This morning I had to say goodbye to my beloved boy Lui. We had a normal start to the morning where I got up, greeted him, gave him his breakfast and had my own. But when I went to get ready for work I could see that he was not well, so I took him to the vet where they could immediately tell that he had developed a blood clot, apparently caused by an unknown heart defect. There wasn't much to do apart from ease his suffering, so that is what I chose. I brought him home and we laid him to rest in the garden.
I'm feeling quite devastated but I want to record some of my memories of Lui. I had him for 12 years, ever since my 24th birthday when my friend Carol asked me what I wanted for a birthday present and I replied, "a kitten!" At the time Jon and I were living in a flat where we weren't supposed to have pets but luckily my landlord was forgiving and even installed a cat door for him. The first night I decided to set some ground rules of not having the cat sleep on the bed, so we shut him in the lounge and I warned Jon not to give in even if he cried. Well, he did cry and I lasted all of ten minutes before I got up and let him into the bedroom. He was so happy as he launched himself at the side of the bed and pulled himself up on little kitten paws. He slept where he pleased after that.
I have to say that having a warm furry presence curled up next to you is one of the best parts of cat ownership. Lui liked to get right under the covers and curl up in the crook of my elbow with his head next to mine. He could stay there all night taking up half the bed and of course I would let him... easing my arm gently out from under him if it started to go to sleep.
He always had an obsession with food. When he was young a vet told us he was overweight and to put him on a diet. We got quite strict with weighing his food and the meals always seemed quite small. Lui thought so too, and so began his obsession with getting more food out of us any way possible, usually by pestering with loud and annoying meows. He would scavenge from rubbish bins, even our neighbours had to weight the lid of their bins to keep him out! (Fortunately he stopped this habit as he got older.) He also loved to be in the kitchen while anyone was cooking and would move in swiftly on the dirty dishes as soon as we sat down to eat. (I ended up turning a blind eye to this in the end, if the dishes were soon to be washed anyway, and one of his nicknames was 'Busboy' since he got them so clean!) We relaxed the diet after a while but food remained one of his life's pleasures. I'm so glad he ate and enjoyed a normal breakfast on his last morning.
Lui was fairly sedentary, so to help keep his weight down I'd encourage him for walks around the property. I'd often pull a dead leaf from the flax bush and pull it along for him to chase. We live on a quiet street, and sometimes in the evenings (preferably after dark) Lui and I would go for a walk along the street. He absolutely loved that. I would walk slowly along and he would follow behind at a distance, pausing to sniff fences and look up driveways and investigate under parked cars. We'd go a little way up the street, sometimes to the corner, and pause a minute or two, then turn around and head home. That was his favourite part and he would trot along close behind me, until we got almost there and then he would dash past with a "prrrrrraow" to get home first.
His meal times were breakfast and an afternoon meal. It was supposed to be late afternoon but due to the persistent pestering, it gradually got earlier and earlier till it was about 1.30pm! After that he would find somewhere to sleep for the afternoon, and this spot would vary depending on the season, the weather and his mood. The first thing I always did on arriving home from work would be to look for him in his various possies, and say hello. He'd raise his head and let out a happy "prrraow", and I'd spend a few minutes scratching him under the chin while he purred. Then I'd go about my chores, and we'd meet up in the kitchen to cook tea.
My darling boy, I miss him so much and I don't honestly think there was a more loved cat in all the world. He was happy and content his whole life and I'm grateful I could give him that life. Lui has been a staple fixture on this blog since I started it - my mum once said that he is a very well-documented cat - and he inspired my occasional series "Weird Cat Behaviour". All my older posts about Lui are found under this tag. As you can see in these photos he loved to sleep, and he is sleeping peacefully now. Thanks for reading. xx