Sunday, 24 June 2012


IB's beloved cat, Gunny, died yesterday. He had been ill for a few weeks with some kind of lung problem,, gradually fading in front of our eyes. He was only 9 years old.

Later that evening the screen saver on my computer, displaying random photos from my files, brought back so many memories. Not just Gunny, but so many other loved and much missed animals. Cats - Teasel, Tigger and Herbert. Chickens, from our first three (Josephine, Daphne and Sugar) all the way through Blanche, Blodwen and Bronwen to our rescued battery hens (Ginger, Babs, Mac and Norma-Jean) and more recent arrivals like Blodeuwedd I who was snatched away by a fox. Ted and Dougal, the guinea pigs. Our original geese, Buffy and Angel are now gone, along with their goslings, Snowy (killed by a predator) and Sunny (re-homed after fighting with his father). Further back, there are older, pre-digital era photos - Algie, Koshka, Julie, Mina, Thomas (cats), Max the budgie, Frances the duck, Nicky the dog.

Anyone who has had a companion animal can tell you that they are all individuals, each one a unique character. Oh, how they worm their way into your heart - and the pain when they are gone.

Today, in beautiful sunshine, we buried Gunny in an area we have earmarked for a forest garden. He was wrapped in one of IB's T-shirts, and we placed flowers and a favourite toy with him in the ground. We planted an apple tree on his grave. In years to come I imagine us sitting under the tree on such a sunny day, sharing our memories of Gunny. In the meantime, we will continue to create new memories with  Bear, Marley and Dandilo, the cats. And enjoy the antics of Bella, Dot, Daisy, Blossom, Ceridwen, Blodeuwedd II, Misty and Morag, our current flock of hens, and Spike, the gander. Our animals bring such colour to our days. Sharing our lives with them is a privilege, and the pain of their loss is a small price to pay for the joy they bring.

RIP Gunny August 2002 - June 2012