Cats are spoilt self centred egotists who only do what they do whenever they feel like doing it. All the love and affection that emanates from them is wholly for their own gratification. A canine bends over backwards to please his or her male and female companions and after only basic training will obey requests and commands from them, where as a feline will either completely ignore you, or say,
"E-Mail me, I'm busy."
Back in the 1950's and into the 60's I was blessed to be the master of what was the smartest dog I have ever known, the legendary Tojo. During the 70's there was the devoted labrador Casey. For most of my life I have always been a lover of animals and since marrying my good wife Gabi during 1972 pussy cats have taken over as the favoured pet. Throughout the years there have been more than several furry felines who were part of our family and were loved, despite their tendency to be quite self centred most of the time.
However, during January 2008 we saved from certain death a black and white bitza tom cat and adopted him as a member of the family. It did not take Gabi and I long to realise he was unlike any other cat and behaved in a manner that would or could not be regarded as typical or normal for an average feline.
|Flea ridden, undernourished, with cat flu and a broken leg.|
He would have been born towards the end of 2004 and Gabi and I assumed he must have been a kiddies Xmas present. Cats are only cute kittens for a relatively short period of time and even before he reached his first birthday he was cast out onto the streets to fend for himself.
When he was around 10 months old he was confronted by our fluffy golden boy Fritz who objected to him eying off our tan and white neutered female Jink. It was a standoff that ended with no fisticuffs, but lots of name calling. When Fritz, who was always a troublemaker, was given to a couple several houses away and we purchased Dinah to keep Jink company, our street urchin began regular visits to keep in touch with both girls. It became obvious that all he desired was company and the girls appeared to more than just tolerate him.
For almost three years his visits became quite regular and any other tom that made an appearance had the living tripe belted out of him. Most of his days were spent hanging out with and sleeping with the girls and during the evenings he was out and about defending his territory. In the latter half of 2007 Gabi began feeding him and named him Boris. She set up a soft bed for him in my workshop and he began to sleep there more often than not. He still would not allow Gabi or me to approach him as he simply did not trust anyone, God only knows what he had been subjected to during those three lonely years.
|His one true love, the Goddess Jink.|
|Still a little unsure, but adapting to domestic life.|
The summer of 07-08 was a stinker. During January 2008 the temperature was in the 40's and Boris the tom had been snoozing under the shadeclothed arbour in our backyard. The heat had got to him, he left his chair and flopped onto the concrete that was so hot you could fry an egg on it. He was panting and crying for relief and for the first time he approached Gabi and I wanting to be picked up. I still believe he was only minutes away from certain death. Gabi picked him up and carried him into the house where the Air-Con and some water and milk revived him within a very short time. We began feeding him on the back landing with the door open and after only two days he entered the house to check everything out. Although this was his first excursion inside, he found the two kitty litter trays in the laundry and made a deposit in one of them without spilling one grain of litter onto the floor. He decided everything was to his liking and fell asleep at Gabi's feet before moving in permanently. He awoke right on teatime and joined the girls in the laundry for dinner. Our two females outwardly appeared to accept him as a family member.
As for Boris, he fell head over heels in love with his goddess Jink.
The only hiccup in our relationship with him was when we took him to the Vet for a complete checkup and had him nicked and popped, so to speak. When we picked him up after the dirty deed had been done, the look on his face said it all,
"What the f... have you done to me?"
After two days of non stop sleeping, all was forgiven and he was ready and rearing to commence his new found life of luxury.
All those years of hard knocks had hardened him, he stank to high heaven, his cheeks were ticket punched with bite and scratch marks, his fur felt like steel wool, his breath was horrendous and he had no idea what playing was. Every now and then Jink would give his face a few love taps then run sideways away from him, hoping he would chase her, but at first he did not understand, but after noticing our young Dinah behaving like a demented whirling dervish while playing with Jink and/or her toys, memories of his childhood must have been recalled. Within two months of being spoilt rotten, he had regained his self respect and he transformed himself into a spotlessly clean, sweet smelling and extremely well groomed gentleman. For the first time since infancy he remembered that there was more to life than fighting and he began to behave almost like a kitten........Ah! at last, Nirvana.
|"This beats the garage. I'm not minding this. One question though, what happened to my cods?"|
Boris attached himself to Gabi and followed her everywhere like a drover's dog, as for me, he still was not convinced. As you can see this did not last for too long and for the first time in my life I had a cat who had grown to adore me and who I was able to bond with. He was the first cat to love me as much as he loved Gabi.
|Boris could not believe his luck when his Goddess would snuggle up for a nap.|
|Like most cats he learnt how to pose and look his cutest.|
|"Mums up, quick all spread out before she gets back."|
|It's all go.|
|The end result. Complete and utter contentment.|
For just under 4 years we were overjoyed with his presence. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine a common moggie could affect us the way he did. Maybe it was because of the hard life during those early years, maybe it was the way he appeared to be all the time grateful for everything, or it could have been the way he adapted to the comforts of domestic life when adopted. Whatever it was, Gabi and I saw to it that,what turned out to be his last 4 years, were all he ever could have imagined. All he ever wanted was to be part of a family and to be loved.
His wish came true, he found his loving family, complete with two spoilt females and for the first time in his life, a place of safety, where he ended up being spoilt rotten. Despite this, not once did he ever take a single solitary thing for granted, he was grateful for every little thing that came his way and we loved him for it and he returned that love with compound interest. There was nothing insincere or patronising about his affection for Gabi and I, or his two girlfriends, he idolised us all. He would hardly ever cease talking to the two of us in squeaks and chirrups and quite often would sing love songs to Jinkie. The average cat simply does not behave in this manner and this is what made him so unique, loving and special.
Sunday evening he was playing with his toys and swinging on his cat scratcher, showing off as usual, life was pretty good. At bedtime Gabi was joined by all three moggies and when I arose at 5:30 am there they were all snuggled up together....what a life. Along with the two girls he was fed his breakfast by Gabi at 5:45 am Monday 1st. August. He entered the living room at 6:00am, gave me a rub and meowed a greeting, commenced to take up his position in front of the gas heater, then suddenly collapsed onto the rug and died instantly. He was only 2 months or so short of his 7th birthday.
What caused this to happen? Who knows, at least he went quickly in an instant,with no trauma preceding the tragedy, or knowledge of what was about to transpire. His last three and a half years were full of life's comforts, with regular and tasty meals, along with a whole range of sleeping options that he took full advantage of. He loved his two female companions and he most certainly loved Gabi and I and demonstrated it on a daily basis. He seemed to understand from day one what the two posted cat scratcher was for and loved to show off on it at every opportunity. His only mistake was defending the girls and his territory with way too much dedication and in doing so brought about his demise years earlier than it should have occurred. Gabi predicted what would happen if we could not prevent him from belting the living tripe out of any tom foolish enough to take him on, sadly she was right.
He's gone and as I type the tears are streaming down my cheeks and although they will eventually cease, the memories of him will never be forgotten.
Thank you Boz, it was a delight and indeed an honour to have known you for the all too short period of your life and to be held in such high esteem by you. Be assured little fellow, we thought as much of you as you did of us.
God bless you little mate, you were truly one in a billion.
Footnote: One of the stray toms who started to appear on the odd occasion was a grey tabby who, although larger than Boris, would have the living tripe belted out of him by the wonder cat. Like Boz he had just about every ailment that could afflict a feline and when we lost our favourite boy, this grey ghost seemed keen to keep our two spoiled girls company.
Unlike Boris was in the beginning, this new stray was only too happy to be patted and picked up by Gabi, who had begun to feed him. Before we or he knew it, he was in the cat cage and down to the vet he went for a complete check up and returned home minus his cods.........ouch!
No one will ever be able to replace Boz, but there has now been an addition to the Fuller family...................Buster.