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gaiman the cat

Anton
By Warren Ellis

(Note: Mr. Ellis is a writer of some note and I was taken by his description of the recent passing of a beloved pet. Unfortunately no picture of Anton is available so the cat above will represent him in spirit. The following was taken from two separate entries on Mr. Warren's blog.)

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September 19th;

Lili’s cat’s dying, and I’m currently the only one in the house in a position to check on him regularly. Therefore I don’t have a lot of focus right now. I don’t think he’s got more than a couple of days in him, poor little bugger. We saved his life, sixteen years back, but I always thought that the damage done to him might have an effect on his life expectancy, and now he’s slowly winding down. I call him Lili’s cat because they became best friends when she became old enough to eat solid food. He’s always liked his food, and Lili went from “that small loud thing I avoid” to “that small loud thing who — hey, she’s offering me food. I like food. This small loud thing isn’t so bad.” And they’ve been inseparable ever since. So, yeah, the next week isn’t going to be fun, and there may not be a lot happening here, not least because I’m having to get up hourly to see to him, which I’m about to do right now. G’night.

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September 20th;

Our three cats were basically rescues: we bought them to get them out of a shitty garden centre that was storing them on cold dirty concrete with an upturned rabbit run over them and no food that we could see. The smallest of the three ended up being rushed to the vet the next day, who told us that if we’d waited another 24 hours he’d be dead. I was writing a character who was small and crap, at the time, and so this small crap cat got his name: Anton.

Anton lived a little over sixteen more years. Today, while everyone else was out, I got the vets to come and see him, and they told me that it was sudden kidney failure and he was beyond treatment. So I sat with him, and thanked him, and told him we love him and that he was a good boy while they carefully gave him the injection, and as I stroked him he gave me that half-lidded look that meant it was good, and then he was asleep. And I’ve just finished burying him in the back garden.

And I’m getting these notes down now because first he was my friend who travelled around the house in the palm of my hand, and then he was my daughter’s best friend for very many years, and because he came out into the back garden with me three evenings ago (he was a housecat who didn’t go outside) and stood at the edge of the path, facing the garden, and gave five or six loud shouts into the twilight, as if to say “I was here. Know me. I was here.”

And he was, and it was good. And he deserves for someone to know he was here.

And now comes the hardest part, of waiting for everyone to come home and telling them. But my little man is asleep in the garden now, next to my late father’s poppies, and so with that, and this note, I have taken care of him as best I can.


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