Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Adieu Angus

Sad day for Swiss Family Hendricks.  This animal-loving, animal-centric, animal-focused family lost one of our clan today.  My lovely 15-year old cat Angus.

Angus was picked up off of the rough streets of Montreal's south shore in 1995.  C2 actually chose him  at the SPCA, intrigued because this small grey and orange kitten insisted on boxing with him through the wires of his cage as if saying "pick me, pick me!".  Once home, that small grey and orange kitten stretched out his legs, had a bath and presented himself as a snow white and orange full-grown cat.  He's kept us laughing and loving ever since.  He loved to walk on the balcony flower boxes of our 2nd floor apartment in Snowdon systematically chewing the tops off of my Pansies.

In 1998, he and his cat, Cobie (he's never been our cat, always Angus's) made the move to Calgary with us where I worried about our busy street and they lived their lives largely as reluctant indoor cats, perched in the kitchen window, secretly pushing out the screen and seeking escape at all opportunities.  It was in Calgary, that Angus met Murphy, our yellow Labrador.  Murphy has always viewed Angus as her surrogate mother and higher on the Swiss Family Hendricks food chain.  He also welcomed J, whom he viewed with considerable more suspicion.

In late 2005, Angus, Cobie, and Murphy made the move with us to Geneva.  I spent an anxious, sleepless night, awaiting their arrival.  The only comment made by customs upon receiving the 3 animals was"'Quel beau chat, ce Angus!".  In Geneva, Angus lived the best years of his life.  The doors to our garden were open 9 months of the year.  He loved to chase butterflies, stretch out under our enormous Rosemary bush or behind a terracotta flower pot and watch the world go by on the other side of the fence.  He adored prowling around late into the evening, blatantly ignoring my whistles and calls until it suited him and then slept every night curled up on some part of me purring like a runaway motor.

I am relieved that at his age, he does not have to be subjected to another move, that he was able to finish his life in the place where he was happiest.  As painful as today was watching him die in my arms, it was both peaceful, and beautiful.  My voice was the last he heard and my face the last he saw.  It was a gift to both of us.


Jawahara Saidullah said...

Oh Christine, what a lovely tribute to Angus. He was a lucky cat and you were all lucky to have had him in your lives. It's a huge responsibility, sharing your life with an animal and surely there is some deep solace in knowing that you shouldered that bravely and with love, until the end.

Jen said...

I know how hard this must be for all of you. His presence will be missed but he was such a wonderful boy that his memories will live on.


Anonymous said...

Is that Peanut taking Angus by the scruff?

Sorry for your loss


Jawahara Saidullah said...

Would I brave a pack of zombie chickens to read your blog? You betcha. Which is why C, you are one of the recipients of the Zombie Chickens award from me. Go to my blog, collect your award...and remember be humble and don't forget the little people ;-)

Mighty Mom said...

Angus: the coolest cat in heaven! He will be sorely missed. Big hugs to all of you!!!

Paula said...

So sorry to hear about your kitty - it sounds like you all shared some great times. Wonderful kitties never truly go away - they live on in our hearts - and often, through the hair they have lovingly shed like a trail of affection in our lives, they continue on for many years in our sweaters, cushions, scarves and sock drawers.
At 15, Angus lived a good, full kitty life.

DL NELSON said...

Written through tears, although I never met Angus. That cat knew what he was doing when he boxed to get attention.

To die in love is an end that I would wish for every creature.

Anonymous said...

I have been way behind on my blog reading - sorry to hear about poor Angus.


Sheila said...

What a beautiful tribute to Angus. Sx