Thank you all for your kind words. I know it's something we all have to go through and it's always hard. It's harder still when he was your "one in a million" cat.
Oh my darling Robbie-Bobbinogs. This was something I knew I would have to write eventually but I thought we would have a few more years to make memories. How do you capture the essence of such a vibrant life force with mere words. I'm sure there are things I will miss.
January 27th 2007. The day my world changed for the better. From the beginning I knew you were special. You came to me when I needed you most, giving me a reason to get through the recovery period following major spinal surgery. You needed me to help you become the cat you were destined to be. You were such a scared kitten, having been born to a feral mother and surviving cat flu. What a change you had to cope with, coming to a quiet house from the rescue that had cats everywhere. Hissing Sid we nicknamed you then as you would hiss so often as you struggled to make sense of your new world and whether these giant people surrounding you were friends or foes.
By spending time just letting you be yourself you gradually came to trust me and our bond was cemented in those first few days as I spent all the time I could with you, just letting you get used to my presence.
We knew you would be scared as the rescue lady said you had been returned once already from the first home you went to. I am glad they didn't persevere with you – if they had we would never have had 11 beautiful years together. That family missed out on the most beautiful, loving cat there has ever been.
I felt like a proud mum as you took your first lick of ham after 2 days without eating and as you batted your fist toy in an attempt to play. It was when you first saw yourself in the mirror and sat there, meowing at your reflection, that I realised you probably needed kitten company. So, Lilly into your life.
From the moment you saw here it was true love and you changed instantly. You became much more brave and confident. You glued yourself to her – where she went you suddenly had the courage to explore. I'm not sure she appreciated your constant closeness in the first few days but it was such a joy to see you come out of your shell and become a kitten.....Hissing Sid was gone in an instant.
You went from strength to strength over the next couple of years. Our bond was strong, even when you were scared of something you would trust me to protect you and keep you safe. I was always the one you would seek out.
That's not to say you were perfect – I certainly wasn't feeling the love when you were messing around and wouldn't come in at night. Sometimes you got your way and could stay out – others you gave in to what I wanted. I know you understood what I was asking of you and that you knew it was for your own safety – I would always ask you at a certain time to let me see you so I knew you were safe. I would then give you a time to come in at and you almost always did this.
Your mum-cat taught you well – you rarely went near the road and avoided strangers. You kept mainly to the gardens which I was so glad of. I know when I couldn't find you, you would be sitting where you couldn't be seen but could still see me.
Given how much you loved Lilly on her arrival, you didn't seem to miss her too much when she vanished. You became even more affectionate and clingy and didn't leave the house as much. I think that was for us more than for you.
You took Sky's arrival in your stride, even though she would hiss and growl at you, sometimes for no noticeable reason. You didn't respond to her provocation. I will never forget the relief on your face though when you were allowed out of the kitchen after the first night you were together. I do sometimes wonder if I did the right thing bringing Sky into your life. You never truly loved her but I think, in your own way, you did develop a healthy respect for her and did occasionally snuggle. You both had one thing in common – me – and that counted for a lot with both of you. I loved watching you wash her – she would never reciprocate and took it as her right! You never bothered though. There was always a certain wariness around – it was funny to watch her body language change, knowing it was going to trigger you to charge at her. Any spats would be forgiven very quickly.
It's hard to belief that you have gone. That I won't see you again. That there will be no cannonballing down the stairs at top speed to suddenly stop before you ran into me. There will be no more running up to greet me when I come home from work. There will be no more head-buts from your rock hard head. There will be no taking over my bed by lying against me and spreading out, head to toe down one side of me. There will be no more snoring and as much as it could annoy me, I would give anything to hear it again. There will be no more joy at the Christmas Webbox – your excitement when you tasted them was so sweet. There will be no more possessiveness over “da mousy” - your love for that was amazing. There will be no more bat watching – even though you probably knew you would never catch it, you loved sitting on the flight path and trying. There will be no more squashing into the smallest space next to me, just so you could be with me. There will be no more cradling you like a baby before you did a head-over-heels onto the floor (before you would jump up on me and do it all again). There will be no more special snuggles at night, when you liked nothing more than to be picked up and cuddled (until you saw your food!). There will be no more memories to be made and it seems so cruel.
I think Sky misses you. She sat looking at your spot on the window bottom for ages last night as if wondering why you weren't there.
I think I suspected you were on borrowed time when you had your teeth out last year – the vet said you had a heart condition (previously undiagnosed) and they struggled with you under anaesthetic. They didn't propose any further tests as being at the vet turned you back to your feral roots and was causing you more stress which would render any tests pointless. But you carried on without teeth – it was funny the first time you went to bite me (which was unusual in itself). The look of confusion on your face......
21st July 2018. The day my world caved in. There was nothing to suggest there was any problem. You ate normally and went out after breakfast as usual. 90 minutes later you had gone. I will always wonder what would have happened if I had gotten up at my normal time and let you back in. Would you still be here? I knew you had left this world when mum said she could hear someone outside talking and there was a cat in the road. I knew it would be you, even as I ran down the stairs saying “please don't be Robbie”. I was dreaming a beautiful, if strange, dream – I was in a meadow and your face appeared through the clouds in the sky. I remember, in my dream, saying I wonder why you were there in the sky and how beautiful a sight it was. I think that was the moment you passed away. Your little body was still warm when I got to you but your soul had already gone. I'm sorry you were alone, I hope it was fast and painless. I'm sorry I couldn't be with you at the end, that I couldn't protect you.
I don't know why you were by the road. There was nothing on your body that suggested you had been hit by a car. You had had some sort of brain trauma and my best guess is that you had possibly been chasing an enemy cat and your heart problems had caused an aneurysm. The manner of your death doesn't really matter though, all that matters is that you are no longer with me. I'm grateful to have found you, to be able to have that closure, to bring your body home and to say goodbye properly. I'm sorry I had to leave you at the vets, a place you hated, until you could be taken to the crematorium. But that was only your earthly remains which you have no need for any more.
Yesterday as I was looking at the spot where you died and was thinking about you, I head a voice say “I tried to stay”. I told you I loved you and to fly free. There was a strange peace then but my heart still breaks for the life we should still have together.
I don't feel I have captured you well enough but words cannot possibly capture your beautiful nature and everything we were to each other. You were, and are, my life, my heart and my soul. You know I loved you. I told you every day. I have loved other cats before, I love other cats now and I will love other cats in the future.
None will ever be as special as my beloved Robbie-Bobbinogs.
Best Boy Ever.
My beautiful, handsome Boy.