A beautiful, wilful, egocentric, exhibitionistic feline. A cheat, a liar and dissembler, he will be greatly missed.
I knew that Pompuss had been ailing for some time. Food seemed not to give him much pleasure, he lacked his usual bounce and he had started to have little accidents which upset him terribly, though mostly he had the grace to choose the bathroom tiles.
i took him to the vet before Christmas and was told what I already knew, namely that he was nearly 19 and that there was no cure for the old boy’s ailments. The vet offered to ‘keep’ him at the clinic but I decided to give him one more summer of sunshine.
I knew the end was near as he wasn’t in the least interested when the grandchildren arrived and dug 7 baby rabbits out of a burrow. These became the centre of attention, housed in a makeshift hutch and syringe-fed on kitten formula but Pompuss merely took one look then went to sleep on a garden chair. The Pompuss of old would have kept constant watch and the moment no-one was looking he would have prised open the hutch and helped himself. After which he would have denied all knowledge and assumed a air of injured innocence.
On New Year’s Eve after the children had left and the rabbits had been taken for a swimming lesson Pompuss plodded round the house inspecting every room and then curled up in his basket with his Teddy. We went out and on returning at 1 am found him fast asleep. Later that morning when he had not appeared at breakfast time I checked his basket again and found that he had gone.
We buried him on the cliff edge looking out to the Tasman Sea and planted a lemon verbena cutting on his grave.
P.S. Pompuss died as he lived and when 7 baby bunnies prove to be a superior attraction, he knew it was time to leave. The Duvet Denier has a different story. He admits that he told Pompuss that he had been to see “The Life of Pi” and that just as ‘Pi’ was a shortened form of ‘Piscine’, so ‘Po’ should be a short form of ‘Pompuss’. Perhaps the thought of that indignity was more than Pompuss could bear.