Cats for me have been my life since I was 7 years old.
This stray, old Tom cat came into our outer yard and took to me like a duck to water. It was like we were destined to meet, destined to be friends.
Each night I brought him milk&bread. Each night he came closer to my home. His fur getting softer, thicker and his purr making me smile.
It was the one time my mother let me have something that was living, breathing and bring it into not just my life but our families.
That injured, old Tom we named Pussy but also called, Pazzer.
My favourite memories of him. Summers in the small yard on blankets as I lay he would come trotting in the gate and lie beside me, his head on my tummy or arm. I wouldn’t get up until he wanted too. I wanted him to be content.
The first photograph I ever remember taking was him on our red metal bench. I still have that almost 30 years later in a frame surrounded by other memories in the large frame of my true, real, heart family. This I see every night before bed.
The times he would come casually in the door of the flat, head for the living room. He would sit in front of my dad’s chair and meow, not moving until my dad got up and the cat took his place.
The day I began to talk to the cat not in human tongue and realising he understood me, what I was saying to him. He was my family, my friend. He choose to be with me, not because I choose him first but the fact he choose me first. He liked me, cared about me, made me feel special.
The day I told him I was taking a photo of him, explaining it would be a special device to take a memory of him as it looked at him so I could remember that moment forever. In his excitement he lept high from the grass accidently catching my nose which made me give out a start. My mom having to explain to me sometimes cats jump when excited. So I went back out rubbing my furry friend.
The time I made a valentines card for him and his strippy ginger cat mate I knew he would make kittens with. The things we do as kids.
The times he came back bruised and injured fighting other Toms for the pleasure of that strippy queen I called marmalade. A stray, wild cat you never could get too close too.
The story told of Pussy/Pazzer so scared in the back of dad’s car not knowing he was off to the vets, then pooing on the blanket beneath him.
The times he would climb up and trie to paw and claw at our gold fish Goldie.
How he climbed up drawer handles to reach meat on the work top. Jumped up onto the table from the floor and one day got caught eating my lunch which I found funny, but not my mom.
Him and I in the hall sharing a can of sardines in a tomato paste. Him, soon after, chasing his white, wind up mouse or a tennis ball.
The times he went missing for weeks on end, sometines a month. My joy on seeing his return. I can only say I have felt its equal with other cats, being in my favourite church, seeing my oldest niece after long spells of us being apart. Around my angels, archangel Michael, God, Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Anthony and my mother’s mom, long since gone.
Pussy/Pazzer was and even though gone from earth still is amazing to me and my heart. I love him with ever piece of my heart.
The day I came home from school to be told he was gone, he had died. How he ate rat poison without knowing it, thinking it was food. Mom&dad taking him to the city SPCA. My mom made it sound like a horrendous death. She said the people in there made him hot, then cold, over and over until he died. How he could not have survived from the poison.
I miss him even now. My eyes are writing this, full of tears I am trying not to spill, but my heart, it feels expanded thinking of him. Thinking of the love I will always have for him, my brother. He is in my heart family.
He started my love of cats, my realisation they are for me life. All the cats I have and who have befriended me made me feel needed, loved, capable of being liked for who I am without changing. I figured out so many special gifts God bestowed on me, just by me being around them.
These gifts; being able to talk to cats who understand me, I in turn understanding them. My affinity with cats, my ability to be as one with them and understand other animals too.
Thank you Pussy/Pazzer. Thank you for coming into my world and choosing me, letting me into your heart as you are in mine. You are my sunshine, my joy, my family, my friend. I cannot wait until we meet again, and I know we will under God’s loving embrace and smile.