Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ginger












There was this moment
when your steps
took a different path from ours,

that is the truth that we can see
recorded in the snow
captured by the photograph.

yet you live on in us 
and the others you have touched
in so many ways.




Yesterday was a sad day.  Ginger, who has been a part of our lives here for several years slipped quietly away from us as we sat with him at the vet.  He had been active and healthy until very recently, but rapidly lost weight and became ill. Tests showed that his kidneys had failed, and he also had a large mass inside that was probably cancer.  I think he caught his last mouse about 3 days before he died.

Ginger's first owner said that "Ginger always thought he was a person".  And she was quite right.  He was a wonderful companion, and enjoyed the strange world of a pottery.  I don't think he ever broke a pot, which is remarkable, and he took a professional interest in my wood firings, and would keep us company in the wee small hours of the night when we sat by the kiln.

He was a great ratter and defender of our property against adult cats, and dogs..., but Nigella Stopit got round his defences as a kitten when she decided that she would come to live here, and she shadowed him everywhere, until he actually became fond of her.  Ginger taught Nigella Stopit to hunt, and would bring her mice to play with.  When she was very young, he would even use her to "flush out" mice for him to dispatch from under furniture where he could not reach.

Some cats are very independent in nature and seem unable to give much affection, Ginger was quite the opposite, and had a caring and friendly nature.  He loved to sit on shoulders and be carried around.  He and I had a little walk that we would do together some evenings.  He would trot to our back gate and we would walk out together to the corner at the end of the road. Me strolling slowly down the footpath, and he following a pace behind, threading his way with nimble steps on the kerb.  We would stop occasionally for him to savour strange smells, or for him to have a dust bath in a patch of dry dirt.  Sometimes Nigella Stopit would follow us, 20 or 30 good human paces behind. 

At the end of the street, Ginger would walk closer to me, look up, and, more often then not, extend a paw as he did when he wanted to be carried.  I would scoop him up and he would sit on my right shoulder, always that side, and would lean into me, vibrating gently with joyful purrs.  Then I would retrace my steps, and he would revel in the sights that he could see from this new altitude.  We would stop and peer into bushes, and over the fence into the field where he often hunted. I would chat to him, and he would purr. 



There has been a time of tears here, and it will take a while to adjust.  We did so expect to have Ginger around for many more years.  Yet I am happy remembering Ginger as I write this, and feel so fortunate to have known him at all.  Our kind thoughts go out to the family that he lived with before he moved in with us.

30 comments:

Teresa Evangeline/Bayou Summer said...

Oh, my. I'm sad for you. He looks like a wonderful companion and easy to see why he will be sorely missed. What a lovely poem and post in honor of his life.

Melissa Rohrer said...

They do become part of your life. I can see why he'll be missed.

smartcat said...

Little companions are missed when they go, but how fortunate you were to have Ginger in your lives. What a great pottery helper cat!

Such a sweet life and wonderful photos in a lovely memorial to Ginger.

Tracey Broome said...

Peter, so sorry that Ginger has passed, but what a lovely post. My cat and my dog are both thirteen years old, they grew up together and I know they won't be here much longer. I dread that day..... Thoughts are with your tonight...
Xo

Rhonda said...

Peter and Laura, A lovely tribute to Ginger. He will live on in the memories of all who spent time with him.The marmalade cat from the potters patch. Love from Rhonda. xx

Christine said...

So sorry to hear of such a sadness. What a joy and an honour to have had Ginger share your lives. And a rare and special SHOULDER cat too. You will really miss such a companion.

Linda Starr said...

So very sorry Peter and Laura for your loss of Ginger, I"ve enjoyed reading about Ginger's escapades over the past few years, what a special cat.

Betty and Binky are both thirteen and really slowing down I am hoping this move isn't too much for them.

Anonymous said...

"The marmalade cat from the potters patch"...
What a great title for a book!
Maybe you could do just that as an 'in memoriam' Peter?

xxDxx

Armelle Léon said...

Oh, I am so sorry for you Peter, Ginger was such a nice cat, so sad, may be another gentle cat will reach your home soon, I hope so, to comfort you Laura and Nigella Stopit.

cookingwithgas said...

you all needed each other.
Cry, it helps.

Sandy miller said...

Filling the hole in your heart with flowers........ So very sorry.

Michèle Hastings said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It's very painful to lose a pet.

Arkansas Patti said...

Aw, Peter and Laura, I am so very sorry for your loss of sweet Ginger. I remember when he joined your family and how that day was a blessing for all. He had a wonderful personality and I always enjoyed your posts about Ginger and Stopit. Sending you both hugs.

Peter said...

Dear Everyone,
It has been so nice for me and for Laura reading your kind words. I am thankful for you and for your friendship. I realise that most of you have also been blessed with the companionship of a cat or dog, and know what the loss is like too. Thank you for understanding. P & L xx

Hollis Engley said...

Hello, Peter. I just saw this. So sorry to hear of Ginger's passing. People who do not have cats in their lives have a hard time sometimes understanding what they bring to the house. We've had to do what you did twice within the past couple of years. Not at all fun. We're hoping Cleo (short for Cleopatra) is with us for many years.

Angie said...

I was so sorry to read of Gingers passing ....it hurts when you loose a loved pet but when you loose a friend, the pain is deeper...this was a wonderful tribute your feline pal ...hugs to you and laura...and ofcourse Stoppit, who will miss his mentor. xx

Sue said...

I like the tribute to Ginger, Peter. He truly was an exceptional cat with an endearing personality.
Tears need to be shed when we lose a faithful companion.
RIP Ginger.

Jill M Hodgson said...

So sorry to hear this. It's horrible having to make that decision and see it through, I know.
Your photos are lovely, I particularly like the last one, getting into an impossible position then stopping to have a little lick..... typical cat behavior!

Kitty Shepherd said...

I am so sad for you. All the photographs of Ginger are wonderful and so are the stories. Keep them close in your heart.
Kitty xx

Peter said...

Hi Hollis, Angie, Sue, Jill and Kitty, really lovely to hear from you all. Thank you for your kind words. We're rattling around here a bit at the moment with more available space in front of the heater in the evenings! It is a strange time, as we really expected to have him around for at least another 5 years. However lots of happy memories, and I'm thankfull that I took so many photos, and talked about him on the blog. Kind thoughts to you all, P

mudheartpottery said...

So sad for you both, what wonderful memories and images you have of a special companion who will always occupy a place in your hearts. x

Peter said...

Good to hear from you Lyn, we are missing Ginger in all sorts of ways, but it is nice to have lots of happy memories.

Lopdell House Gallery said...

I'm so sorry that Ginger has left you. I have tears in my eyes as I write. These little ones are a big part of our family and I feel for you both. Peter you have written a wonderful tribute piece for him and I thank you for sharing with us. Bless you both and lots of kind thoughts with a hug.
Lisa

raindrop said...

Hello Peter and Laura, Thank you for your beautiful piece about Ginger and his passing. Congratulations on taking the step to prevent any further suffering. I know it is not easy. As you say you have happy memories of a special cat.

Peter said...

Hello Lisa and Jill,
Lovely to hear from you both. Thank you for your kind thoughts, hugs are much appreciated in this household at the moment! Poor Nigella Stopit does seem to be missing Ginger somewhat, so we are doing our best to entertain her. Very Best Wishes, P xx

Anonymous said...

What a beautifully written tribute to your wonderful companion. So sorry for your loss.

Amy said...

Just now catching up on blogs as I've been away. So sorry to hear. Cats can be so loyal and full of faithful love. Sounds like that was Ginger. Peace and lasting memories to you these days and always.

Peter said...

Thank you Anonymous and Amy for your kind words and thoughts, they were much appreciated. P

Anonymous said...

Oh the wee soul. I am sad for you, I know how they wriggle their ways into your hearts. Love to you all.
h

Peter said...

Hi Hannah,
Good to hear from you, thank you for your kind thoughts. px