Have I told you about my Winnie? She was the best cat ever.
I got her for my birthday when I was 12 from my sister, who put this little ball of fluff in my hands. She was so little she could not walk up the stairs on her own and she had to sleep on a hot water bottle. Winnie must have only been 8 weeks old. We had a fluffy cat called Leo, a few years older, but Winnie soon took over the house and they became the best of friends.
Winnie was my cat, and this was clear from the start. She would follow me down to the bus stop and watch me go to school. I would go down the road to play with a friend and she would sit on the driveway outside of her house until I came out. If I was crying or upset, she would jump up on my face and lick my tears. She was a sociable soul who would meow anytime someone walked past her, just to say hello and let you know that she was there. She would snooze in my arms like a baby.
Winnie was an old lady (in cat years) by the time I moved to London in 2006. I said my goodbyes then, but she was still going when I got home to Australia and lived until she was 19 human years. It was like she held on just for me. Returning to Australia, with a new (non cat) man at the time, Winnie took it upon herself to make it her business to make him into a cat man. She sat on all his things (including him) following him around like a bad smell. In the end, he was soon won over by this determined old lady.
From this point in time, I think The Ginger Hunk realised that a relationship with me, meant having a cat.
I’m happy she wasn’t sick for too long. Only a couple of weeks. She went off her food, she wouldn’t go in the sun during the day. She stopped talking to us, and lost her spark. We took her for some tests and found that she had a lot of fluid on her lungs. This could have been drained, but only to prolong her life for a couple of months. She hated the vet, and had only been there once in her 19 years of life to get desexed. So it was one afternoon that Dad called me to say I had to come home from work, to say goodbye to my little Winnie.
She started purring as soon as I got to the vet, looking up at me with those huge eyes.
Our time together had come to an end.
19 years of friendship.
She’d grown up with me from being a 12 year old girl, to a married woman at 31, unconditionally loving me all the way.
Now she rests in peace under her favorite bush in my parents garden.
Rest in peace my Winnie. I miss you.