In early 1986, I walking through Leicester City Centre. There was a petshop near the Cinema which I passed regularly. The front was all glass with a set back door just off-centre and in the small remaining space was a glassed in area. That day there was a small black kitten. It was chasing a fly. I bought her.
I called her Tamba.
When I was growing up we had a cat and her name was Tamba as well, so my new kitten was actually Tamba Two. Since 1986, she has seen me and J get married, she had some kittens and shared the nursing of them with another cat that we got at the same time. The other cat was called Chuffy and she, despite losing a leg in a car engine, lived to be about eleven. We have moved house 5 times, she initially cuffed the new kitten that we bought for D, yet these days she will only ever go out at his shoulder. She has seen the girls grow up, she has been part of the family, and part of my life for the last 19+ years. Apart from J, that means she is the second longest relationship of my life.
We’ve suspected an illness for a while but a trip to the vet around a year ago got the all-clear given her age. We took her a couple of weeks ago – she was ill. Today we took her again. She didn’t come home.