Not an article about the small fishing town on the west coast of Scotland, but a tribute to our cat, Mallaig, who died this morning.
We got Mallaig when he was a kitten in September 1995. For those of you who met him you'll know that he had a bit of a character and a few bad habits - the worse of which was to urinate in places other than his litter tray. He was very purry and also dribbled a bit, he liked lying around on soft cushions, duvets and in front of the fire. However, now is the time when I can go public about the time when unbeknown to us he wet the sofa just before a local party meeting. It was not until after the meeting we realised that a potential new member had spent the entire evening sitting on that patch. She never came again. Still Mallaig's attempts at marking his territory and single-pawedly attempting to restrain the Green Party in Lewisham do not appear to have worked terribly well.
On a lighter note there was also the time when the cat took a liking to bright stringy Christmas decorations - we'd not used these previously. He certainly looked festive with the strings hanging out of his bottom - however the sight of him playing with strands of pooh wrapped around the same strings was less so.
I hope that the wren he caught a few years ago will be able to forgive him - I was not at all impressed when he brought the lovely little fellow in.
Mallaig was clearly getting older in recent months, had lost a bit of weight, had a heart murmur and was under the vet for treatment for a thyroid problem. I found him lying dead in the garden this morning and his posture appeared to show a very sudden and hopefully relatively painless death. We quickly buried him this morning and gave all of his remaining cat food to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.
Thinking about myself, when I looked through some old pictures of the cat, I was struck by (a) how young I looked in the photographs and (b) I didn't have any idea of how my life could develop over those 14 or so years when the cat would be alive.
Despite his flaws, we loved him and will miss him.