This week we said goodbye to our beautiful shiny boy Tomsk. He got poorly and just wouldn't get better despite all the love that we and his twin brother Ollie could give him.
These guys have been curling up together for the last fifteen and a half years.
Can I tell you a story?
In June 1999, the year we moved to Hebden Bridge I lost a baby. I was twenty weeks pregnant and it was a huge loss for all of us. After we left baby Sam at the hospital and came home empty handed and heavy with grief, my arms ached for weeks with the longing to hold him. 'What you need is a cat' my Mum said wisely and the thought brought me comfort. But we were just doing up our new house - laying floors and decorating, it was summer and the kids would be in and out playing. It just wasn't the right time. So I waited.
In September, when the kids were back in school I was washing up and I saw the opposite neighbours black cat chasing a fly in the kitchen window. I thought to myself 'Today is the day we get a cat' and I scoured all the notice boards around town until I saw 'Two ginger kittens, in Heptonstall, free to good home'. My partner insisted I only got one of them so after school me and the kids went up the hill to choose.
They were ridiculously cute. One (Ollie), sat in the middle of the kitchen floor meowing at us, unperturbed by our invasion. The other was in trouble for weeing on the carpet and was refusing to come out from behind the sofa. We chose the brave one and we carried him up to my partners Mum's who was giving us a lift home. 'What do you mean he has a brother and you've left him behind?' she said. I did feel terrible. 'But I'm only allowed to get one....' I didn't need much encouragement to drive back to pick up his brother.
Their owner looked worried as she found me at her door again but was much relieved when I said I'd come for the other one. She wanted them to go together as they made such a good pair. Bundling Tomsky into the cat basket I asked her when they had been born. She didn't understand my welling up of tears.
They were born on the same day I lost my baby.
From the moment we got them home (I don't remember being in too much trouble) it was crazy to think of them not being together. They were a matching pair. What ever one was doing, the other one would be doing too.
And when they had done chasing each other around the house, they would curl up on my chest in a big purring mass of ears and paws and tails and they have been doing it ever since.
They have been such fun together.
and just always on my knee, any chance they got.
Ollie took such care of him when he became ill
and kept himself as close as possible, keeping him warm.
On Thursday I had to get the vet to put him to sleep. In the last few hours we had together while we waited for them to come I stroked him and told him all the stories from his life. He smiled at me and squeaked his squeaky purr right until the end.
Ollie is doing ok I think. He looks a bit lost at times but is enjoying all the extra love and cuddles and there have been ALOT of them. We're cosying up together.
Tomsky, your bright shining soul will always be remembered. Thankyou for the bringing such joy to our family for all of these years x