|Sisters: Agatha and Alice|
My house is very quiet, apart from lazy buzzing of annoying cluster flies. The dogs don’t make much noise when they sleep unlike Miss Agatha Woo who’d purr all the time.
Did you note that? Dogs and flies in the present tense but Agatha is already in the past.
She’s not there in the morning as I struggle bleary-eyed to let the dogs out, yowling at me to give her some food; the all-pervading stench of ammonia from her night time ablutions fast becoming a faded memory. I feel more confident crossing the kitchen in bare feet within a few days of her demise. And although I never particularly liked treading in the proverbial be it cat poo, cat pee or cat sick I had become used to it and could gracefully wend my way over the kitchen floor to where I kept the bucket and mop seemingly blindfolded. It was a skill I was inordinately proud of; getting from Point A to Point B without anything squashing between my toes and all before I had had my first cup of tea.
My husband is calmer for not having to face such an obstacle course. In fact he can now get his own cup of tea first thing in the morning, which after several years of getting up at sparrows fart o’clock and foregoing said tea before catching the train to London with all the other work-oholics who need to be seen to be the first in and last out, must be kind of nice.
I can put things back on shelves that I never thought to see out again; the things that she’d always try to step over and round but latterly she’d just knock off. Many have been repaired, quite badly but I can’t look at those cracks without thinking of her and her quest NOT to have to touch the floor after it had been washed.
Curtains can go back up; shorter than they were but at least now they will stay clean. The table-cloth can come off the Kitchen table as she’s not there to gauge great scratches across its glossy top as she leaps up to get a better look at me and to, of course, look down upon the dogs.
Friends can now bring their dogs to our house knowing that Agatha Bagwash will not be there to corner them and make them wet themselves in fear – a neat party trick she enjoyed rather too much and one which nearly got her killed when she tried to take on a visiting Weimaraner who although blind had a very acute sense of smell.
He bolted after her and landed with his head stuck through the flap of the cat litter tray while she escaped by vaulting on to the Aga which was just to the side. She vaulted off pretty quick too as the Aga was on and I landed up buttering her paws and apologising to my friends for traumatising their dog.
Soon they will forget that she was ever there for how could they have loved her as I did?
She’ll be a few words on a page that no one will read, some faded old photographs of a cat their mother once had to be thrown away as a load of old junk as they sort me out to move into the old people’s home before I too become the past…
(latterly Miss Pissy Woo)
1 June 1996 – 15 October 2011
|Agatha Bagwash: Summer 2010|