Thursday, October 04, 2007

King of the road

I guess I first met him in 1998, or thereabouts. He and his brother both. Wary at first, skittish, unsure. And fair enough. When you live on the streets, you never know who you can trust. But through a mutual acquaintance our friendship grew. Sure, he had some issues with our cat, but he was fond of me and Red. We would give him a meal from time to time, and he would often come running to greet us on our return from work.

When we moved away from London, we made a promise to him. Not directly to him, granted, but it was a promise to ourselves to give him and his brother a home. The new situation in which we found ourselves meant it was less practical than we had hoped to live up to our promise, and it took a further couple of years before the pair were finally given an indoor home (though they'd had pretty decent outdoor shelter before that, it must be said).

The last time I saw him was just a few months ago, but we were both out of context. Although I recognized him, my sudden appearance after so long away proved difficult for him to compute. For a moment I thought I saw a glimmer of something just before he went out of my sight, but perhaps that was just wishful thinking.

Yesterday afternoon, he took his last breath. Undiagnosed illness had taken its toll, and there was nothing that could be done. Maybe as a result of all those tough years, who knows? He had it about as good as any stray could, but it still can't have been easy. I shed a couple of tears last night, remembering the white tip at the end of his tail, the black of his nose, and the way he would bop heads with me. He'll be missed.

Bye, Smirnoff.

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Blogger Red said...

Bye Smirnie. You were one of the gentlest cats I've ever known. Hope you find lots of mice, a warm bed and a lap to curl up on in kitty heaven.

04 October, 2007 09:58  
Blogger Milla said...

Bye bye kitty! You sure were gorgeous.

04 October, 2007 10:40  
Blogger My Reflecting Pool said...

that is one studdly kitty. He has tough shit written all over him. Gentle too? I'm sorry for your loss A*.

04 October, 2007 11:50  
Blogger Cynnie said...


what a face..

I belong to a local group , we pay a small amount of money a year and get a card so we can take any kitty or dog from anywhere to a certain vet and get that cat spayed or neutered..
the tricky part is catching the animal..
but it's worth it ..
poor homeless kitties

04 October, 2007 12:08  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

great post man. RIP.

04 October, 2007 13:47  
Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Poor Kitty.

Smirnoff, too.


04 October, 2007 15:50  
Blogger _z. said...

heartfelt post *(a), sorry for your loss man.

bye bye smirnoff

04 October, 2007 16:30  
Blogger Karen said...

Bye bye kitty. That's one gorgeous puss. This makes me sad.

04 October, 2007 16:38  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

sorry...always sucks to lose a friend.

bop heads?

04 October, 2007 17:29  
Blogger Karen said...

Yes Andy, my cat likes to "bop" as well. Basically it's like a cat-sized head butt and is a sign of affection. My nephew "bops" instead of kissing. It's adorable.

04 October, 2007 19:10  
Blogger Avid Andy said...

i'm going to find a kitty right now and try out this bopping heads thing...

04 October, 2007 22:50  
Blogger d34dpuppy said...

gnite kitty

05 October, 2007 05:55  
Anonymous Franki said...

meow-meow sweet kitty.

05 October, 2007 15:06  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

It's so sad to lose a cat-friend. I love the ones who have lived on the streets the best. They have the most wonderful character!

05 October, 2007 22:53  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

i love to bop heads with my kitties. so glad to know someone else does it, too.

what a tough looking kitty... but a handsome one, too. black and white cats are always so mysterious looking, in my opinion.

i know he'll be missed. farewell, smirnoff.

06 October, 2007 18:28  
Blogger Suze said...

Asterisk, you had me in tears. It's so heartbreaking saying goodbye.

Sending you both *hugs*.

06 October, 2007 19:09  
Blogger Gardenia said...

'Tis sad - I gaze at his picture and think about him - he reminds me of the Phantom of the Opera.

08 October, 2007 00:07  
Blogger cappy said...

how very odd, dinners lost one of his cats this weekend!

08 October, 2007 14:05  
Blogger Candy Minx said...

Aw sad situation...amazing you kept seeing Smirn and what a cool name. I am sorry about Cat's brother and your street cat friend. Great post.

08 October, 2007 17:48  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Thanks guys.

09 October, 2007 15:23  

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