So my beloved cat Ian died over the weekend. I can’t tell you how heartbroken I am. He was an awesome cat, with a personality like no other. We got him from the local cat rescue centre. As we walked into the big pen, we had a look at the cats there, there were so many, all adorable. I had my eye on a little white with black spots cat called Sebastian. He was really sweet and had a bit of a bad leg, but then Dave said from the other side of the enclosure, “I like this one”. I walked over and met this black and white thing who greeted us with a head bump. All other cats paled after meeting him and we brought home our Ian.
He took about 20 minutes to settle into his new home. He’d sit on the stairs and give us head bumps whenever we walked past. He sprawled next to me on the sofa that evening and I was instantly in love.
So this is going to be a bit of a sprawly post, so apologies for that, but here’s some memories that I want to remember.
- It was very obvious from the start how much Ian craved human company. He became my shadow around the house and would run up and greet you as you came home.
- He wanted to be close to us all the time and there was a bit of a battle in not letting him into the bedroom (Dave is slightly allergic). He would spend hours scratching at our door, much to our annoyance and to the point that Dave had so much of it he bought one of those cat deterrents that are used for back gardens. It worked for about 30 minutes until Ian worked out he could just sit in front of the sensor and as long as his movements were tiny and in front of his body, he could scratch the door again. Clever boy!
- If anyone slept on the sofa, Ian would sit above your head on the arm rest and wag his tail *just so* so that your face received a very gentle and very, very ticklish tip of the tail stroke. This was so you could get up and feed him.
- He loved his food and would give most things a try. He was crazy about olives and butter and he managed to work out how to lift up the butter dish with his teeth to get to the butter inside.
- He used to go though a neighbour’s bins and once came home with a beer bottle to attached to his magnetic collar.
- We would often go for walks around our neighbourhood and Ian would join us, sniffing all the new corners and bushes, hiding from any dogs being taken for a walk and racing us back to our house.
- I would let Ian sneak into our bedroom from time to time (sorry Dave). Ian knew he wasn’t allowed in there so whenever Dave came upstairs, he would hide until Dave was gone.
- He would lie on my chest in the mornings and purr loudly in my ear until I got up.
- He’d stick his cold wet nose in my ear quite a lot actually.
- When Betsy was born, he was very, very good at completely ignoring her. Even when she was in the throes of the worst colic screaming, it was like she wasn’t there, but would keep next to me, helping me stay sane. He was a genuine support during those first few months of motherhood, especially once Dave went back to work after paternity leave.
- Arthur on the other hand, Ian was more jealous of I think. He would try to sit in between us while I was breastfeeding Art. Or if Arthur was sleeping on my lap, Ian would lie on top of him.
- Arthur got his own back though, by repeatedly trying to ride Ian like a horse.
Betsy has taken Ian’s death very well and has been very matter of fact about the whole thing, she’s sad, but she’s looking forward to us getting another cat at some point. Arthur is too young to have noticed what has gone on, but I caught him the other night holding one of Ian’s old feeding bowls wandering round the front room saying “Ian? Ian? Ian?” over and over again.
I’m actually really upset that Arthur will never remember Ian, especially as Arthur’s first word was Ian. He loved that cat, as we all did, but I could see Art sticking by Ian as he grew up. Ian was amazingly tolerant of the children. Where other animals would run a mile and keep their distance, Ian would sit on the sofa not minding the shrieks and mostly being ok about his tail being pulled.
Oh, Ian, you were the best cat ever, I will miss you always. May the hydrangea we planted over you bloom bright and long and may your atoms pass through us every day.