Sunday 17 February 2013

RIP Splat the Cat

So goodbye then Splat, after all these years.

My relationship with you has always been ambivalent. On the one hand I shall miss you being there, but on the other hand, that's all you ever did. You were just there. Never, in your sixteen years, did you show me a moment's affection, or cat-like pretence of such, even when desperate for food. You'd cry and moan and look insistent, but never do feline wiles like rubbing up against a leg or purring. I'd have fallen for it - I'd have known it was cupboard love but that would have done me, even a simulation of empathy would have been fine, but no, you rejected all tender approaches from me since the day I bought you in a pet shop. You were the one bossing the other kittens and you were beautiful and I thought you showed character. Turned out you were either plain bonkers or seriously abused.

What did you think I was going to do to you when I picked you up for a cuddle? Eh? I know, once, when carrying a tray of glasses downstairs, I did kick you out of the way to stop myself from tripping and dying, and I did call you some names, but that was in 1998. Did you hold it against me ever since? Was it because I'm tall? A man? You weren't much better with Judy and the boys but at least they tell stories of purring and sitting in laps. Never. You never sat in my lap and purred. In sixteen years. That's rejection.

But there's a picture of you being held by Jasper when he was about eight, and you've been part of the boys growing up, and you were more than an aspidistra or a painting on the wall; for all your self-containment - you were alive and you were Splattycat, and now you are no more. And we'll miss you.