Keyvador Charles Douglas
09/05/1997 – 21/06/2014
We always said you were one of our rescues. You were bred to be a show cat, a Champion Maine Coon. Your father was the father of half the champion show Coons of your generation in the north of England. But you never got thrown in the bath and thrown in a cage and handled by random judges and gawped at by random strangers. You roamed a mile or more in all directions until one day you limped home only half crushed by a car and we said,”enough”, and put a fence round our big wild garden that even you couldn’t climb. And you still had trees to climb.
I remember people falling silent in mid-sentence, jaw literally dropped, when they first caught sight of you. I remember someone glimpsing you through the window and taking you for a fox.
I remember you coming in out of the rain with beads of water glittering over your thick glossy outer coat. I remember brushing out the knots in your undercoat as fine as merino wool. I remember the incomparable fluid grace of your every movement.
I will try not to remember that forceful presence dwindling, that wonderful double coat thinning and dulling, those luminous gold eyes darkening.
Every night you would settle on the foot of my bed while I read for a while, and as soon as I turned out the light you would delicately walk up and curl under my chin, purring. Sometimes I would wake up to find my arm curled tightly around you, purring. When you stopped doing that – when I started waking in the small hours because you weren’t there – I thought the end was near.
But somehow you pulled round, and you came back to me at night, and we shared a few more precious months. Until now.
You come of a long-lived breed. But we always said you had never read the breed spec, and sadly how right we were. You were barely 17. It’s too soon to go. But you chose your time.
It’s only a lifetime. Nobody lives forever. Nobody lives forever.