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Posted: 23 August, 2017


Back when I was living in Dundee, my girlfriend (at the time) and I decided to get a couple of cats. It wasn't the ideal situation, given we lived in a tiny apartment, but we weren't planning on staying there for long, and I was desperate to have some furry friends in the house.

We ended up with two; Jack and Stella. One boy. One girl. It was hard to believe they were brother and sister. Jack was twice her size. She was shy, he was a noisey brat. She was cute and timid, he was in your face and stealing anything that wasn't glued down. And I loved them both.

Jack was always "my" cat, though. I'm not sure how that ended up being the case, but it was my lap he'd end up on, I was the one that scritched him "just right" and when my girlfriend and I split up, he was the one she wanted rid of.

He was loud, he was cheeky, and I'm fairly sure he wound her up on purpose.

For a long time it was just me and him. In true cat fashion he owned me, but I was able to train him not to wake me up at weekends, to shut up when Match of the Day was on, and to sit on my lap whenever he was asking for something. He never did learn not to walk on the kitchen counters, but he was sensible enough to jump off before I ever made it into the kitchen. The thumping sound as he landed on the floor when I got within a meter of the doorway always made me laugh.

He loved chicken madras, left-over Sunday roasts, would do anything for Dairylea, and nibbled on veg as long as it was covered in gravy. He killed everything that moved. Woke me up when he'd been rained on so I could dry him with a tea towel (bastard) and wouldn't shut-up unless he got his 30 minutes of scritches, everyday, without fail.

In many ways he was perfect for me, half lazy, half bothered, sometimes a bit moody, but a soppy, furry bastard when he wanted to be.

He's spent the last 4 years living at my Mum's, with loads of land to roam and small mammals to kill. I've missed him terribly, but he's been in the perfect place to relax and have fun, which I couldn't really offer him from my apartment in Helsinki.

And now he's gone.

I'm not sure I'll have another connection with an animal like that. It was very much the right personality, at the right time, in the right place. And that's fine. He was unique.

Sleep well, Jack, and thank you for deciding to live with me. You were the best cat.