Goodbye darling Mousie, most precious of cats. You were born into my hands thirteen years ago, one of Clover's kittens. She sat on you a lot and I was constantly rescuing you from suffocation . You were 'my' kitten and I loved you deeply from the second I held you.
You were the runt, a wee grey blob, only a few inches long. I called you 'Mouse' and whispered it into your ear so that you would know your name, still damp from the womb.
Once, after a car accident, you went missing but you somehow found your way home, clawing away for dear life at the conservatory door a week later. I'd been broken hearted and resigned to you never returning. I had lain on the sofa for days in a dark pit of despair, weeping with joy when you came back to us in the middle of the night. We called you 'the Mouse that Returned'.
Thankfully that was your last big adventure. You had ten quiet and happy years at our tiny cottage in West Oxfordshire. You went skedaddle in the April winds and basked in the sun. In winter you retired to the sofa and slept, a plump mouse waiting for spring.
You never demanded attention, nor caused a nuisance. You were quiet, unassuming and humble - a mouse who knew her position in the scratching order and was happy there. You loved your head being scroffled and scraps of Marmite toast.
You hated our recent move but as usual, you were quiet in your corner. Maybe too quiet. When you started being sick, we thought you had furballs. You were sick so much that we took you to the vet and in the end you were put on a drip. You behaved as always, sweetly and gently. The mouse who purred until the very end.
It wasn't furballs. It was a 'mega-esophagus', more common in dogs then cats. You couldn't get your food down your throat, hence the last few weeks of sickness. We would gladly have paid for an operation, but there is nothing to do with this, except try to manage it - and you had pneumonia setting in too. So thin, so weak and already elderly. As I broke down over the phone, the vet said that you had been 'a sweetheart'. You were comfortable and asleep and I gave consent for the last injection, so that you wouldn't know about it. I haven't hurt so much for a long, long time.
You were a small, rather plain cat, precious to no-one except us. I don't have enough tears to shed for you, though God knows I've been crying all afternoon. You have left a huge hole in our lives for such a quiet creature and a piece of me has gone with you.