Almost 11 years ago I answered a knock on my front door to find a shabby young couple holding a kitten standing on my doorstep. A neighbour had told this couple that I’d take the kitten off their hands. They told me it was 16 weeks old and had had flea and worm treatments. They then asked for £15 so that they could have an afternoon in the pub.
it was obvious that, if they were selling a kitten for beer, he wouldn’t have been treated for fleas or worms and it was obvious that he was nearer six weeks than 16.
I handed over the money and took him into the bathroom to check him out. His skin was quite literally crawling with fleas and worms were dropping out of his bottom. He was in a sorry state but there was such a magic about him that made me fall in love with him in an instant.
I took him for a kitten check and to get the treatment he needed to rid him of the worms and fleas. The vet that did the check told me that he had a grade III heart murmur which is linked to circulatory disorders. The fleas would clear quickly but the worms, I was told, would take longer.
I got him castrated when he was around six months old and the worms were still very much present. It eventually got to a point when, at 10 months old, the vet and I were discussing whether or not it would be a good idea to remove a section of Mister’s gut to rid him of the infestation. It seems the worms heard us because shortly after that they disappeared completely.
Mister was left with IBS, he refused to use litter trays and regularly left deposits from either end of his body on the kitchen floor. On the other hand he was a loving, boisterous and confident cat. Workmen visiting the flat for any reason would, more often than not, turn around to find him sat in their toolboxes.
He was loving; generous with paddling his big feet that were little clouds of softness with claws like needles, purrs that were loud enough to record and use as a ringtone, big eyes that hypnotised anyone who happened to glance at them and an amazing talent for falling off windowsills when he drifted off to sleep on them.
I will miss my gorgeous boy with his fat feet and his, at times, overwhelming love. I won’t miss the deposits on the kitchen floor or the frequent hairballs that I invariably stood on when they were just warm and I had sockless feet.
In a few days time I’ll be writing a shopping list and on it will be cat food. I’ll need a third less than I’ve been used to getting and I’ll probably make sure his favourite treats are on the list before I remember that I don’t need to buy them anymore.
Bye bye Mister Fat Feet, I love you.