Last night, I had to say my last, I love you, and sing my last Goodnight song to another member of our family: Tarzan, our 17 year old cat.
Watching him suffer over the past few months meant it was a bittersweet moment when he closed his eyes for the last time and I held him in my arms, a moment that I barely managed to cope with. As I gulped down the lump in my throat and gently stroked his ragged fur, my children’s lives flashed before my eyes. This beautiful feline had filled their daily moments with such happy memories, memories which were coming to an end as the light dimmed in his eyes.
Darjeeling was no ordinary cat. He was run over in the first year of his life, was rushed to an unknown vet and disappeared from our lives for about three months. I still don’t know how I managed to track him down (he hadn’t even been chipped yet). I do know it took several phone calls and visits to shelters in different towns, RSPCA centres and endless calls to random cat people who knew someone who knew someone. In the end, I tracked him to a cat shelter in Twyford and sped off with my two babies in tow, determined to rescue my little Darjeeling cat.
He is the only cat I’ve ever met who could call both my Hubble and myself by name in a voice loud enough to wake our neighbours. Standing on the flat roof of our downstairs cloakroom, which was just below our bedroom window, he would call our names out to the stars until we woke and opened the window for him. If we didn’t wake in time, our neighbours would kindly inform us that he was calling all night long!
Fighting various common cat illnesses throughout his life, he managed to live up to the strength of his name – Tarzan – and was a legend in our family. He will be remembered for his love of climbing thin branches and swinging from them; giving us the stink eye when he wasn’t fed on time; and bravely staying with us through five house moves in his lifetime.
His final resting place, our dream home, will be a testament to his well-deserved rest after a very full life. To say we loved him would be an understatement. He was our cat legend, our sweet Darjeeling, our Tarzan.