Monday, 20 February 2017

Goodbye Lucy

Dear readers, 

Lucy has gone now to see her brother, for which she was ready as her body was tired and she was weary. Thank you so much for following Lucy, and indeed Jinks, over the last few years. It has been our pleasure to share their antics, and there were certainly many. From the day we brought them home we knew that our lives were going to be different, very different. Where Lucy went, bold as ever, Jinks would follow, somewhat more slowly and with trepidation for, despite being the larger of the two, was the softer, more nervous. They did however give us many, many hours of laughter and love for which we are truly grateful. Maine Coons really are lovely animals and love nothing more than to curl up with you. We thoroughly recommend them and would not have been without them for a moment. They have left a gaping hole which will be hard to recover from.

Thank you once again

Lucy & Jinks' Guardians

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Last day

My dear friends, if one could select one's last day on this earth, then I truly wish you the one that I have just had. Our night was spent snuggled together, with myself carefully ensconced between my darling guardians. On waking, we spent a glorious hour or so cuddled together before rising. Sadly, my hard earned appetite had once again deserted me, but no matter, for I was not preparing for hard work, merely enough to enjoy my last day. We have spent another short spell in the sanctuary garden for the sun shone enough to enjoy the warmth and the breeze to gently ruffle my coat one last time. How glorious to sniff the fresh country air full of the promise of spring, listen to the birdsong and just breath. Sad, as I am to be leaving my guardians, I am ready, for my body grows weary and my brother awaits me. My guardians are heavy hearted but, like myself, believe in quality of life and the dignity of a peaceful death. 

As I look back on my life I experience a feeling of joy at the life I have had with my brother and my darling guardians. It is no mean feat to look back on one's life with no regrets, for I have none, just a joy at the simple pleasures our little family have enjoyed; watching over my guardians caring for our small country estate, entertaining a select number of visitors, particularly the Antipodean members of the family, winter evenings spent around the fire, summer days in the garden together, all four of us enjoying the fresh country air. Oh, what a life. I do so hope you enjoy yours too, for as my lady guardian can oft be heard to say, "life is not a rehearsal, this is it". Do not wait for those big events, or the expensive pleasures, for they pale into insignificance beside a simple handwritten missive, a kind word, love, kindness, laughter and, importantly, touch. My guardians give the most expressive cuddles and hugs despite their reserved exteriors, for I should know, having experienced many in my time with them and will do so til the very end. Every day is a bonus and for those who are old, frail or ailing, as I am now, the simple pleasures are what makes it bearable; comfort, warmth, kindness and peace, all of which I have had in abundance and will be my lasting memory of time with my guardians.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Holding my own

Well, my dears, I am still here and am apparently "holding my own" whatever that may mean, but I do know that the intended visit from the V-E-T today has been put off. I know that this is all down to the care and attention I was afforded at the hands of the said gentleman, who was diligence itself. No hair was unturned in his intent to improve upon my ailing health which has given me a small reprieve from the inevitable, even though this means hours and days rather than weeks or months. I am grateful for this, as I wish to spend what time I have with my loved ones. The care I received, along with fluids and medication, restored my appetite, albeit small. Who, dear friends, would not be tempted by rotisserie chicken, freshly purchased by the V-E-T-I-N-A-R-Y team, and fed to one whilst warmly ensconced upon a lap? I do believe they went above and beyond the call of duty in their attempt to assist me for which I, and my guardians, will be eternally grateful; a few more hours or, at best, a day or two, to spend in each other's company, is all we ask, and, for the moment, are hopeful of.

This morning, I have had a small, light repast of tuna and some fluids, and even a brief turn around the sanctuary garden to say my goodbyes to all those nooks and crannies that are so familiar; my favourite apple tree, the beginnings of spring buds beginning to show and the freckled faced lemon clematis that scrambles up the branches from next door, resplendent in its spring finery, the tête-à-tête daffodils planted in the large pots by the back door are discernible, and all around me I see the beginnings of another year. I took some time to pay my respects to my darling brother, forwarning him of my imminent arrival, for, as you may remember, he never did like surprises. I am calm and at peace with the inevitable but know that the hearts of my darling guardians will be broken. Time, as they say, is a great healer and I know, in my heart,  that my brother and I will never be forgotten. What more could one wish for in life and death.

For the moment, I will relish what we have, which it has to be said at this moment is the mildly enticing wafts of fresh chicken roasting for my personal delectation, should I so wish it. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Well, my dears, after a difficult week health wise, I am thankfully returned from a little visit and overnight stay with the v-e-t. We are now aware of why I have been unwell and, dear friends, it was not good news. I am, however, where I want to be with my darling guardians and we will spend as much quality time as we can together. I know my guardians will, as always, cater for my every need/desire but these are simple and I have all that I wish for as well as knowing that I will have a peaceful end. My only other wish is to be buried alongside my darling brother who I hold dear in my heart for we weathered much in our early lives together.

As with many who have gone before me, I look back over this life of mine with its inherent upsides and downsides. After a difficult first three years, my brother and I were lucky to be taken in by my guardians and, oh, how our fortunes changed. We learnt the joy of a loving family life, the patience of my guardians as we adapted, a warm comfortable home, regular healthy food and joy in the simple things in life; a glorious country home, peace and safety, of which I have oft extolled the virtues. Life, stripped back to the bare essentials comprises these simple but important elements, with the more extravagant paling into insignificance. All of this brings me great comfort and I will relish the time I have left with those I love. 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bleak mid winter

The weather was quite bitter again today as my guardians went about their chores of bringing in the wood and ensuring enough kindling for the week ahead, as well as meals prepared ahead to give wholesome comfort on their return from their professional toil. I have observed them as they work and considered the countryside in which we live for it intrigues me that we sing about the bleak mid winter to celebrate Christmas yet February really is the bleakest month. Bleak, however, does not necessarily convey the beauty one can also observe for the countryside may be stripped bear but there is beauty in this with the clean lines of the hedgerows and trees, smoke emitting from chimneys and people wrapped up against the weather. Seed heads, ivy and evergreens forming the foundations of gardens in winter time. Frosty weather sprinkling it all with glitter or bitter winds causing birds to rise up and swirl in the currents. The Nordic countries have introduced us to the more enjoyable elements of hunkering down and taking comfort in these harsh condition rather than enduring; a log fire, wholesome food and drink, good company and enjoyment in simple pleasures, as I myself believe in. We have therefore very much embraced this ethos this weekend and enjoyed fire time with the log burner lit early each morning, going about our little routines and enjoying time together.  Time to recharge and rejuvenate where possible. 

I have been off colour for some time and really only observe life from the comfort of a warm lap or my gloriously comfortable basket that is raised off the floor and so comfortable, protecting me from draughts with raised sides and soft, warm fleece on which to snuggle down. My guardians are tending to my every need but I have somewhat lost my appetite and joie de vivre. It pains me to see their concern but, in cat years, I am elderly and have enjoyed a good life here in our little country home. I am loved beyond belief but, as we all know, every life comes to an end. Only time will tell, dear readers, how this little episode will end but for now I wish you a fond goodnight, 'til, hopefully, the next missive.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

A most beguiling blog

Whilst enduring the rigours of the winter weather we have employed ourselves in various ways such as the essential chores but fitness, music, reading and the arts too. It is whilst perusing the latest updates of fellow bloggers, as we are apparently termed, that I espied my lady guardian reading a missive from a most intelligent and gifted lady, Kate Davies. My lady guardian admires the craft as well as the art but also the masterly word and presentation. Here is someone who has endured potential catastrophic health problems but has overcome to rise with aplomb and excel at something she clearly adores in a most delightful situation in Scotland. In short, a most successful recovery and one that has bought such richness for her and her husband, along with their companion Bruce. It is, one has to note, a little sad that one does not hear much of their feline companion but, perhaps they are as shy and retiring as my late dear brother. My lady guardian is a fellow knitter but, as she is very quick to comment, of basic ability and in no way comparable to M/s Davies but nevertheless follows her musings, writings and productions with great delight. Something to aspire to, as she is oft to quote. Do take a look if you are at all interested in intelligent and gentle scholarly discourse on the art and craft of knitting, there is a whole new world of history, art, craft, textile and wool in which to immerse oneself at this time of year as well as the most beautiful photography by her husband Tom, all intertwined with the joy of life, good friends, furry companions and the most awe inspiring scenery. Something to enjoy, my dears on cold wintery days.


Snow flurries

February, my dears, is not truly February without the addition of some snow and today we are seeing the odd flurry. ''Tis nought but the odd burst but the wind is bitter and one feels it keenly. I have little  doubt that my guardians' will ensure the homes fires are alight early to warm the fabric of our little home. As we write, I am curled upon my lady guardians lap, swathed in a most comforting knee rug of the finest wool to keep me warm, for I feel my age most keenly on these bitter days. Ensconced thus I am free to observe the world or nap as the will takes me. It is times such as these that I take time to let my mind wander at will; my thoughts are currently of fond memories of life with my dear brother and my darling guardians. We were most fortunate to find each other in times of need and have spent the last nigh thirteen years thus. As I ponder, I am greatly aware of my advancing years and health that is beginning to decline. Like many of my fellow felines, and indeed, humans, we find that age does not come alone and one's world begins to narrow to the essentials of food, if desired, warmth, love and kindness. I am in the fortunate position of having an endless supply of these essentials but alas know this is not true for everyone. 'Tis important to remember, however, that life does not come with a guarantee of reaching our later years and it is a time to enjoy, where possible, for there is enjoyment to be had. I, as you know, believe in simple pleasures and am greatly enjoying the warmth and comfort from time spent with my guardians whilst we experience this cold snap, with the benefit of a most comforting warm rug.

The Antipodeans continue with the new phase of life, currently betwixt and between, but with a most definite forward trajectory and we regularly monitor their progress from afar. How delightful to see the twists and turns of individual life maps. Whilst my lady guardian and her sister may be twins their life maps have been quite opposite, true Pisces, swimming in opposite directions across the hemispheres but connected by blood lines. So very fascinating for one to observe and pontificate upon. As one ages, one considers one's family and the relationships with the twists and turns across the map of life that play out before one. Life however comes down to simple things in the end, something one only realises with the benefit of age but the important addition of maturity, and a little wisdom thrown in. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Oh dear me......

Oh dear me, dear friends, where does the week go? Why it has been so busy of late my head quite whirls, full of music and art and other interests, aside from the usual daily routine. As well as their professional toil, my guardians manage to slot in such varied interests that enrich the hearts and minds, as well as giving such great enjoyment. My lady guardian is most diligent in her attempts to learn to read music and play an instrument; most days see some form of practice, be it the instrument itself or the music. Why, whilst my male guardian was engaged in his professional toil over the weekend, many hours of practice have been accomplished and, as the maxim states, "practice makes perfect" for my lady guardian is able to play a short classical piece already, much to her delight. Perhaps the greatest delight is that we have not received any complaints from local residents yet, for which we are grateful; one does assume that two foot thick walls absorb the sound but one must be mindful to ensure neighbourly relations, must one not!

The Art classes are sadly coming to an end and what fun they have been. My lady guardian has been enthused anew and is researching further options to enhance upon that which she has recently undertaken. As my lady guardian says, there is so much more to experience in the field of art. The hours spent at the art class are a world apart from everything else and the mind is freed to embrace visual concepts, or as my lady guardian says, "float in the ether and enjoy" (ever practical and down to earth, dear reader).

The Antipodeans have taken the next large step in their life plan and briefly spoke to us via technology over the last few days. Oh what a step they have taken and one that made our family smile for they did appear most joyous, something that makes us all happy. Despite clearly being tired at the upheaval, it was worth it and we are sure that the next phase of their lives is well and truly begun. My cousins, Timmy and Tammy, have taken to the upheaval in their own ways with Timmy grasping it with both paws and Tammy, much as my dear brother would have done, by seeking solace somewhere warm and out of harms way. Once all has settled, I am sure that this little family will be most truly content, as we are, my dears. All part of life's rich tapestry, dear friends.