Our cat Shelly, the venerable 18-year old, was a particular favourite of Number One Son. They clearly liked each other and Shelly patiently let our son stroke her even if it often happened to the wrong direction. However, the older Number One Son came the quicker Shelly started to vanish from the spot. She never used her claws against our son but there was clearly only so much she could take.
Sadly, her time came to an end in the early summer after of a period of not eating or drinking. Her near-last moments took place just before the whole family was sitting on the sofa watching ‘Dr Who’ waiting for the Number One Son to go to bed. He was gently cuddling her while she was lying in her favourite sunny spot, naturally very fragile and weak, and after he went upstairs she was gone in ten minutes.
For a couple of days Number One Son was looking for Shelly and was puzzled of her disappearance. He also kept calling other cats Shelly. Even if Archaeologist Husband is pining for a new tabby, we are waiting for a new summer. Thus, our son has to find joy in other cats. During our summer holiday he was making happy squeaks when he realized that there was a young ginger cat in one of the B&Bs we stayed in – there they also had children of his age. The joy, the joy on a hot, sunny afternoon...
On the way from nursery this very fat black and white cat sometimes lingers in front of its home. It is happy to be cuddled and eagerly places herself on her back on the pavement slabs and expects to have strokes on her exposed tummy. When Number One Son sees her he jumps up and down and makes happy high note giggles. He is excited about dogs as well but does not normally make his happy noises. Cats are truly his favourite living animals! (The fish in ‘Finding Nemo’ are a matter of another story...)