He was a stray and had lived in the area for a long time. I know this because he was the ‘ghost’ cat that constantly crept in and stole our previous moggy’s food. The first we usually knew of him was the sound of the slamming cat door as he left. I cornered him once and to my shame now, really scared him, on purpose, to try and make him keep away. He was huge, a classic tom cat with big muscley body and puffy cheeks. I didn’t know then that he was just trying to stay alive.
One day we saw him about and he was badly injured, attacked by a fox we think. We started to try and tempt him with food, to see if we could get him to a vet. He may have been a thief but as a cat lover, no way could I watch him in distress.
Over six months or so he went from accepting food we left, to living in an enclosed fleece lined box in our greenhouse – it was a very cold winter that year. At some point, some months later, he allowed us to touch his head while he ate. He used to sit down the garden and just stare at our house for ages.
When our previous moggy left us, he moved in. It took some time, but he got used to the idea. I guess he hadn’t had any love from a human since he was a kitten, maybe never. The picture shows him on one of the beds being a proper, very loved family cat.
Over the two years or so we had him, he became a complete member of the family. Each morning he would greet me downstairs with a huuuuge meow. Sadly he had FIV so was never all that healthy. His gums troubled him and eventually we had all his teeth removed, as a last resort. That helped a lot and he did without the monthly anti-biotics and steroids he had to endure before.
Henry died at 9.50pm on Saturday night and he has left such a huge hole in the house. I miss him terribly, which may sound daft, but he had such a unique character. I always said only his own mother could love him with his battered face with missing fur and scars, neither tips of his ears present. What a character. Oh how I wish he could have told me his life story!
Okay in the last six months or so he was very high maintenance, but I didn’t begrudge a second. He became quite confused in those last few months and went missing a few times, so I had to keep him in. Once I came home from work after a call from a friend to find him in a front garden quite some distance away, across a main road. He had been there days I was told by the garden owner. They knew him from old, he used to steal their cat’s food too! I guess he just recognised the garden when he was lost? Who knows.
We miss you Henz, you were a lovely, lovely cat and companion and I miss you on my lap and in my shed. May you enjoy perfect health in your next life 🙂