They say to love is to bury.
In late 2005 we adopted cats from Battersea. Laphroaig came free, he was ill, had so many issues, and Battersea were just grateful that we were willing to give him somewhere peaceful to eek out his last days.
His first days with us were a challenge. He was shy, he had issues, but he grew on us. He lurked for a long time on the middle landing, and I’d sit near him as he worked out whether this was a good place for him. It was a slow process, with a very tentative cat, but off the back of this we ended up becoming very good friends.
Battersea told us that Laphroaig would never be a lap cat. I worked out early on that that wasn’t necessarily the case, and anyone who has sat still in our house and experienced the joy of white fur being liberally distributed will know that Laphroaig liked people. I don’t like the thought that Battersea know nothing about cats, but they didn’t know anything about the ‘Phroaig that came to live wth us.
An endlessly intrigued, friendly, and charismatic cat, Laphroiaig won over our hearts immediately, and didn’t have to try all that had to make friends more widely. He took various illness best described as old cat syndrome in his stride, and worked with us to find ways of making us sit up and take notice.
Laphroaig loved so many things. He liked being engaged in whatever you were doing, he liked figuring out what people were eating (and if it was cereal or porridge insisting that he has some too) and most of all he loved being outside in his garden, where he could smell things, inspect what was happening, and periodically chase things in a very gentle way.
As a friendly cat he touched many people. Comments such as how people were pleased to have had chance to give him a little fuss, how from a distance they could tell he was loved and how he adored all reinforced how he was part of our family.
Laphroaig died on Friday Morning. My last memory of him was standing on my bed, chatting earnestly to me, wanting to know what I’d been up to.
I found his remains in his garden. Far beyond the couple of months Battersea thought he would live he was with us for nearly 13 years and he lived into his 20s. He brought a lot of joy to us, he shaped our lives in totally positive ways.
I miss him. I think I’ll miss him every day.
So long Laphroaig, you were the best of me