The grim reaper has just claimed our cat as his latest victim. Yes, I’m afraid Ziggy is no more.
Keen readers of this blog will have come across Ziggy before and will know he was not always an easy animal to love. When people or indeed pets die the convention is to heap praise upon them. Whatever their true nature, once dead they are miraculously transformed into the most loved, most kind, most cherished individual. I’m going to pay Ziggy a compliment and break with this tradition.
Ziggy chose us as his family while has was residing at Battersea Cats and Dogs. He was a kitten then, but right from the word go he had an independent not to say violent nature.
Prior to Ziggy’s arrival the odd mouse used to scuttle through our kitchen and despite getting the rat catcher in every autumn we couldn’t entirely get rid of the vermin. Ziggy was made of sterner stuff. One feline trip into our kitchen and the mice could be heard packing up saying yeah, we’ve had it good, but it’s time to move on.
The problem was on plenty of occasions Ziggy treated us like vermin. You would pick Ziggy up at your peril and probably receive a juicy bite for your trouble. He was kind of sneaky too because as my wife pointed out with Ziggy is was often: lick, lick bite. Two licks to draw you in and then BAM, he’d sink his teeth into your fleshy parts.
For all that we were suckered in by his feisty nature; the fact that on one occasion he dragged a whole rump steak through the cat-flap still wrapped in plastic. He’d clearly nicked it from some neighbour’s kitchen table. He ate it pan-fried.
Then there was our neighbour who understandably got upset with Ziggy regularly arriving at her house at 3am and throwing a bit of a party with her cat. She was forced to install an electronic cat-flap to keep him out. Ziggy quickly learnt that if the owner’s cat went through the flap there was a three second delay allowing him to scuttle in behind.
I met this neighbour shortly after Ziggy’s demise thinking she might be glad to see the back of the cat demon, not a bit of it, she was in tears.
Ziggy died of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) a horrible cat disease for which there is no cure. We knew he was on the way out but still it was a shock when I discovered him, looking surprisingly peaceful, laid out on the bathroom floor.
We considered burying him in the garden, but decided it was best if his mortal remains were disposed of by the vet.
I took him on his final journey which was endearingly and somehow fittingly surreal. I put him in his old cat carrier, which he used to hate as he knew it meant a visit to the vet. It’s a short trip to the surgery, but it was raining so I jumped on a bus for two stops.
An old lady perhaps guessing I was going to the vet asked me if there was something wrong with the little fellow. I said no he’s fine, just dead. She jumped back horrified, it was almost as if she’d been bitten.
So long cat, we miss you.