True Cat Tale: How our cats impact our lives
After the loss of her sister’s cat, Regina Devenney recognises the impact our treasured pets have on our lives...
Last weekend, I received a sad phone call from my sister to say that her cat had been hit by a car. Unfortunately he didn’t make it. Travelling home to see my sister and her partner that weekend, it hit home how important this little being and indeed all animals are in our lives.
Ziggy reminded me of that special love that exists between man, woman or child and cat. That feeling of wanting their love so badly and it all being worth it when they pay you attention by rubbing against your legs in the morning, nuzzling their heads against your neck or, in Ziggy’s case, swiping at your legs as you walk down the stairs. Ziggy wasn’t even my cat; he belonged to my sister and her partner and was their first child in every way. They held, carried, hugged and loved him every day of their lives together.
I encountered him on my many trips to their house, where I would stay over on visits to my hometown. His presence was strong; he would follow us all from room to room, beating us to the best seat or sniffing our food longingly. With an unusual like for popcorn, he hung around for many a movie night. Ziggy was half- Persian, half-wonder cat, known by many names — Ziggy Stardust, Zigatron, Piggy, Ultimate Maow.
He would only drink water running straight from the tap. Fascinated by a flushing toilet, he would peer down at the swirling water, paws perched on the edge of the seat. His sense of self was strong, which may sound strange, but I certainly got the feeling that he was very comfortable being himself and made no apology for it. With eyes like amber jewels and blonde hair to rival any model, he was a beauty. He would sit upright on the fence outside, surveying his kingdom with the pride of a lion.
We buried Ziggy on a Sunday, under his favourite tree. The sadness felt by all was real and raw. I have heard people debate that animals don’t have souls or spirits. I am not sure about souls or spirits, but I know when I can see life in front of me. Whatever is in us, giving us our personality, thoughts and feelings, Ziggy had it in spades. He was as alive as any human and his life mattered as much as any other.
This True Cat Tale was originally printed in the June 2016 issue of Your Cat magazine.