Mel and Faye Young, from Edinburgh sent this message on 23rd October 2009: "It's been a bad, bad, black Friday! Pepper, our lady puss who has been with us 13 and a half years had to be put to sleep. Massive tumour either on the intestine or the spleen. She had no pain but was having bowel problems and latterly was eating very little.
Our present vet was excellent - cleaned her out under anaesthetic then x-ray to diagnose. To think our last vet was asked to do an x-ray 9 months ago but the b*stard refused. That was at the very start of her constipation.
She went away before her sedative had worn off. She was 15. Here's her latest photo..........................
Faye added: "Pepper was an absolute delight to Mel and I, she gave us 13 years of fun and affection. She was very chatty and could carry on a conversation in cat fashion for 5 to 10 minutes with either or both of us. She will never be forgotten."
Elegy for a Lovely Lady Feline
The cries were low yet fraught that balmy ev’n of spring
As there before our gaze stood one miniscule soul.
Her hunger drove all fear from her imagining
And pleading eyes our hearts sought out and gently stole.
That Whitsun night she drows’d content beneath a tree;
Our proffered supper blessing her dreams like subtle charm.
With morning breeze aroused and new found hope set free,
She crept into our lodge - a sanctuary from harm.
A resolution firm she made without our ken,
As lady feline basked before the flick’ring fire
And had elected benefactors there and then
To share their victuals, home and all she might desire.
Had she a former name or home we little knew,
But by her coat of fur in complex hues of brown
A name of names was given our companion true
And Pepper was born to rule the house without a crown.
Thus the family grew by one, or so thought we,
Till all were made to realise that she had brought
A hidden brood within her womb full secretly –
Her children yet unborn whom Nature’s wiles had wrought.
The weeks advanced to hail a fine Midsummer night
When, ere the second morning hour had pealèd out,
Four bedded fruits her instincts formed now sought the light -
Daughter and sons, while she toiled diligently throughout.
Thence as six moons waxed and six moons duly waned,
A mother’s art in full perfection dazed us all.
Nature Herself this modest soul had primed and trained
Until ‘twas deemed the rearing bonds should gently fall.
Thus did we understand creation’s magic flair,
Far more than one may ever glean from sacred page.
Our feline friend was ever wont to freely share
These months of vibrant life our being did engage.
Pepper, companion, ward and loving friend in one
Bright person, who might change within a moment brief,
Could from master’s chair, with occupation done,
Rule the house entire to our stunned disbelief.
Oft she lay in hall or yet in kitchen warm
And call to whom might hear and answer deign return.
Such conversations soon became the order’d norm,
Although in long exchange could we no sense discern.
Was this communication simple meant to reach
Some deep instinctual yearning of her subtle mind?
Or did she strive to emulate the big cats’ speech
And thus within the house become e’en more entwined?
The morning hour would find her in the patrons’ bed,
A lengthy hour of fond attention to demand.
Then down the winding stair on tiptoe to be fed,
With tail and head aloft she’d voice her brisk command.
Then trot she would to face the door and there remain.
And if the sky did suit her mood or yet the scene
Did wake her curious gaze, her ladyship would deign
To visit firethorn, rose and conifers of green.
And so the months and time did pass in simple deeds.
Our lady puss grew full of years, remaining sweet
To her two chosen carers tending all her needs.
For thirteen years they cherished Pepper as was meet.
Alas the warning clouds her health and strength betrayed
As unfamiliar form grew deep within her frame.
A final loving choice was resolutely made
To grant a deepest sleep unto her spirit’s flame.
How does a gentle life encroach upon us swift,
Embedding traits and wiles so deep within our minds?
Etched in our hearts the mem’ries that were her gen’rous gift
Bequeath the love that clothes us round like subtle winds.
(In memory of dear Pepper who fell asleep on the morning of Friday 23rd October 2009)
Mel Young 28th October 2009