Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our beloved cat

Death is so cold. It is odd how we humanise pets but we've had two cats for almost as long as we've been married and now we are down to one. We were married in 1995 and rented in a few places before we bought our first house in West Sussex in 1996. Within days of moving in we adopted two stray kittens that were born at the bottom of a garden not far away and were destined to be wild cats. We named them Harley (Davidson) and Gizmo; the former on account of his large size and loud purr and the latter due to ridiculous ears and a natural terror of everything on account of being fairly crazy.

Harley adapted well to being a pet and has been a loving companion for the past 11 years. Gizmo never quite got over his fears and has been a loving but skittish pet so desperately wanting to be cuddled but always looking for an exit, just in case. Both would always be together and Gizmo clearly needed Harley. They survived the trip from the UK well and Harley, as expected, adjusted nicely to life in New Zealand and Gizmo remained crazed.

We moved lots here and every time, the two cats settled into a new house and enjoyed the lifestyle as much as we did. When we moved into this house as our permanent home, they both took to it immediately; the decks, the log fires, the sun and the quiet location made it perfect for us and them.

Sadly today, I walked out onto the deck and said hello to Harley who appeared to be sleeping and got no response. His usual style was to come running and nuzzle but today nothing. He had been fine when I went off into town at around 10:30am today so I went closer and patted him. He was still warm but had clearly died in his sleep and was not breathing. I called Mrs R and we had a cry as he had been with us since the beginning of our lives together.

I know he was just a cat, but he was such a part of our lives and meant so much to us. There is nothing we have done over the last 11 years where we haven't considered the cats and now poor old Gizmo is all alone. Funnily enough, last night they slept against the safety guard by the log fire, slowly cooking, and Mrs R took this final picture of them. Harley, as usual, stretched out and his little brother nestled against him and almost on top of him, just in case.....

We will miss him and know that Gizmo will miss him more.

Harley & Gizmo


  1. This made me so sad.

    I hope you guys are okay.

  2. We're pretty cut-up to be honest; on the bright side, Crazy Giz has spent a lot more time with us than he ever did before which is real sweet.