Hooray For Henry
Fifteen years ago, I was widowed, devastated at the loss of my soulmate and the mother of my son and stepmother to my daughter,
My mum, herself a widow, told me to get myself and the children a pet, not to replace my wife, just to give me a focus and he help alleviate some of the sadness.
I was adamant that this was not a good idea, until Henry came into our lives.
Henry had a very bad start in life, a very expensive pedigree Russian Blue tom (read velvet grey with a prima donna attitude and regal airs and graces) and had been the toy, I think of the silly *****, who bought him, probably as he matched the decor!
As all kittens do at ten weeks, he crapped in a place, he shouldn't have, (hope it was her hat!) so she stamped on him!
My local RSPCA inspector a close neighbour nursed him for a few days whilst the worst of his injuries were assessed, and then asked me if I could look after him, until he could be rehomed and the sadistic c, u,next tuesday who hurt him, prosecuted, again I was sorry for the cat, but very worried that he would die (his back was broken, tail lopped by two inches, jaw smashed and most teeth lost, front paws in plaster, yet was so beautiful and when held, to feed him through a pipette, would purr like a woodsaw) and that this would further upset the kids (and me, big softie!)
My daughter then aged eleven (going on thirty, a real trooper, and now a lovely lady of nearly thirty!) said "what would mum have done, would she have thought twice about giving him a chance of a good home, even if he dies?"
She was right then, and now, he sits in regal splendour, king of the sofa, an elder statesman, but all the stronger for the love he has provoked in us and the thousands of laughs he has provided over the last fourteen and a half years.
Sadly he is now an old boy, bus ticketed ears from scraps with the local cat mafia, and slow and lethargic on cold wet days.
However if a food tin is opened within 500 feet, there is nothing wrong with his hearing, his legs or his purr motor, when he comes, foul breathed, to thank me for his feasts.
Of course one day maybe soon, he will go to that happy hunting ground, but I dont regret a minute of the time spent with him, nor a penny of the thousands of pounds his treatments and special foods ( he discovered chicked grilled, then liquidised at an early age and it remains his favourite) have cost me.
If ever you get the chance to take in a waif or stray, damaged or previously unloved cat, I implore you to do it, the rewards are as big as the smiles on my kids faces and they would endorse, and echo my sentiments, by quoting my constant smile too.
(even when he attacks the newspaper monster, that lives on my bed on Sunday mornings, and he kills it and shreds it, so well, that I am often finding the remains throughout the house!)