Catty’s gone

Posted: August 8, 2012 in Family, Musings

Sixteen years ago a friend walked in with a grey ball of fluff that his daughter had given him.

‘My kids have grown up,’ he said. ‘I don’t need any new commitments. You take him. You’re not going anywhere for the next sixteen years. ‘

Still in the glow of newly wedded bliss, I let that one slide and picked up the kitten. ‘Does he have a name?’ I asked.

And surprisingly the little ball of fur answered for himself. ‘Al,’ he meowed, and I was sold.

Who could resist a cat that could say his own name?

Yes, he was my cat, but to his credit, he took to each new child with delight, sleeping at their feet at night, and trotting up to the school through their primary school years to walk them home.

He was the ultimate party cat: jumping the fence to join the fairy circle at the neighbour’s birthday party; displaying a bizarre affection for family beach holidays; and always finding the lap of whichever visitor had the strongest aversion to felines.

It took him more than three years to forgive us for getting the beagle, despite the pleasures he discovered in tormenting him.

And for sixteen years, he was my little mate. I spent more hours with Al than with hubba hubby or the kids or my friends or all of my extended family put together. And yesterday he died in my arms.

I thought I’d cried myself out, but it seems that I haven’t…

RIP Allan Hallam, you dear old thing.

You will always be the best catty ever.

  1. Karen Brooks says:

    Oh, shit… Chris, I am so sorry. The pain of losing a fur-kid is simply awful. Sending a blanket of love and hugs for you to wrap yourself in and daub your tears. Vale Allan Hallam xxxxxx

  2. Ian Robertson says:

    So. so sorry for your loss Christine. Let the memories keep you warm. ian Robertson

    • chrisbongers says:

      Thanks Ian, they do, especially the little moments, like the look on the dog’s face each time Al deigned to sit beside him. I’ll miss that. Thanks for stopping by. C

  3. Big hugs to you, Chris. So very sorry and feel for your loss. I cried for months when my doggie-child died many years ago. Then For the first time, I picked up a pen and wrote about her great spirit . . . and haven’t stopped writing since. RIP little furry one.

  4. chrisbongers says:

    Writing comes from the heart, Kerri. That’s why it gushes out after heartbreak. Always be grateful to your furry little muse. 🙂

  5. sharyn redman says:

    18 months ago, I said goodbye to my 19 yr old baby. She was my constant in some interesting and challenging years…. I miss her and still find myself looking for her sweet face.
    So sorry Chris. I feel your sadness.

    • chrisbongers says:

      Thanks Sharyn, the hard times are softened by the memories. Though I do get a pang when I step out into the morning sunshine and he’s not out there basking in it.

  6. Angela Sunde says:

    So very sorry for your loss, Chris. Sending you warm cyber hugs.

  7. Oh Chris, I just saw this … so sorry to hear it. Furry ones are so incredibly precious. They wriggle their ways into all parts of our lives, as family members and loved ones and companions and (when you work from home) even as colleagues. Thinking of you x

  8. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Kath, I’m missing him basking in the winter sun and Huggy’s missing the cat food. Cx

  9. mike says:

    Hey Chrissy, sorry I missed Al’s actual death notice/ announcement and or this post. My reaction to the news last week in front of you was probably like mum’s (relief beat immediate grief) but do know that I belatedly do share your sadness … I even shed a tear reading this post just now. Take care. Mike

  10. chrisbongers says:

    Thanks Mike, I haven’t found the heart to tell Tommy. He slept with Al on the floor during his last near-death experience and gave him back the will to live. No defeating old age in the end though. xx

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