My Life With Cats by Lizzie

Hi Roger,

Just to say I’ve had a cat all my life, and have only lived a few months at a time without one. As a family we tend to keep our cats alive for a long time, and the longer you have them the better you get to know them, especially at the end of their lives, it’s easy to communicate with them.

Generally people think there’s nothing going on with a cat, one just feeds them and lets them out, but they can be as close as a dog if you observe them, and interact with them. I still have one cat, who is probably about 14, but I’ve had her for 10 years. She takes 4 pills a day and is pretty geriatric. The most common problem with cats appears to be failing kidneys, probably because they exclusively eat meat.

I’ve decided, much to my daughters disappointment, that I’m not going to have any more cats. With so many demands on world food, I’ve decided it’s not right to keep one. Plus the killing of so many birds.

The old one I have now was a stray, and climbed through the trees at the back of my garden, taking eggs and young birds out of the nest. So hopefully me taking her in saved many birds lives. People say you can’t stop cats killing birds, but I shout so loudly at mine, that they soon learn it’s much against my wishes and they’ve hardly caught any. But mice and bank voles I find harder to stop them killing, although I have rescued quite a few. The oddest animals my cats have caught are lizards, (now rarely seen!) slow worm, dragonflies, and once a baby rabbit. All of which I rescued from the cat, with the exception of dragonflies!

Regards, Liz


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  1. #1 by celticlion on January 21, 2009 - 4:16 pm

    Had to put your comments as a post. The writing was so full of images it made me smile. I’ve never had a cat, so nice to your experiences. With so much here on dogs it adds a bit of balance as well.

  2. #2 by ecolizzy on January 21, 2009 - 11:34 pm

    Oh, now I’m blushing! Oh just one more thing always have your cat neutered, they won’t roam so far, and live healthier, longer lives. I think there’s about 9 million cats here, so there’s plenty to go round.

  3. #3 by ecolizzy on February 16, 2009 - 4:49 pm

    Unfortunately I had to have the little geriatric cat put to sleep this afternoon, aged about 14 and half.

    She had kidney and heart failure and had just about given up on life. Needless to say I’m pretty sad. I had a white rose for Valentines day, which I’ll put on her grave, until I find a perfect shrub to plant on her grave. I usually find a plant that’s appropriate to the character of the cat.

  4. #4 by celticlion on February 16, 2009 - 8:20 pm

    That’s so sad. Lots of people read this post so they will be sorry too. Apart from missing Ruskin, now he has gone it is all the memories that keep coming back. I am sure that will happen with you and your cat. You started with parts of her story with you in your post.

    In December 2002 we had still born twins. I took my girlfriend some red roses in hospital. She dried the petals in a bowl on the window sill when she came out thinking they would go brown and wrinkly. The didn’t they stayed smooth and a deep scarlet. I said the spirits of the babies were in them.

    We took them to the top of a hill in Cheshire where there was the ruins of an iron age fort ,overlooking woods that had been there since the last ice age. She threw the petals in the wind and they fluttered out over the valley and settled into the trees on the steep sides.

    It was the build up to the war in Iraq and I was sort of angry people wanted to drop bombs on more children.and make more grieving parents. I was working on a UN report for the Government so wrote this anti-war thing when we got back.

    The media report that the Chief Scientist Sir David King said climate change was a greater threat than terrorism, but it was me. It is where the agenda for the 2005 G8 came from, climate change and Africa, plus Live8 and many other things.

    All from rose petals

    Even though you said you would not get another cat, perhaps you might. From a rescue they have already been born. And you pass on from your other cats, what they have taught you about looking after them to another cat..

    Or you could get a dog if you haven’t had one before, they are like cats only they are easier to take places with you. Or both.

    I’ll go for a walk in a bit and tell the wind to pass a message to Ruskin to look out for a cat. He loved all life, probably the herding instinct to look after things.


  5. #5 by ecolizzy on February 16, 2009 - 11:29 pm

    Thank you for your kind words and thoughts Roger.
    Please tell Ruskin, that my daughter would like a fluffy ginger and white female cat or kitten. ; )

  6. #6 by ecolizzy on March 2, 2009 - 2:02 pm

    I have decided which shrub to plant on my little cats grave, and did so today.
    I have planted a Viburnum Opulus Compactum

    My reasoning being, as she climbed and caught many young birds in their nests, and survived in the wild on them. I thought she could pay something back, as the Guelder Rose has plenty of red berries that the birds love. I hope she would approve!

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