Monday, June 13

Zebedee Shepherd 1999 (ish) - 2011

Dear Zebedee,
You were our first pet. You first came to us in 2003, from a 'broken home' where you'd been so stressed you'd nibbled half your fur off - and you had a manky eye.

You spent the first few days behind the sofa, but gradually ventured out into the lounge and reluctantly joined in with life in the Shepherd household - I'd sit on one end of the sofa, you'd sit on the other with your back to me and I once found you balancing on the ledge of the open bathroom window.

You were prone to randomly attacking us with your playfulness - Dave's hand, the back of my leg... nothing was safe. We called you Evil Zeb, imagining that when we were out, you'd get out your maps, invite round your gang of neighbourhood moggies and plot world domination. We'd stroke your whiskers so you'd do a particularly evil snarl. We made up a song about you called 'Black and White Fool' (to the tune of Jimmy Nail's Crocodile Shoes).

But you mellowed with age and became a people-cat. You liked to be cradled like a baby and never, ever struggled to get away. You liked to rub noses with me. You'd lie on your back so we could tickle your tummy. You were incredibly furry and purry.

When we moved house three years ago, it was a mixed blessing for you. On the plus side, you had acres of open fields at your disposal and as many mice as you could eat. On the downside, a house move with a renovation going on was all a bit much for an old cat like you and you never quite got the hang of the whole toilet thing (poo behind the telly anyone?). So for the last few years, you've lived in your little cat igloo in the conservatory (aka your stinky lair).

We always joked that you'd lived to 20, stubborn until the end with non-retractable claws and halitosis. Well, you didn't quite make it that far, but you had a good innings.

We had a lovely burial in the garden for you today. We wrapped you in a cosy orange blanket and put you under the fig tree. We each said something we liked about you (rubbing noses, your loud purr, your friendliness), then we covered you over with earth to keep you nice and warm.

I'll miss doing noses with you. I'll miss your incredibly loud purr. I'll miss your hoarse miaow.

We are all really sad that you're gone.

Rest in peace, you black and white fool.


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