I have to tell you with sadness that Oliver passed away this week. He was 17 years old.
To me he was your archetypal cat; slightly standoffish, didn’t readily sit on laps, although he could be persuaded on occasion. He kept himself pristine, and always looked stunningly gorgeous.
He was a hunter, and until he got too old and started slowing down he would catch anything that moved, mice, voles, birds, I even had to deal with the odd frog or two.
He loved his independence and enjoyed going outdoors, ranging far and wide on adventures I never knew the content of, only that it was clear he was enjoying life.
I first met him at Leicester Animal Rescue in 2001, after the sudden death of one of my other cats. I needed a male cat as a companion for my surviving adult female, and he was there and beautiful and shy and just what I wanted. So we adopted him and took him home. It took him a good year to relax and get used to us but finally he understood that he really did have a forever home and that we could be trusted to not hurt him or let him down.
He has been my companion through high moments and low ones, and in many ways understood me when I didn’t understand myself.
He is now at rest in Mum’s garden, a place he would have loved to roam in.