I named her Bracken, after a mole; a central character in the book "Duncton Wood" by William Horwood. I liked the character and also the strength in the sound of word - perfect for a little stray kitten.
We took her home on 30 March 1996.
When she was young she was a fairly regular cat. She was always sweet natured, never one to claw and scratch - unless you tried to tickle her tummy. She ran up curtains, climbed our legs and spent a lot of time outside doing cat thing. She wasn't very affectionate. She didn't really do sitting on laps and wouldn't let us her pick her up to hold longer than 10 seconds. In her youth she was a pretty good bird catcher, leaving us gifts to show her affection.
|Bracken. March 2012.|
|Bracken. April 2013.|
|Bracken. September 2015.|
|Bracken. August 2014.|
To say she was sweeter every day... So many days mom and I would look at each other bewildered. How was it possible that she could possibly be more caring, more attentive, more communicative and more sweet? Yet she was.
|With her gran. June 2015|
|With gran. March 2015.|
Three weeks ago I went to Cape Town for a week and on my return I noticed an aged look to her face. Mom had noticed it too. Although she'd been a poor eater and very skinny for a long time, she seemed to have lost even more weight. I had sleepover with my girls on Wednesday night. Mom said she was drinking and peeing often. Diabetes or kidney issues were likely. We knew already that we didn't have long.
|Sleeping perfection. We could watch her for hours. And we did. December 2013.|
This morning I woke my fast asleep kitty-daughter, cuddled her and put her in her cage to take to the vet. It was an enormously hard thing for mom and I to do and we were with her, our fingers running through her soft fur, at the end.
We have buried her in my garden and mom and I will mosaic a paving stone to place over her.
This little girl has been a shining light of love and joy in our lives for 20 years. She leaves not a hole, but a gash in our hearts.
Bracken, my kitten, thank you for 20 years of love.