Year of the Tiger
A dedication to an old friend
So 2022 has officially kicked off the start of the year of the Tiger. It got me thinking about many things tiger related. Having loved animals most of my life in particular the big cats, and although each are unique in their own special ways. Its the tiger that has always fascinated me the most it could be because I was born in 1986 a year of the tiger, or it could be due to the mystery and symbolism that are attached to these kings of the jungle. It could also be that the cat I raised from a kitten as young child and the special relationship that I forged with him over the years. This will be the first entry in my new series on Year of the Tiger. So I will begin by telling you of an old feline friend long since departed from this world, but never forgotten in my heart. This is goes out to you old friend and its long over due so please Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to tell you of a very special cat.
The memories of this shy yet incredibly loving cat who had a character that was just unbelievably special. When I begun writing this I had no idea where my brain would take me but it turns out its taken me back to an old friend with whom I had such a unique bond with. My cats name was Henry, and I have such dear memories of him so I will dedicate this entry if you don’t mind by paying homage to a long lost friend who taught me what unconditional love really is.
Henry, began life in litter of four kittens after his mother who was a pregnant stray was rescued by my brother when I was around 6–7 years old. He stood out from his brothers and sisters with his curiosity and his beautiful bold tigeresque striped ginger coat with stripes in a pattern that went the entire length of his body.
It’s safe to say that he and I chose each other from the second we met. Our spirits called out to one another before his eyes could open he knew my voice and would crawl over to me when he heard my voice. He was the first of his litter to open his eyes its as if he was so desperate to see the world around him and he wouldn’t wait any longer.
They say that a dog is a mans best friend, which they can be but I will hazard to say that who ever first said that had never formed a deep connection with a member of the cat family. I have been fortunate enough to have forged bonds with several members of the cat family from domestic house cats to Cheetahs but thats a story for another time.
Henry was my best friend and the memory of him still brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. As time passed and he grew from a small kitten barely able to walk, he grew into a proud independent cat and a skilful hunter of field mice and other prey. Living in the English countryside there was plenty of that around. He would always follow me around and when I came back from school its as if he could sense me as not five minutes after I got home, I would hear the noise of the cat flap and before I knew it he was curled up in my lap purring happily welcoming me home…sometimes with a dead field mouse at my feet.
The only other member of my family he would even let close to him let alone pick him and stroke his stomach was my mother. But that was it he wanted to be with me when I was there and we treasured every moment together…looking back I just wish there were more moments. I will never forget how on the weekends he would climb up the stairs, come to my bedroom, push the door open and jump on my bed his purr so full of excitement and joy that I was home as he would rub his face against mine and cuddle with me. I have never enjoyed being woken up by anyone or anything quite as much as by my beloved Henry. I would call him and this might sound embarassing “Daddy’s little Tiger”. A proud independent hunter but the most loyal and loving animal I have ever had the privilege to bond with.
So my old friend this blog entry is a dedication to you I have never forgotten you nor will I ever, you showed this kid who grew up with Asperger's Syndrome the beauty of life. I was there when you were born and after a long life you passed, a life which wasn’t nearly long enough but you lived every day of it from start to finish. You were such a loving and devoted companion one that I could search for my entire life for and still never hope to find anything quite like what you meant to me. So thank you for being such an important part of my life, you will always live in my memories and in my heart. Its appropriate that in this 2022 the year of the Tiger I finally get round to telling the world about how special an animal you were. I will see you again one day my friend till then thank you for being the best cat and dearest friend I could have ever asked for.