It is now a year since Dippi-Duck died.  I have ticked off 365 long lonely days without her company, without someone to care for, supervise, love and generally look after. I miss my little friend so very much, it hurts.

WilliMy days have been empty, with nothing to do to fill the time. I tried to inflict my company on my human but she just kept tripping over me, or ignoring my pleas for food. I became quite a nuisance and was referred to as 'the great Lummox!’ I had hoped she would pick up the hint and get me another waif and stray to look after but it hasn’t sunk in yet – humans aren’t particularly bright!

I celebrated my 15th birthday in February and felt so alone. I spent the day looking back over my life and all the friends I had who are no longer here at Tom Cat Towers. 

There was Oliver, a grumpy Persian. He really was an old grumpbag. Devilishly handsome with a huge white moustache, but he just hated everyone. Molly, a cat who had no tail. She didn’t really like me as I tried to look after her and care for her. She was very independent and soon upped-sticks to go and live with an old lady two streets away. I was very offended. She then had a road accident and lost a front leg.

Branson, a rather peculiar Persian, who stayed briefly before being rehomed. She wasn’t a cuddle-kitten; she decimated the collection of blackbirds at Tom Cat Towers and eating a robin was the last straw.

Piggly-Wiggly, a small grey Persian, who had got lost, so she was scooped up and came to live here. She had no whiskers.

Dippi-Duck, the very disabled and brain damaged cutie who wobbled and fell over all the time. She was my special project and I became her full time, carer. It was a duty which I carried out most unselfishly because I loved her.

TushtotsTushtots, my best friend in all the world ... ever, who let me look after him for eight and a half years. He had to have had all his fur shaved off because his pelt was so matted. He had been abused and was about to be put down so my human ‘bought’ him for a bottle of cheap champagne. We hit it off the very moment he was rescued, I licked him between the ears to welcome him to his new home and we were inseparable. Sadly Tushie developed chronic kidney failure and despite all my love and care he passed away. I still think I see him in the garden or under the bushes, and my heart skips a beat. I rouse myself to go and join him for some feline fun, but it’s just my mind fooling me.

Poor shaved DippiTwo days after he died, Dippi joined us and I found my vocation in life as a full time carer for the sweet wobbly little cat. She was so very damaged in mind and body and had become quite feral before being rescued, but she was on the verge of being put down when my human took her in. She was a poor scrap of a cat, all her fur had been removed and she didn’t know what cat food was (I soon taught her!) I followed her round and made sure she was safe. Then last April (2013) she died suddenly, in my paws as we lay cuddled up beneath the warmth of a radiator. I am still bereft. I kissed her before she was buried in the garden. I sometimes think I hear her waddling round and wonder is she is looking for me to cuddle up to?

My human won’t get another cat because I am now ‘in my dotage’ and she doesn't want to upset me by getting a young whippersnapper in. I sleep for most of the day on an old wicker chair by the windows. I dream of my old mouse hunting and nest raiding days, but now when I creakily circumnavigate the garden the birds laugh at me and the mice no longer see me as a threat. Even Napier catnip mice have lost their attraction.

My human with Saint Ben looking at my bursarThe bursa tumour on my front right leg is now enormous. I limp and the human gives me painkillers, but Saint Ben of Park Street says that there is nothing that can be done with the tumour. I have a plastic box as an old cat’s disability aid so I can gingerly climb onto my wicker chair and lie on a sheepskin rug to comfort my old bones. I bask in the sunlight that pours through the window. Gone are the days when I would nimbly leap across the room and stay out all night having adventures. I snore like a warthog, it’s so loud it drowns the television.

My garden companions, too, are dwindling; Skwonx, a big grey cat who would come into the garden, met with a nasty car accident and had to be put down; Sydney and Benny, two ginger tabbies who lived over the road moved away and died shortly after and a black tom called Poppy disappeared.

Mikey-Mike and WilliMikey-Mike was a tramp of a cat. He’d been abandoned when his owners moved away and he would come calling for my human and seduce her with shameless cupboard love. He would come into the house and snuggle up with Dippi and myself in the snoozzee. He lay down in the sunshine one afternoon, and just passed away.

I still have Dumpty, the bane of my life. The regal floozy-pantaloons, up-her-own-backside-with-her-own-importance, for whom nothing is good enough. I do pad after her and try to sniff her or just to have some company.   She’s so independent with her own Maid (my human!) at her beck and call 24/7 that there is no room in her life for me to care for her She views me with utter disdain and will turn tail and stomp off. She is just an old faded film star who appeared in a cat food advert and wrote about her catwalk life for The Daily Mews in a series of diaries. I have even been banned from lying on the bed in case I upset her royal presence, as she is very sensitive, apparently.

We did have a bit of excitement as Madam fluffypantaloons was groomed to perfection recently in order for a photographer from the national press to do his best. I did try to supervise some of the photo shots. I was so chuffed to be involved, my supervising skills were at their most excellent. However, after sniffing everything and knocking bits and pieces over, I was unceremoniously plonked outside in the garden as no-one wants to take my photo anymore and I was getting in the way of Madam's perfect photo.  I was gutted; this was the only excitement I’d had for ages.

It seems all but forgotten that I starred in my own book with my pal Tushtots.

So I fill my days moping around, snoozing, snoring, constantly harassing the human for food, (that’s why I’m called Gut-Truck). I have developed a new hobby: spraying in the kitchen by the front door when I can’t be bothered to go out at night. I think the human finds it quite a delightful trick first thing in the morning for all the noise she makes.

I also keep her amused during the night by demanding to be let out. I noisily pad round chuntering or scratching the new carpet till she gets out of bed and opens the front door for me. I count to 100 then demand to come in by banging my quite large paws continuously on the glass panel by the doors till it annoys her so much I am let in. I then wait a little while and repeat the pantomime!!
Dippi and Wills
The days are long and the nights are lonely. I miss Dippi so much my heart aches. I wish I could turn back the clock and be a kitten again when the world was new, exciting and all my friends were here.

How did I suddenly become so old, so friendless and so weary?


A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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