What can I say. I am overwhelmed by your lovely comments. Many of you have gone through the heartbreak of losing a pet, thank you for sharing your stories. I shed lots of tears each time I came back to the computer yesterday. I was reading your words on here, and your blogs, but was not able to comment myself. I had to walk away I was so choked up with emotion. Thank you, my blogger friends.
My dear friends Janet and Paul came to help me bury Lily, they are such a support. I'm glad I didn't have to do it by myself. I removed a long deceased conifer from the border in the back garden and asked Paul to dig a deep hole because I wanted to transplant an evergreen bush from a pot, to mark the spot.
I think it helped that I kept myself busy yesterday, I have the kittens to look after, and Barrys dog, Scruff. I can't bring Scruff here into the house because of the cats, but he lives so close I can keep calling in to see him. I think Barry will be back in a day or two, poor Scruff is missing him terribly.
I was doubly upset yesterday because of someone's unfeeling and uncaring comment. Foolishly I went to see Lily's previous owners who live round the corner, to break the sad news. I thought it only proper and right that they should know, even though they haven't shown any interest in him since he left their house and came to live here. I have always posted a note through their door each Christmas to let them know he is ok.
When Lily first showed up at my back door, four years ago, he looked very small, so thinking he might be a young cat prompted me to look for his owners, they might have been missing him. He used to pop by on odd ocassions on the scrounge for food, but then started camping out in the downstairs toilet next to the backdoor, there is access through the cat flap. I found out where he came from and went to tell the people. All they said was I should kick him out. They told me he has a dog kennel at the bottom of the garden to sleep in, and he is 13 years old. Next to the back door I saw two dirty looking food bowls. I felt I couldn't kick him out, he was obviously hungry, eventually I let him into the house, he liked it so he stayed. They have always know he was here, but never been to fetch him back.
Fast forward to the conversation yesterday morning. After I broke the news to the woman, she said I shouldn't have kept feeding him and he would have come back. She said he was an outside cat, and often went missing for several months at a time, staying at other peoples houses, but he always came back. I said he had the freedom to come and go, as my back door is open all the time for my own cats to go in and out. I didn't keep him shut in untill six months had passed, and then it was only at night. It was obvious he was happy here and didn't want to go anywhere else.
I felt she was unfairly accusing me of enticing her cat away, which upset me because it wasn't true. I believe that cats are free spitits and will go where ever they like. They say you can't own a cat, it owns you. I also believe that it doesn't matter who looks after them as long as they are loved and well cared for, and have a safe and warm place to sleep, with enough food. These are the things we need for ourselves and why shouldn't cats have them as well.
Just because a cat spends a lot of time outdoors, it doesn't mean that it should be out there in all weathers day and night. And at 13 years old, surely he deserved some home comforts. It's like sending your granny to live outside in a shed, you wouldn't do it. I am really quite annoyed with that woman and her attitude. Lily had a lovely four years with me, he put on a bit of weight, which he desperately needed, and looked a normal size after a few months of good living.
There are two more cats who call in ocassionally for a good feed up. I know where they live, and they don't want to move in, so that's ok by me. I cannot shut my door to any cat who wanders in asking for food. Perhaps I love animals too much, but that's how I am.