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Goodbye Mabel

Goodbye Mabel

Goodbye Mabel

I rescued Mabel from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home about 11 years ago, maybe a bit longer. Somewhere in the roof are the documents, long since put in a ‘safe place’. I went to choose her on my own, there were a few cats in the little cages, some kittens, some pairs but it was Mabel who I decided to take home. They said she was about 10 years old, she was called Gizmo, but I changed that, she was definitely a Mabel sort of cat.

When she arrived at my little flat in Clapham she settled in well but she was always my cat and she had little time for anyone else. She would sleep on my bed, after a few nights I got her out of the habit of sleeping on my pillow, but she’d always give it a try. Him indoors, when he came along, persevered with her and finally she accepted him too. She was never the most sociable cat and would scamper out the cat flap at the merest sound of another human being in the flat. When the girls came into our lives she took off for days at a time. She didn’t like noise, she didn’t much like people except the few lucky ones.

When we moved to our house in London, I lost her for a few hours. I thought I’d locked her in the spare room whilst all the unpacking went on, but I couldn’t find her. I was calling for her for hours, even got the local kids to help me look for her. I called him indoors in Philadelphia (he was on a well timed trip to see Kings of Leon) to tell him I’d lost her. He wasn’t quite sure what he was supposed to do about it from there, but calmed me down. I then found her under my bed. She’d always turn up somewhere.

Once I accidentally locked her in the shed for 3 days, we were calling for her all around the streets again, checking under beds, in cupboards, until finally we heard a feeble cry from the shed and she was freed. Him indoors called her Mabelinashed for a while after that.

She was never a lap cat but she’d sit right next to you if you’d stroke her and she had a purr to melt the hardest heart. I did love my old cat very much. Lately she’d taken to staying outside more and more, the girls were probably terrifying to her and she liked peace and quiet. But then quite suddenly before Christmas she came in again. It was during the storm and she was soaked, she looked tiny. We cuddled her up in towels and spent most of the night making sure she was warm. She only went out a couple of times after that. I got her a litter tray and the girls made her nests on the sofas. She was safe and warm. She let the girls stroke her and carry her, she had no strength to dash for the cat flap let alone put up a fight. She seemed happy though. She even made the journey up the stairs and managed to climb on our bed like she used to all those years ago in my little flat.

Then this morning I sat with her on the sofa, she was very weak and very still. I knew it wouldn’t be long, I’d arranged to take her to the vet but deep down I didn’t expect to. I stayed at home with her whilst him indoors and the girls went out. It was like old times, me and Mabel, sat on the sofa. It seemed right that that’s how she should slip away from us. Until she died I hadn’t realised how sad I’d be. She was just always around, always there somewhere just pottering about doing her own thing. And now she’s not. She had a good life, at least the bit where she was adopted by us. Who knows if she really was as old as Battersea thought, that’d make her something of a record breaker.

I’m just glad we had the last week with her, I’m glad she was safe and warm and loved and I’m glad I was with her when she died, but above all I’m glad to have had her in my life at all.

Goodbye Mabel. You really will be missed.



  1. Jane @ northernmum says:

    Sorry holly

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