Friday, 13 August 2010

R.I.P. Isse

I'd been thinking about blogging today. But I never thought I'd have to write this post. Me and my sis buried one of our cats earlier this day. Having more or less always lived with cats, it's not the first time I've had to do this. It doesn't get easier -- and I guess that's a good thing, would be horrible if it did get easy. He's now buried next to Dun, our oldest cat that died this winter.

Svartis was named after his colour: he was pitch black but for one white spot. As you can see in the pic of him as a young kitty above. He was born as no. 3 in a litter of five and I remember that because he was the only black kitten. First came two striped ones, then Isse, then two more striped kitties. Would you believe that kind of symmetry? It's true, it really is.

I say Isse or Isso because that's what we called him most of the time. Lately I've been calling him Ajse-Gajse as that's what I begun to say when I was feeling sorry for him when he got ill. So he wasn't 100% healthy these last years, but I really didn't expect him to die yesterday. Despite having health issues, he was a cat filled with energy, strength and good apetite. The evening before yesterday he went out as usual -- our cats are indoors/outdoors cats, mostly the latter -- but he didn't get home as usual. Home, yes, but as soon as I saw him I could tell he was dying. I began crying right there and then, seeing him so ill and without even the energy to acknowledge my presence the way he usually does. Couldn't even keep the flies from his eyes and body. I knew he would probably not live for many more years -- the bad days were getting more common -- but it was such a shock. I never imagined he'd pass so soon.

Isse was a lovely cat. One of the best things he knew was to lay in bed, under the blankets. Most of the time with us holding the tent up, but he'd sneak under there at other times aswell. He always did have a sensitive stomach and when he began to get ill, it too got worse. And that meant he couldn't keep sleeping in mine or my sister's bed in the way he loved to do. That's one of the things I feel most guilty about, apart from not being able to cure him, that we deprived him of that one thing he loved. The best way he knew to be close to us and at the same time feel cozy -- and safe from cats that didn't get along with him. The way he'd been doing since he was a kitten.

There's another way he was real special too. He was so strong and tough. Not as in a fighter, he was never a great fighter (his brother was always hard on him). But he had a toughness like no other cat, which you could see when he wanted to come indoors. Me and my sis share a small house on our parents' farm, living on the upper floor. When the cats want to come indoors they have to make us open the door. But not Isse. He knew a better way: if he could reach the gutters, he could jump in through a window, which was normally opened when the weather allowed. And if closed, he knew we were more likely to hear a cat calling for us if he was outside the window instead of on the ground.

But here's the thing: getting up into the gutters isn't that easy. He had to first scale the unstable trellis by the wall, then, from the top 0f this trellis, bend outwards -- as the roof and thereby the gutters protrude beyond the wall -- to get a grip of the semi-circle underside of the gutter, slowly reaching the paws up to the edge of it so he could pull up his body into the gutter. Then, finally, he was ready to jump in or call for us to open the window. (Of cause, until dad fixated the trellis, this caused a lot of noise so that even when asleep we'd hear him coming and we'd be prepared to open the window.) Dad used to reluctantly admire this eventhough he at first did not like it as he thought Isse would damage the clematis on the trellis. But the more he sat in the kitchen eating breakfast and watching Isse doing this day after day, the more he began to admire him and to overlook that the cat might damage his plants.

We've never had another cat doing this. A few youngsters have tried to copy him, but they always give up when reaching the top of the trellis. No one have the urge and the stamina to scale the gutters from there on. Dad says he's never seen a cat being able to -- or wanting to -- do something like that.

I'll miss him so much.


  1. What a wonderful cat he was.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. Cats have always been a part of my life as well, and I've valued and loved each of them for the unique ways that they enriched my days.
    Recently,Eesa, one of our elderly pusses passed away after a period of gentle "fading"... she was a tired old sweetheart that had led a happy life as a cherished part of our family, and saying goodbye was heart-wrenching.
    I feel for you in your grief. I understand it completely.
    My deepest sympathy.


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