toenail, because the two of you were our most frequent visitors.

After a while we noticed that you'd been in the garden for days in a row. Watching us through the window and trying to sneak into the house whenever we opened the back door and one day we started to feed you. Scraps of smoked salmon and first, and the odd tin of Tuna. I suppose you officially adopted us the day we bought the first packet of proper cat food.

We couldn't ever have you in the house, what with Devo's crazy cat triggered allergies and all, but you didn't seem to mind being a garden cat, and sometimes I'd sneak you in on rainy night anyway and let you sit beside me on the sofa when Devo was out. You had that little house too even though you didn't sleep in it too often.

You were always so gentle with the girls. I can only remember one incident when you lashed out at them, but you were justified, as they'd been too rough with you. They learned pretty quickly though, and soon Lile would feed you by hand and you even let them pet you from time to time. They loved you.

Basking in the sun
In the Summertime, when doors and windows were left open, I'd sometimes find you sneaking a nap upstairs. You always chose the pillows of the two family members with asthma. That was a good trick.

Then there was that time you came home limping badly. You couldn't put one hind leg down. We were concerned that you were in a lot of pain. It was the weekend and after hours for the Vets. We had to drive to the emergency vet in the University, and as soon as we got there you put that leg down and strutted around as if you owned the place. It cost me a bloody fortune.

You were a raggedy little thing, almost blind in one eye (treating that cost a bloody fortune too) but you were our raggedy little thing and somehow, despite the fact that we never even wanted a pet, you became an important member of our family and we loved you. 

You didn't deserve the end you had. That nasty little dog should not have been in our garden.

The girls are sad. They want you to come home, but they are beginning to understand that you won't.

When Devo buried you, under the cherry tree, Toenail and that big scruffy tomcat sat on the wall and watched, solemnly the whole time. Toenail will miss you the most. She was your best friend. I know that because you always shared your food with her.

I keep looking at the windowsill, where you sat everyday, watching us as we bustled about. Watching me as I washed the dishes. Knocking your head against the glass, looking for affection. I'd open the back door and give you a rub. Give you your dinner and send you off on your nocturnal adventures. I keep expecting to see you, sitting there. But you won't be there anymore.

We're all a little heartbroken this week but that will ease in time and I'll always be strangely grateful to you for being the first loss the girls suffered. You taught them that death doesn't mean the world stops turning, even if we want it to. They have learned that death is a part of life and sometime, hopefully far away in the future, that lesson will be of great value to them.

Whenever we look at the new little cherry tree, we will think of you.

Goodbye, dear Blackie.





10 comments

  1. such a sad story, but a beautiful one. I hope the hurt doesn't linger too long xxx

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  2. Lovely memorial to Blackie. Beautifully written. I think it can be so hard to lose a pet as to many it is just an animal, but to a family it is so much more.
    Bet your garden seems very empty this week. Hope the shock and loss lessens in time, and you can move on as fast as your children probably will.

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    1. That's it exactly, I was always a bit dismissive of people when they lost a pet, but I feel bad now! The girls are moving on very well. Thanks xx

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  3. What a lovely piece of writing. RIP Blackie...

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  4. Oh, this made me teary! Poor Blackie x

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    1. Oh don't cry April! We've done enough if that here!

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  5. Poor Blackie... But what a lovely ode xx

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