29.05.98 - 22.04.2011
This is too much. Tosca has now died as well. That's three cats gone from us in as many months (first Simbi and then Suki). Only Cassie is with us now, and she is as lost as we feel, looking around the house and garden for her playmates, sitting watching the cat-flap wanting her friends to come back. At least we can understand why we'll never hear their purrs or stroke their furry heads again - Cassie can't.
Tosca wanted letting out into the garden Friday night, and I obliged. Oh that I hadn't! But how could I know? By the time I was ready for bed, she hadn't come back. I looked around outside for her with the torch, but no sign. Neither had she come back by the morning. By the afternoon and in a state of worry, we made some posters up asking people to look out for her, and pinned them to trees on our road. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, someone knocked on the door and took Ju to a place down beside the railway line where he'd spotted a cat. It was Tosca. She was dead. It looked like some animal had taken a nasty bite out of her back flank, and she must have fled down the railway line to escape, only to succumb to her wounds. The poor, poor little darling. She must have been terrified.
Still, we have lovely memories of her to look back on. She was Suki's sister, rescued from a farm and given into our care. Tosca always seemed the most intelligent and sensible of our cats, keeping the others out of trouble and giving them an exasperated look when they mis-behaved. She had a gorgeous white coat that she kept meticulously clean, even though her favourite leisure time was spent rolling around in the sand or earth in the sunniest spots.
We loved the way she would head-butt our hand, demanding a stroke, and rub around our legs. Unusually for a cat, she liked to watch the television, especially the wildlife programs; here are photos of Tosca watching the tv just last year. Not that she was a couch potato; she was an adventurous hunter too - birds and mice of course, but dragonflies especially could expect no mercy!
Darling Tosca was such a playful cat - she would spend ages pouncing on her toy mice and flinging them around the hearth rug, making the rug slide around on the polished floor with her. She also had the loudest voice, and the loudest purr. If you didn't wake up and get her food in the morning, then she would sit on your chest and purr deafeningly until you got up. And when fish was for dinner, she would climb up on her back legs and scrabble against the kitchen cabinets and your legs, patting with her paws, miaowing all the while until she was fed!
The strangest thing is that she was always afraid when the trains went past down the bottom of our garden, running in as soon as she heard them toot further down the line. And then she ended her life right next to the railway line that she never ever went near before.
We are going to miss her enormously, but she still regularly visits us in our dreams. And in our memories.
Sleep on in the sun, our little sweet-heart, and maybe we'll all meet again some day.
Here are some photos of Tosca that Ju took:
|Tosca - so bright eyed and intelligent|
|Tosca sunbathing in the heather|
|Tosca exploring the snow|
|Tosca's snow-white coat blending in with real snow|
|Tosca alert to dragonflies in the garden|
|Tosca curled up in her basket|
|Tosca surveying her domain, and giving that look of 'why are you pointing that camera at me?'|
|Tosca in the sun again|
|Tosca on the (well-scratched by her!) rug|
|Tosca watching a stork on TV|
|A contented Tosca purring on the sofa|