In Memoriam Boromir, 2010-2023

The Kitten, I usually called him here, but his name was Boromir – named for an early strength and boldness which – alas! – he soon grew out of. (Follow link for cute kitten pics!)

In fact, the only cat he would even pretend to fight with was his mother – though he did eventually learn some important lessons about the consequences of not following Rule 1 (Do Not Allow Other Cats to Bite You in the Bum).

He was a skilled hunter, albeit the results were not always to the humans’ satisfaction. The incident of the giant cicada is still seared on my memory, after nearly thirteen years.

A ginger and white cat with a rat and a bit of grass in his mouth.

He was a great mouser and ratter, although he did have a tendency to regurgitate his prey at times.
Unsuspecting Visitor: where’s the mouse, Boromir?
Boromir: blaaargh!
This happened almost as a matter of course with rats, but sometimes with mice as well, as in the Disney Princess incident.

His prowess was sometimes lacking in authenticity, however. There were times when he claimed – and claimed credit for – his mother’s catch, as well as the time he brought in a bird he’d “caught” – with a snail on its face and somewhat decayed besides. (“Maggots!”) He was also the cat who memorably lost a mouse in the shower curtain.

He had definite likes – food, sleep, laps, logfires, the Caped Gooseberry – and dislikes. He lived in fear of the bean bag for some years after peeing on it as a kitten, presumably fearing lest it rise up to wreak its revenge. In time he dared to sleep on it, though he always meowed propitiatingly as he climbed in.

He had a tendency to play The Floor is Made of Lava, a deep suspicion of anything red, and a gradually decreasing terror of the vacuum cleaner. His views on freshly vacuumed carpets were like most cats – unfavourable.

A freshly vacuumed carpet. In the background, a ginger and white cat. In the foreground, a couple of large tufts of ginger fur.

He wasn’t a snorer, but he did tend to groan dramatically in his sleep. And sleeping was something he liked to do a lot – ideally while on the Caped Gooseberry, or snuggled under the covers next to him.

If he had a fault (besides the tendency to regurgitate rats) it was in not knowing when he wasn’t wanted. A cuddly cat is a wonderful thing, but not so much at 4am when he’s just come in out of the rain.

And if you had anything on or about your lap – knitting, sewing, a game of cards – he wanted to be a part of it. This is, of course, how he came to be the cat who incubated the sock egg.

In his later years he took to sleeping on the back of the couch, despite habitually falling off when deeply asleep. Falling on to the windowsill wasn’t much of an issue, but if he fell the other way – as he very often did – he’d have to save himself with his built-in crampons, and the upholstery can bear witness to the frequency with which he found himself doing this.

A ginger and white cat asleep on a sofa. His head and one leg have slid over the edge, his head upside down and his mouth hanging open.

More recently, he was the cat who expressed the pandemic zeitgeist – in his sleep, as usual.

He entered his teen years on the 4th of November, seemingly bursting with health. And then, unexpectedly, ten days later he died. We buried him in the garden, and sowed giant marigolds on his grave. In a year or two we will plant an orange tree there in his memory.

We may not have got the cat we were hoping for with him – a staunch defender of his (smaller) mother’s territory – but we did get a wonderful cat all the same, one who was (despite his faults) the friendliest cuddliest lappiest cat I’ve ever had.

(You have no idea how hard it was to prune down the hundreds of cute and funny pictures for this post. The one on the toilet? Or the one with the knitting needle sticking out from under him? The perfect sphere of a lap-cat, or the one half-under a blanket – or under the covers? Or the birthday photo – almost the last one of him?)

The face of a sleeping ginger-and-white cat, curled up with his tail covering his nose.

He is – and will be – very much missed. His warmth, his friendliness, his cuddliness, the almost unbelievable softness of his fur, and the way he expressed his satisfaction at being snuggled up with his favourite people.

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