In praise of the Old Tan Cat

A sad post today, recording the death of dad’s cat, always known as the Old Tan Cat, or Tan for short. She was ancient, and had been packing up health wise for some time, so it is no surprise, but sad sad sad anyway. She came to us when mum was still alive (she was an adult then, so not sure how old she really is). When she was ill, Tan was a great companion and solace for her too, sitting on her lap or curled up on the bed beside her. Since mum’s death, dad has definitely become her champion, and in turn she has been very loyal and faithful to him – following him around, and gazing at him adoringly while stretched out across him. He said that she would even sit underneath his walker if he went outside for a bit of sun.

Pets have a way of getting right into our hearts – certainly they provide us with daily ways to express our love and care. Dad has been cossetting the cat for years, and particularly in the past 6 or 12 months, as she has been getting more frail. We took her to the vet in March, thinking that it might be the end then. She detested the trip up in the cat box, and was furious and spitting, hissing at the vet – a sign that she wasn’t as bad as we had thought perhaps (apparently tortoiseshell cats are renowned for being temperamental – the vet staff called her a ‘naughty torty’). They gave her some anti-inflammatory tablets, which helped her a lot – she was positively skittish for a while, and we had an extra 6 months with her. Dad fed her all her favourite things – he even had me cook some food for her last weekend, to see if that would tempt her, and he made her a little cat box lined with old shirts and holy singlets to keep warm and dry in winter. He was pretty firm with her too though – he didn’t let her sleep on his bed, and after a while, she just never went to his room. She would come inside on cold nights though. I loved seeing them together and will be very sad myself not to have her about. I have done posts about her before and her death yesterday links a little with one of these. Dad went for a walk late yesterday afternoon, not long before sunset. He gave the cat a pat on the way out – she was sitting in the driveway. It seems she followed him out to the road as she had done many times before, and by the time dad got back to her, she had died. Thankfully she didn’t seem to have been in too much pain – if she had been, we would have taken her to the vet – and lived her normal life, just slowly, right to the last.

I will go up there today and stay for the weekend and she will be buried near the other cats down by the lilac tree.


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4 Responses to In praise of the Old Tan Cat

  1. romi789 says:

    I remember that lovely old cat from my various visits. What a gap it will leave in your Dad’s daily life, with all its affectionate ways and habits. Sad.

    • Hi Romi, Nice to hear from you. We have buried the dear old thing this afternoon, wrapped in an old shirt of dad’s. He is ok about it at present – but it will definitely be a gap that is hard to fill. Great to hear from you – and great that you knew the cat too…

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