Having said I wouldn’t be doing any new scanning for a while, I relented today and whizzed through another three boxes. It wasn’t easy as they contained slides of cats that were with me some twenty years ago. One here and there brought back wonderful memories, but three whole hours was utterly heartbreaking. I processed one image this evening because I have always loved it, but the rest will have to sit on my external hard drive until I am feeling a little stronger.

This was Clyde and I adopted him with his sister Bonnie when they were only a few weeks old. I used to volunteer at a local animal rescue centre and one day a lady turned up desperate to rehome two kittens. She hadn’t brought them with her, but apparently they had been born in a factory somewhere in London. She had recently lost her Mother and felt she couldn’t cope with the extra responsibility. Unfortunately the rescue centre was awash with cat flu and they suggested she try elsewhere. We spoke on the way out and I handed her a scrap of paper with my phone number, saying if she had no joy by the end of the day, to give me a call. Just my luck that as I got home later that afternoon, the phone was ringing. I rushed inside, but was a couple of seconds too late. Those were the days when you couldn’t retrieve the number and I spent the rest of the evening hoping she would call back. She didn’t.

I spent the next four days worrying about the kittens and wishing I had simply offered to take them at the first opportunity. Eventually I resorted to phoning round every rescue centre within a large radius and it was only on the fifth day that I struck lucky. The woman seemed surprised, but she was happy to let me have the kittens and I brought them home where they had to be bottle fed for a couple more weeks. Not wanting to leave them for long, I transported them down to my parents’  home for our traditional Sunday lunch and we had a short photo shoot on my Mum’s old sewing machine.

Sadly I didn’t have either of the kittens for very long. I suspect they both had feline leukaemia and I lost little Clyde about two weeks after this was taken. I had rushed him to the vet as soon as he appeared unwell, but she wasn’t unduly worried about him and sent us home. Bonnie stayed with me until she was about eighteen months, but blood tests revealed the reason for her illness and I had to have her put to sleep one Christmas Day. They are still loved and missed very much…

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