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!)

Cherpee Cherpee
51-55, M
5 Responses Jun 8, 2009

Thank you for the delightful story.Made my day!

That is the mystery and beauty, interwoven into the rich tapestry of life,<br />
We took Henry in to give him a chance, but he gave me and my children a chance in return.<br />
Happily in our cases we all had a fresh start,and he gave us so much pleasure and enriched our lives by being there, its a wonder his grey velvet fur wasn't washed off with the tears we all shared with him.<br />
In his younger days he would bring us presents of mice and birds, but thankfully now in his dotage, his purr and companionship are reward enough he thinks.

I love this story...sometimes I wonder who rescues who. When we give love to an animal we get repaid with so much.Thanks for sharing.

Henry reminds me of a cat I adopted from the Cats' Protection League. Bertie, as I named him, had been ignored by many other people looking for a pet because of his appearance. He had patches of fur missing, walked with a limp and had only a small stump of his tail remaining. What no one realised as they walked past on their way to see the cute kittens, was how gentle and affectionate he was. He'd lived in the shelter for months before coming to live with me, but soon settled into his new home and developed a taste for prawns!<br />
<br />
I agree with Cherpee that people should offer a home to a waif, stray, damaged or previously unloved cat. In addition, I'd like to ask people not to immediately think of kittens when looking for a pet as there are many older cats in need of a home who would also make great companions.

Thank You, He is a little grouchy sometimes but I guess he gets it from me! nevertheless he is a lovely boy and I treasure him and the memories we have of his early years.