My beautiful, special little Fergus,
You’re the first cat that is really mine. I’d had another cat before you but when I moved out of home she stayed; not, you understand, because I wouldn’t have taken her with me but because, in the words of my father, ‘you cannae take her away from her little garden’… I got that cat in my teens and she died when I was in my mid-30s. She had a good life in her ‘little garden’ with my parents. Fergus, you are nearly 9. I’ve owned you for 8 of those years. Together we have made 3 house moves. You like to be outside and you’ve never been afraid to wander afar. Do you remember when I had to go looking for you to bring you in overnight, and I eventually found you stalking around in the university grounds at midnight? You set off one of the building alarms and I had to hide in the
shadows bushes as the security people checked things out… that was a close call. I’m not sure how I would’ve explained that one if I’d been caught – you’d run off by then! When we first moved into our present house you spent a few nights stuck up trees before you learned how to make a controlled descent. You also worried the neighbours the night you spent on their roof; I knew you would come down by yourself in the morning when you could see more clearly, and you did. You’ve reluctantly tolerated George’s arrival and I think you might even like Flo and Elsie. You don’t bite or scratch, no matter what. You take everything life throws at you in your stride. Even the accident that so very nearly ended it all. I am sorry about that. It’s put an end to your outside escapades and I know that is hard for you, especially when I’m gardening but let’s face it, that doesn’t happen very often. Inside you have the run of the house, plenty to eat, toys with which you refuse to play and lots of window sills to lie on, relaxing.
I love the way you squeak when you are picked up – we used you as stand in bagpipes at our Burns Supper. I love the way you run to be brushed and drool all the way through grooming. I love the soft fur of your belly and the smell of your paws. I love that little noise you make when you’re really content. I love that you try to bury your way under everything. I love that you go wild over a damp towel. I love that you
mince around walk like Hercule Poirot. I love that you surprise visitors by licking their feet. I love that you endear yourself to everyone who comes through the door.
I will never move anywhere that I can’t take you. I will never abandon you. I will always feel dreadful about the accident. You can do no wrong, so please, please stop peeing on the rug!