In loving memory of Curious George
2001 - 2016
In 2009 I adopted my lovely boy Curious George (a male short haired polydactyl tabby previously named Cosmo) from Battersea's London Centre.
Despite being a hunter extraordinaire, without fail George would come home to bed in the wee hours after an evening of exploring, making friends and patrolling the back gardens of the neighbourhood.
One Thursday night George didn't let himself in to come to bed. His human brother (my 18 year old son) searched for him on Friday to no avail. On Friday, I absently scanned the tops of garden fences on my tiptoes wondering where he'd got to, because his food bowl in the kitchen hadn't been touched all day, and Georgie boy loved a chicken dinner. I happened to glance at the far right corner at the bottom of the garden and saw my boy lying still and unmoving in the grass.
His back was to me, with its beautiful tiger stripes, and I knew. I just knew. There was no way he would be that still after hearing my voice. You see, he loved me, and I loved him. It was that simple. Complete strangers would comment on how we always walked side by side, stopping only to touch and reassure the other we were there - I'd say "Let's go, George", he'd glance at me, trot over, and looking up, wait for me to determine the direction of our plans then walk side by side with me, and confidently join in whatever I had to do, with plenty of pauses for cuddles, kisses, and rubbing our faces cheek to cheek.
In that moment, at 6:30pm on Friday, I lost one of my 'boys'... and my heart broke. I'll never know why or how he died, he was still so young, wasn't out of sorts or ill. There were no injuries, no visible trauma, and his last vet visit saw him pronounced healthy. How I wish I knew the end was coming. How I wish I held him and kissed him more that final day.
I wrapped my beautiful, solid, five fingered, unique, precious boy in my ("our"!) favourite pyjama top, placed him carefully in a box, and to the heartbreaking sound of my son sobbing for his fur brother, took him on one last trip to the vet for a dignified cremation.
Thank you Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for the amazing work you do. Thank you for giving me seven years with one of the enduring loves of my life. I thought I'd have longer. I thought we'd still get to share so much. I thought...
It feels so empty and silent without his larger than life personality, and big, solid presence. I'll never know what happened, but I know that he knew, without a doubt, that he was adored by so many who were blessed to meet him. Adored by me.
It's bed time George. Good night my darling. Mum.