Bertie the Boy-Cat was born on 24th September 1994 and euthanased at home on 23rd September 2010, the day before his 16th birthday. His sire was Cadem Earl of Ambrose and his mother Tijuana Cher, and with his sister, Girl-cat, came to live with me when he was twelve weeks old.
He may possibly have recovered from what was probably a stroke but it would have meant hospitalization, on a drip and probably being catheterised. I would not let that happen to him at the end of his life and I couldn’t have cared for him at home. Although he was slightly improved at the end, he purred and gave my nose a quick lick, he would not tolerate being picked up, was not eating or drinking and his hindquarters and tail appeared to be partially paralysed so that it was hard for him to sit and difficult for him to lie down unless his tail was moved to his right side.
He was a beautiful cat; the only known Burmese cat with a beard - a small goatee which had been there ever since he was a kitten. He was talkative and very affectionate, preferring to be carried around the house if he could persuade me to do so. He knew my timetable and encouraged me to stick to it, and the sound of the kettle or the TV would always bring him because he assumed that I was about to sit down and provide him with a lap. However, he was timid with strangers, unlike his sister, and invariably disappeared when the grandbabies or strangers visited.
In his youth he was an enthusiastic ratter until he broke three of his canine teeth and was no longer able to perform the killer bite. His first few rats were not dead when I found them and I had to finish the job for him, but after practising on a bowl of bananas (he bit every one just below the stem) he never missed again and used to bring me several dead rats per week.
As he grew old he became very vocal and chatted all the time, developing more and more words and sounds, but he also became very demanding so that he had to learn the meaning of the word “No”. He was very good about this, always asking permission before he jumped onto my lap or into the empty washing basket. He liked to be carried inside in the empty basket after helping me to hang out the washing. And he always said ‘thank you’ when I opened a door for him instead if making him use the cat flap.
He used to sleep on my bed and in the early morning, when the temperature dropped, he would crawl in with me and curl up to sleep against me. Just before my alarm went off he would wake me by walking over my pillow and always supervised my stretches when I returned from my morning walk.
He will probably be my last cat, the most loving of all my cats, and already there is a big hole in my life. I miss him.
Goodbye Boy-Kitten - I loved you so much.