Sunday, 25 January 2015

Goodnight Tomsky

This week we said goodbye to our beautiful shiny boy Tomsk. He got poorly and just wouldn't get better despite all the love that we and his twin brother Ollie could give him.

These guys have been curling up together for the last fifteen and a half years.

Can I tell you a story?

In June 1999, the year we moved to Hebden Bridge I lost a baby. I was twenty weeks pregnant and it was a huge loss for all of us. After we left baby Sam at the hospital and came home empty handed and heavy with grief, my arms ached for weeks with the longing to hold him. 'What you need is a cat' my Mum said wisely and the thought brought me comfort.  But we were just doing up our new house - laying floors and decorating, it was summer and the kids would be in and out playing. It just wasn't the right time. So I waited.

In September, when the kids were back in school I was washing up and I saw the opposite neighbours black cat chasing a fly in the kitchen window. I thought to myself  'Today is the day we get a cat' and I scoured all the notice boards around town until I saw 'Two ginger kittens, in Heptonstall, free to good home'. My partner insisted I only got one of them so after school me and the kids went up the hill to choose.

They were ridiculously cute. One (Ollie), sat in the middle of the kitchen floor meowing at us, unperturbed by our invasion. The other was in trouble for weeing on the carpet and was refusing to come out from behind the sofa. We chose the brave one and we carried him up to my partners Mum's who was giving us a lift home. 'What do you mean he has a brother and you've left him behind?' she said. I did feel terrible. 'But I'm only allowed to get one....' I didn't need much encouragement to drive back to pick up his brother.

Their owner looked worried as she found me at her door again but was much relieved when I said I'd come for the other one. She wanted them to go together as they made such a good pair. Bundling Tomsky into the cat basket I asked her when they had been born. She didn't understand my welling up of tears. 

They were born on the same day I lost my baby.

From the moment we got them home (I don't remember being in too much trouble) it was crazy to think of them not being together. They were a matching pair. What ever one was doing, the other one would be doing too. 

And when they had done chasing each other around the house, they would curl up on my chest in a big purring mass of ears and paws and tails and they have been doing it ever since.

They have been such fun together.



adventurous (Tomsk loved coming for a walk),



and just always on my knee, any chance they got.

Ollie took such care of him when he became ill

and kept himself as close as possible, keeping him warm.

On Thursday I had to get the vet to put him to sleep. In the last few hours we had together while we waited for them to come I stroked him and told him all the stories from his life. He smiled at me and squeaked his squeaky purr right until the end. 

Ollie is doing ok I think. He looks a bit lost at times but is enjoying all the extra love and cuddles and there have been ALOT of them. We're cosying up together. 

Tomsky, your bright shining soul will always be remembered. Thankyou for the bringing such joy to our family for all of these years x


Anonymous said...

What an amazing story, they were meant to find you Hannah, and you've been their provider of love and comfort throughout their lives to date.

Sorry to hear of your loss, we all expect our pets to be around forever, at least you had him for such a long time before you had to say you're goodbyes.

Ollie will look after you as you both did for Tomsky.

Be brave and thank you for sharing your story.

Big hugs Craig

Alyson said...

Love and light to you. x x

Anonymous said...

Do me a favour hannah and just correct the you're to your so I don't look like a total spelling drongo ! lol

Thank you. Hope you're keeping warm in HB

C x

rossichka said...

Dear Hannah, I read your story with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes! You've been so lucky with these lovely cats! And they were happy to spend their lives with you! Ollie's hug is heartbreaking! I hope he'll cure the pain and will find comfort among you, too!
Tomsky - what a bright name!!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you, truly. Losing our beloved pets is so hard, and this moved me so much, losing your baby is unimaginable, I'm so glad your beautiful cats helped you heal. I recently lost one of my dogs after 16 years and I haven't felt brave enough to talk about it so I understand what you are going through right now. Thank you for sharing your story, I'm sure Ollie will help you through.

Lyn said...

Oh Hannah, what a beautiful story of human love and brotherly love. We lost our own cat Lucy in October and it still hurts so much. They leave such a hole in your heart, poor Ollie, I hope he is ok without his brother, give him a cuddle from me. Thinking of you all xxxxx

Hannah Sheppard said...

So sorry about the loss of your beautiful and special cat. We will be facing the same situation very soon as we have a very poorly cat and it makes me want to treasure even more the time we have left with her. Thank you for sharing your story xx

WrightStuff said...

Cats are members of the family as much as any others. Two of mine are 15 and a half now too.
So sorry for your loss. he's keeping an eye on you from his new place for sure.
Sending you all love. xx


Oh I am welling up in tears, such a wonderful warm story. Delightful photos of the both of them. With these two cuties you all have been lucky to have so many fun and lovingly years together. They are the most loveliest pets. Just cuddle some more, that will help you both heal through the sorrow losing adorable Tomsky. Lots of love to the both of you.

EileenW said...

What a beautiful tale of love and family, in every way.

Sorry for your loss. Animals have a special way of filling a gap we don't always know is there. I still miss my old boy Stevie Wonder, 4 years on. I always vowed no other cat could replace him. I now have a dog...she does not understand me, the way my cat did. :)

Thank you for sharing this story. Such personal losses but finding comfort and moving forward is part of that.

Thinking of you.

DOCK + NETTLE said...

Oh Hannah now I'm in tears...hug Ollie extra tight xxxx

Karen L R said...

Ginger cats are the best, siblings even better. This story is so filled with love... I send my biggest batch of comfort across the miles as you get used to the world without your beloved Tomsky. xo

Hannah Nunn said...

Ah you guys. Such love to all for your warm and comforting comments. Thankyou lots. Hold all those loved ones close and make the most of every moment with the little treasures.

Ollie is holding up well and sends you all a big open faced smile :)

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