Journal Jar Q18. Have You Ever Had A Pet Die?

I’m very much a cat person rather than a dog person – I don’t much like dogs at all (all that having to walk in all weathers and pick up and carry dog poo in a bag isn’t for me, I’m afraid.  And I have a friend who has three huge hound type dogs, who all absolutely stink – the smell in her house is so bad you can smell it from the end of the drive – no exaggeration.  I don’t go and see her at home very often, and I NEVER accept a lift in her car!).

Anyway, back to this post.  My brother and I each had a cat for our birthdays one year (can’t remember how old I was – maybe 8?).  My cat was Samson, and he had a lovely friendly personality and loved being around people.  He was jet black.

Samson lived a fairly long and happy life, and unfortunately had to be put to sleep as he had liver cancer, while I was away working at sea, when he was around 12.

Since moving to Devon some 17 years ago, we’ve had five cats – Dennis, Douglas, General Maximus, and our current two, Ron & Reg.

Dennis moved to Devon with me from Bournemouth – he was a big ginger tom cat, but a real softy.  Ironically, he lasted for several years living in a relatively busy part of Torquay traffic-wise, but was killed by a car after we’d moved to a small village in the countryside, when he was about six and I was pregnant with William.

I’ve only seen my husband cry three times in the time we’ve been together, and I remember him digging a hole in the garden to bury Dennis with tears rolling down his cheeks.  We were SO upset to lose him.

Sadly, over the next five years, we lost two more cats to drivers on that same road – Douglas and General Maximus.  General Maximus was a beautiful Maine Coon cat, the best cat we’ve ever had, and was only just over a year old when he was killed.  I often like to say that he was ‘the light that burned twice as bright, but half as long’.

It wasn’t even a parrticularly dangerous road – plenty of people who lived there had cats, but it just seemed that we were unlucky with ours.

Only a few days after Maximus died, we moved to our current home, which is further away from the road than our previous house, with a long drive, and we decided to get two new cats – Ron & Reg (they’re brothers), who have now been with us for six years.  They are chalk and cheese in personality, often bicker, but mostly get on well, and never a day goes past when they don’t give us something to talk about or some sort of entertainment.


I hope I’m never without a cat in my life.



15 thoughts on “Journal Jar Q18. Have You Ever Had A Pet Die?

  1. This is one blog which I love. We too are “a cat house” in the nicest possible sense, although we do have a Westie but he thinks of himself as a cat and knows he is at the bottom of the pecking order. We have had many cats over our forty years of marriage but some were very very special including two chocolate point Siamese both named Seicha. Although we had them at different times the weird thing was that they both left the house when they were 13 and we never saw them again. Heartbreaking. Then there was Ziggy Stardust Amadeus, a beautiful crazy Burmese whom we lost at the age of 18. Lastly we were blessed with a black and white Spanish campo cat who followed me up our dusty road at the age of about 4 weeks. I even had to stop so he could have a pee before he ran ahead of me straight in to the kitchen. Even when he was very ill with kidney disease he could still beat me to the bathroom in the mornings to get a drink. Sadly we lost him last month at the age of only 7. Dear Chico his favourite occupation was nuzzling your armpit – not particularly nice for us but he did need the comfort after losing his Mum so early in life. Bless you all.

  2. I would add an addendum as I kept typing and losing the thread which was so annoying. A couple of times in my life I have felt the warm presence of a cat on my bed kneeding the covers and snuggling in to me. Each time I have looked up expecting to find one of the cats had sneaked in but no one has been there………..I do feel that someone has come back to say Hi.

    At present we have four boys – Jinx (my daughter´s cat), Sky a rescue Siamese, Mikey also Siamese and Titch whose full name has just spirited itself out of my head. A very ugly runt of a Burmese but who is definitely the boss.

    By the way my daughter in Exeter is looking for a kitten if you hear of any.

  3. I was never a cat person until we had Alfie many years ago. They do bring so much fun to a home don’t they. You have had, and do have , some very handsome cats.
    Lisa x

  4. I lost my dog 5 years ago. I often think about getting another pet, and then I feel like I am betraying him by some how replacing him….

    So please tell me is the Banner at the top of the page a picture of Kueredu in the maldives? a sangu water bungalow by any chance?

  5. I love cats too – they’re such wonderful companions. Sadly, P is not a cat (or any other sort of pet) person so for the last 17 years I’ve had to do without. General Maximus was a beautiful looking chap, and Ron and Reg are a very handsome pair too.

  6. I had my baby (Poppy, my old dog) put down last year because she was so very ill, and even though I knew it was for the best, it broke my heart. Just as it has when former pets have passed away. They were all so dear to me, in their different ways.

    General Maximum has to be, without a shadow of doubt, the most beautiful Maine Coon I’ve ever seen. Not that the other guys aren’t beautiful, but GM was out there on his own.

  7. Such a touching post, I’m with you all the way. After almost 4 years with at least 1 and usually 3 cats, we haven’t had one since Cleo died a few years ago. This is because we want to spend more time abroad and it doesn’t seem fair to take on a new pet but we miss our cats every day. Your boys are beautiful, give them a big hug from me and thanks for sharing them.

  8. Your cats are beautiful. It’s really sad when you lose a pet because you become so attached to them. I had a little dog for about 8 years and she got killed by a car. I cried for 3 days. I never got another dog after that. We had a kitten when my older daughter was little but it seemed to scratch everyone and everything! Even though I had one of those scratching posts for her, she even scratched the window pane. I had her adopted because she kept scratching my daughter on her face and arms/hands. I don’t know much about cats so therefore didn’t really know why she was doing this. Can anyone explain or tell me if that’s normal in a kitten? She seemed to be unfriendly (even for a cat).

    • Cats/kittens are like people. All different. Also if taken away from the mother at too early an age will not have been taught to socialise. Sounds as if he/she was frightened. But some cats and dogs are just not sociable a bit like some people. Some of our cats have even been possessive – try going away and leaving them and see what reaction you get when you get back in the “I am going to sulk and not speak to you”. Another one would give love bites. Not painful but just like a mother cat holds a kitten in her mouth. As for hogging the settee…..just do not get me going on that!

  9. What beautiful cats you’ve had. I’m a cat person too and have had my current moggy Prudy for 12 years now. She idolises me (strangely) and follows me about. I shall be devastated when she goes.

  10. Lovely pics of the cats!! I’m really struggling with our two at the minute, Sam seems to be picking on DeeDee for no reason on a way too regular basis. Wondering if we should bite the bullet and get a quote for cat-proofing the garden. Can’t help but think we live near too many busy roads to let them free roam and Sam is very pretty/naive…

    Amy x

  11. I’m not a cat person (funny how you either seem drawn to cats or dogs but rarely both) but even I can see what a beautiful cat your General Maximum was. We had a stunningly beautiful dog that I lost at 13 months of age through an accident – too beautiful and too good for this world. They are the ones who steal your heart and leave pawprints across your soul.

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