Thursday, 27 October 2011

Cats Tails (1V) - Footsie

This is a skewed as usual, scan of our late lovely Footsie.

This is the second attempt I've made to write this post but as with my previous one it vanished half way through.

I hate it when this happens because 2nd attempts lose the spontenaity of the original effort.

However, the story, for the second time goes like this:

Walking back from the pillar box one morning a few years ago, I spotted on a doorstep an unfamiliar little black and white cat which was miaowing very loudly.

Half amused, and half concerned I continued on my way.

A few days later, walking the same route I once again saw the cat on the same doorstep, door firmly closed and seeing this time how very thin the cat was, walked up to the door and rang the bell.

Having tried several times with no success, I went to the house next door and rang their bell.

The woman who opened the door explained that the cat was a stray which had appeared a few days earlier and had obviously headed for a house with resident cats in hope of being fed. Her neighbour had fed the little soul but could not take it in as her two cats were very aggressive towards it.

By now the little bony creature was winding itself round my legs and I was able to see that it had and old collar which was dangling on its bony shoulders like a mayoral chain, with the empty end of an identity cylinder attached.

Since it was a screw-in container the useful bit had clearly been removed so that the owner could not be identified.

Thoroughly concerned by now, I headed back home to tell John about it and to my surprise the cat came too.
He simply trotted behind me right up to the front door which John opened.  When he spotted my companion he groaned "oh no, not again", followed quickly by "he's very thin isn't he?".

The rest, as they say, is history.

Footsie lived with us for nearly 11 years, during which John grew to love him so much that every time we took him to the vet, and there were dozens, he used to lift him out of the cat-carrier and cuddle him while we waited to be seen.

He was never well, had numerous operations, dozens of treatments, but in the interim was always a most loving and sweet-natured little creature.

I had wanted to call him fingers, he had tiny white mittens on his 'hands' and big white boots on his 'feet', but John wouldn't let me.  He said it made him sound like a Mafia hood and insisted on his feet being the focus of his name.  So Footsie, he was.

Among his less agreeable habits was his hobby of single-handedly (I use the word advisedly) demolishing first a beautiful three-seater sofa, then the superbly comfortable chair which matched it, before turning his attentions to the two-seater sofa, companion to the other two items.

Thoroughly fed up by now, I cut from the arm-protectors of the big sofa, a piece of carefully matched material which I then fabric-glued to cover the first attempts by the furry terrorist to ruin this survivor of his attacks.

I watched him sneak up to the sofa sniff, back off, sniff again, then "bingo", he departed tail like a ram-rod, disgust in every muscle and he never went near it again.

These days it wears a tailored loose cover, which i wish I'd thought of in time to save the other two victims of our demolition expert.

This was nothing, however, weighed against the years of pleasure he gave us.

When his increasing ill-health became too much for him to cope with and he was visibly struggling we had to make the horrible decision and with Robin our lovely vet said our last goodbyes to him, leaving the surgery just about able to stand up and vowing that 'never again' would we give our hearts so completely to another needy heartbreaker.

Since this was only a short while before John's final illness,  I have never yet found the courage to take on another creature in need of love and care, but there is still time.


  1. A lovely, heartfelt post about your much-loved pet, Ray. We too have had cats turn up at the kitchen door and never leave. Maybe that will happen to you again without your having to make a decision about another cat.

  2. That is a lovely tale of a very cute cat. Companion animals give us so much pleasure, I can't imagine life without a dog but they are a huge responsibility.

  3. I hope so Perpetua, That is how I have always come by previous cats. They find me and decide whether or not I'm suitable.

  4. I am not really a doggy person, but am fond of all animals. It's just that the long whiskered brigade took over first.
    All animals should be a huge responsibility I believe. I'm sure Misty would agree, Freda.

  5. WE have looked after Samson for 3 years now.He is a long haired Norwegian Blue /Persian cross, and the vet says he is a big cat! We are his servants! He is the first cat we have ever looked after, he belongs to our son Ben and we were only having him for a few months whilst he was in between flats. He will not leave us now. We have got very fond of him even though he is infuriating , scratches me when I brush him, and is always asking for his favourite HAM. I hope you get another cat Ray .

  6. He sounds gorgeous Margaret. Norwegian Forest cats are the biggest domestic breed in the world, so with the Blue Persian cross he must look like a large grey/blue cloud. Lovely!
    I trust you remember to back out of his presence.
    Yes, I think another mog is almost inevitable. I don't want to look for one though. It has to be the other way around.

  7. I hope you do take another cat, Ray. I get so much joy from my dog. I've been walking her every day this half term, sometimes Kev comes out as well with the "silly mutt" as he calls her! We walked for miles along the canal yesterday, we chatted to loads of people and we saw a canal boat restuarant and made plans to come out one day and have a meal. We would miss these opportunities if not for the dog!

  8. Yes it does make sense I know, but a cat doesn't have the same social impact as a dog (unless you can put it on a lead and walk it). For me, they are also a tie, since they would anchor me even more fully to my home.
    I need social contact much more than I need a cat, which is why I'm not actively looking for one.
    Your "silly mutt" is clearly a great social asset Sue. Enjoy!