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Eight years ago on Christmas Eve my fiancé, who is now my husband called me into the lounge. “Look at the tree” he grinned “It’s moving” Really busy and rushing around I told him not to be so daft, I looked anyway, and well we do don’t we? There to my surprise there were two little glassy eyes staring out of the pine branches. I thought the light was glinting on the decorations until this bundle of black fur fell out of the tree.
That was how I met her. Well now, I just had to marry my fiancée after that surprise! If you have read my op letter to an animal you will know that I have always wanted my very own cat – with tongue in cheek - for who ever really owns a cat?
She is completely black, born on 31st October as people often call me a witch for knowing things before they happen I had to call her Tarot.
I first wrote this many months ago and left it on word.
My bundle of black fur made me cry with tears of happiness and now tonight she has gone to cat heaven (I hope) and now I cry with sadness at the loss I feel through her not walking across my keyboard as I type and her not being here anymore.
My bundle of black fur with the glassy eyes grew up to be a very tough cat. A character as they always are and a lover of trees, especially the fir trees in my front garden, she must have thought it was Christmas every day!
My Tarot was a character when we brought our puppy, a German shepherd home (another ball of fur) Tarot climbed the curtains and tried to get through the ceiling. However they became friends of a kind, although they fought in front of us we caught them out a few times and they kept each other company.
Tarot was always a feisty cat, very proud and a very one person cat. I was privileged to be that person. I was the one she punched on the nose to wake me up in the morning if I had a lie in and she wanted breakfast. I was the one she meowed at every time I went in the kitchen for her food.
She would sit and watch me for hours, getting pretty fed up with me on a Saturday when I was reading the papers and then she would show this by sitting on the paper so I could not read it. She told me when she wanted attention and would go to many lengths to get it even trying to push the papers away. She demanded my attention.
When she was a young cat she had kittens, she was quite moody at this time and wanted peace and quiet so she fell out with the dog for a while and retired upstairs. One day I just wondered how she was doing and as I walked into the room she was giving birth. She did not mind me with her and gave birth to four black kittens who all survived. It was a wonderful experience for me and to watch her, a very independent cat, care for her kittens was a miracle as we felt sure she would abandon them... However that did not last long she was soon out and about and left the dog to do the babysitting. Which I must say I had a lot of doubt about this but our German shepherd was a wonderful babysitter!
Where we lived at the time we found out that our new neighbour had a fear of black cats. She tried every trick in the book to harm our cat even with rat poison and fox alarms. Poor woman obviously had some kind of phobia. The children in the street were wicked to Tarot and one day I caught them hurting her. Tarot became quite an angry cat and would really only trust me. One day she disappeared I could not find her anywhere and thought I had lost her. Then one evening two weeks later I was out with my husband walking the dog. I was talking as we walked down an alley and I heard a meow. I commented that it was my Tarot’s meow. My husband told me not to be so daft. But I knew her meow and there up on the alley wall was Tarot saying hello to me. She had recognized my voice I carried her home and she never left home again.
( She became jumpy and quite aggressive at times to protect herself she obviously watched the dog and she learned how to bite. A pretty nasty bite I may add. In fact tonight I have two marks on my wrist where she bit me this week. I really did not know that she was so ill and I must have hurt her as I picked her up.)
We moved and I have never seen such a transformation in a cat. She loved those fir trees, she loved all the trees in the garden, and our neighbors all have cats so she loved the freedom. She began to relax but still argued with the dog. She was clever and crafty knowing all the ways to get across the lounge without our dog getting her, she was quick and clever. When the dog was not looking she would slink up to the dog’s water bowl and drink from it. Or she would go to the tap, nudge it and drink from the tap. Many a time I caught her drinking water from my glass! Rarely did she drink water from her own bowl. I found after she had eaten my tuna from my tuna salad that I could not even leave my food for a second without her enjoying it. If you have ever read the book Slinky Malinki you will know what my Tarot was like. That is my favorite cat book.
Saturday night I often like some prawns and so did she and the dog! It was one for me and one for you and one for you too. Don’t think I shall be eating prawns tomorrow night though. Did I say she was clever? In the mornings she would jump up to the door handle, press it down and enter the bedroom. If she was caught short in the house she would go to the toilet in the bath. I mean how clever that is! When I was in the bathroom she always clawed the door to get in if I was having a shower she would sit and wait if I was sitting on the loo she would rub her body up against my legs and jump on my lap!
If I was going away she always knew, she would watch me packing my clothes and sometimes even hide in our camper van hoping to have a holiday with us. She probably thought hmmp! The dog goes on holiday with you and I don’t! She did not like going to the cattery the first time she sulked so much when she came home but after the initial visit she was fine and in fact I think she enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Recently I noticed she was not going out so much; it was last week that she began to go off her food so I changed her food as sometimes she liked a change and a treat - she ate it. Then yesterday I noticed she had not eaten any of it so I opened a tin of tuna. She was sitting on top of the cupboard and I noticed she was wobbly and unsure of getting down. I climbed up on a chair and waved the tuna in front of her she meowed and jumped down. She only ate a little then just sat and stared into space. I opened her mouth and found it was very white. This morning I gave her the rest of the tuna she took a couple of mouthfuls. Then I arranged to take her to the vet. I carried her upstairs because I did not want her to go out I was scared she would not come back. When I put her on the bedroom carpet she just laid there, she looked across the room and I looked too, it was as if someone or something was there. She just stared with a scared look on her face. I could see nothing, but she saw something that I did not see.
(Tonight I was thinking about the last week. I had a few strange things happen to me. One was that I have felt my aunt brush up against me, one time I actually felt she was standing next to me. My aunt died four years ago. This is the first time I have felt her presence)
I took Tarot to the vet within fifteen minutes. The vet knew she was dieing she did not say as much but the look on her face told me. The vet told me she was anemic and would probably need a blood transfusion. She kept her at the vets and did tests. The vet said she would phone after three o clock. At five o clock I was stroking my Tarot under her chin while the vet put her to sleep. She was only eight years old and had never been ill in her life. She had leukemia with a red blood cell count of 0.05% the vet told us that she could not believe that Tarot could still lift her head she had never seen this before. The count should be 25% I cannot remember the name of the leukemia but what she had meant that the red blood cells were not being produced. This meant that if they gave her a blood transfusion the red blood cells would only last a few days and then she would need another one. She would need chemotherapy and it would be an ongoing process. The vet told us that a much younger dog had a higher blood count and the hospital had refused to treat it because it is just not fair to the animal.
Tonight I found it so hard. The tears would not stop flowing but I had to go to her although I had said good bye this morning. I kept all the tears inside as much as I could but I had to go outside to the cold hoping it would freeze the tears for a while. I just did not know how I would keep composed. The final thought before I was called into the vet was. I am the only one Tarot really trusts I must be strong for her she must hear my voice and know that I am there with her. She must go in peace and knowing that I love her so much.
My poor Tarot. She would sit on my lap when I read. She would meow a greeting to me every morning and night. She would punch me when she wanted attention and she would hide on the stairs and give me a whack with her paw when she wanted me to stroke her. I am off work next week I shall miss her terribly as tonight every time I walk up the stairs I expect her to be there. When I sit down she would come and sit on my lap Every time I go into the kitchen I will expect her to be there. When I iron she would always sit by my side on her shelf just watching me. Who knows maybe her spirit will be there.
She was my witch’s cat. *Tarot* Born on 31st October 1996 – Died 5th November 2004 Pure black and beautiful. RIP
Just makes me feel so sad, My cat Tipsy Dipstick is just like her. Called dipstick because she is the colour of used engine oil - she doesn't walk she sort of flows. I love cats there is always something mysterious about them - always have a smug look - I know something you don't matey boy !
borneo2007 21.05.2006 18:58
well you had me distraught just reading that and I'm not even that fond of cats! my consolations
scouse_mouse_2000uk 09.01.2006 00:57
SOB, SOB. what a tearful story, I sobbed, i have two cats. One of my cats was at the vets for a week and was near to be putting asleep/ Bless poor Tarot, huggles