A most remarkable feline August 1998 – February 2011
When my daughter, Hope, was seven we decided to get her a cat for her birthday and she was called Crystal. She came from a young couple in Cardiff, where we lived at the time, who couldn’t keep her. She was infested with fleas and probably wouldn’t have survived for much longer. She was a tiny thing. The night before Hopes birthday we brought her home in my coat pocket and my wife Anna spent the rest of the evening with a nit comb cleaning and grooming her. She didn’t complain.
Crystal spent her first three years with us in Roath and soon gained the respect of our two (now three) dogs. She was a feisty little thing taking full advantage of having the dogs for back up should she run into some mangy tom.
When we moved to Herefordshire she quickly settled into country life but maintained her tough ‘city bitch’ attitude. Even my sons young Jack Russell was fast to realise that she was not to be tangled with. Having said that she was very affectionate with her family. Coming in from the garden she would often give the dogs a quick lick before padding up to my daughters bedroom or jumping up on an available lap.
Sadly she became suddenly ill this week and died. My wife wrote a poem on the evening of her death which I think perfectly captures her essence.
As inevitable as the Shipping News, the Pips or God Save the Queen
That slight creak of the door, the inch of light and the jingle of bells
Then, that silent leap onto the bed
Soft padding footsteps through the downy duvet
With the smallest of meows you lean your body into mine
Then continue your journey to find a patch of skin
Bizarrely licking an elbow, shoulder, cheek or an eye
Until finally reaching your destination – The pillow
Where you pad and paw, extending and withdrawing those sharp claws,
Purring all night long.
Until morning, when with a stretch and a meow you follow me to the bathroom
Gentle soft footsteps downstairs to the kitchen
Where you encircle my legs as I fill the kettle
Letting you out of the kitchen door I watch you trot up the garden;
Always using the path
To annoy the neighbour’s cat or to bask in that patch of golden sunlight.
and my daughter wrote this some years ago, which does just as much.
My City Cat is spoilt.
She’s a pretty City Cat.
She’s an elegant
One minded spoilt Cat.
Goodbye Crystal, we miss you terribly (and I think the dogs do too) x.