Alas, my beloved and missing cat Joey, mentioned last week, had found himself a quiet and secluded corner and departed this life gently in his sleep. In vain the midnight sweeps and the gallant efforts of our neighbours, as it happened, but we had to try. I brought him home as a rescue cat from Battersea in 2004, twice abandoned by former owners, and was determined to give him a better life and a loving home.
I wanted a lap cat, and a lap cat I got, but I was not quite ready for his issues over emotional attachment. When he wanted to be he was pointy at five corners, although love and affection wore him down and he became the most loyal of companions, as if to make up for lost time.
Back in the day he would appear at 5.15 to watch The Weakest Link with me, but more recently he would emerge from his bag in the morning and come to sit on my lap while I composed or wrote at my computer. Padding around the house he would wait for me to settle, wherever that might be, and then claim my lap for his own.
At least, after some frantic searching, I know that he died close to home, that his end came quickly, and that he was from the moment he came into his new family well looked after and much loved. He certainly had a better life with me than with his previous owners, gained a stepbrother and even rediscovered his miaow to boot.
It goes without saying that I shall miss him very much indeed, and probably only those who have had pets know how much of a vacuum they leave, but as I write this I feel deep sadness. I have been trawling through some photos of him tonight, so I hope you will allow me the indulgence of this little display.