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James and Marcus

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is incredibly, horrendously long. Huggles was kind enough to suggest I posted a tribute here to my two boys both of whom died last year- thankyou Huggles . And thankyou too to everyone else who's given me such a warm welcome.

James was a beautiful red persian boy, who I first met when he was eighteen months old, in the pen of a persian rescue centre with his brother. Both had been neglected and abused, and his brother was badly traumatised. James' good nature was as impervious as a rock, and his rescuer wanted a home with another cat for company and an owner experienced with persians. I'd just left home, was living with my silver tabby kitten who really needed a friend- James came straight home with us. His jaw had been broken- all his life he had one tooth sticking out over his lip which gave him the most misleading piratical look, and the most beautiful liquid cognac coloured eyes that I've ever seen. It took three years for James who loved being cuddled, not to panic the moment he sensed me starting to put him down, and to try to claw his way out of my arms. I suspected he was thrown at some point in his life. The day he relaxed and waited for me to put him down on his feet I felt like throwing a party. Sitting on my lap was also too scary for a long long time and he would sit beside me, as close as he could get, until eventually one day he crept up onto my lap. James was the most talkative cat I've ever met, he talked constantly in a deep and distinctive voice, and would hold conversations with you that lasted for several minutes at a time. If you blew him a kiss he'd mew back to you. If I sang, he would come running from where ever he was in the house, climb up furniture to get as near to my face as he could, and shout urgently at me. I never did find out whether he was singing too, or pleading with me to stop. And he had the most fantastic purr. James was bomb proof. Introduced to my mother's dog and a dustpan and brush, he gave both due thought, then went to look at the dustpan. The dog had no idea what to do with that. Where ever I went, whatever I did, he came too. If anyone else needed to go to the vet, James came too, since with James there for moral support nothing was scary. When I moved house two years ago and he and Vicket went into kennels for a month to avoid the stress of total redecoration etc, the staff nearly cried when they had to say goodbye to him. James loved everyone.

I was prepared all James' life for the fact that he wouldn't make old bones. He'd been badly abused in his most important months of development, badly fed, and left with medical problems that my fantastic vet spent years sorting out patiently step by step. At Christmas 2003 he started to get bony and something subtle changed, and I knew we were approaching the end: something which my vet confirmed. James had cancer. We didn't put him through aggressive treatment. He was comfortable, happy, and he'd been through enough in his life. He enjoyed the spring and early summer being thoroughly spoiled and living the easy life around his house and garden. In June we had the most wonderful weekend, where he was with me constantly. I remember one sunny, hot afternoon in the herb garden which was his favourite place, where he and I lay all afternoon together. That evening as I sat on the swing, he climbed on to my lap and I felt the out of control tumour starting in his neck. The following evening, I held his head and kissed him while our vet put him to sleep. I hope the last thing he heard was me telling him it was all right, he was safe and he was very much loved. He never actually became ill and never suffered one day of pain and distress from his cancer, for which I'm forever indebted to the vet. Tragically- to me - the cremation firm working for the vet mishandled his ashes, and instead of coming home to the rose planted in his favourite place in the herb garden, James' ashes were lost. I and the other two cats missed him terribly, but his was a life well lived and enjoyed after it's awful start, of the many persians I've known and lived with he was a truly exceptional one. He'll be forever loved and remembered.

My Marcus, my magnificent Maine Coon boy, came to live with us in December 2002. He should by rights have been called Tarzan. He loved to be outdoors, lived for the garden and to be active and for ping pong balls, and was a first class hunter who loved to bring mice in to play with them on the wooden floors.... mice slide so beautifully on wood. I got so used to rescuing mice, I kept a mouse rescue kit by the back door. There was not an ounce of spite in Mark, he never hurt them, he simply regarded them as furry ping pong balls. When James died, Mark missed him so badly that I knew we had to bring another active boy into the household, and when several months later Jake and Mitz moved in, Mark, far from being delighted, acted as though the house was haunted. That lasted two weeks, until he realised that Jake knew how to play- then he began to shoot through the cat flap, yelling for Jake to come downstairs quick and play with him. He even brought the kittens live mice to play with, which I was far less pleased about .

Mark went missing on the 9th September. I began to worry at dinner time when he didn't come in, and went out to call him - it was impossible to keep Mark limited to our garden, he was a huge, powerful and active cat and he'd taken full posession of the woods near our home. I looked for him all through the night, and in the morning tracked him down to a near by vets. He'd been run over and instantly killed on a road very near to our house. The vet wouldn't let me see him - something I still regret as for months afterwards there was still a slight hope remaining that it wasn't him and he might come home. The awfulness of losing a young cat is indescribable, and the guilt of allowing him to roam. Although I tried several times to keep him in and I know it would have made him miserable. However the garden is now seriously cat proofed and made safe by a fantasic UK firm - none of my cats will ever again see a road, save through the windows. Mark was enormous- even by Maine Coon standards- had a sweet and ridiculously gung ho personality and a coat that I couldn't resist touching every time I saw him. We miss you baby, I still hope you'll just come home.

post #2 of 10
God, I'm in tears sitting here reading this wonderful tribute to these much-loved boys! Thank you so much for sharing their stories with us, and {{HUGS}}!
post #3 of 10
I also am sitting here with tears streaming down my face... what a wonderful, beautiful tribute to James & Marcus.

Thankyou for sharing a little bit of their lifes with us what wonderful boys they were!!
How great that James felt no pain in his last months and how lucky he was for you to find him and giving him such a loving home after his hard start in life
and Marcus - maybe he gave my boy tips about the mice hunting?

know that they are both playing happily at the rainbow bridge - Marcus has all the mice he could imagine and James can be seen running through the grass not afraid of anything.... they will both remain there watching over you until you meet again..

RIP sweet angel James & Marcus
post #4 of 10
I´m speechless Dear Ranger, my thoughts with you.....
post #5 of 10

That was a truly incredible, moving tribute to two wonderful animals that were lucky to have landed in your life. Sadly, the abused ones do succumb earlier than most. My thinking is the stress and pain they endure must somehow cause this ugly cancer to grow within and they cannot stop it, nor can modern medicine quell it.

Thank you for sharing your private thoughts in this open way, I am sure it will help others to know that grief can be survived-
post #6 of 10
Thank you, Ranger for writing this moving tribute of love and devotion. Yes, it brought tears to my eyes, but I smiled even more, at all their wonderful traits & antics! And thank you Huggles for suggesting it!
post #7 of 10
What a lovely tribute to two fabulous boys - you are so lucky to have known them.
Thanks for sharing.
post #8 of 10
What a wonderful tribute to your 2 special boys. How sad that you lost both of them in the same year. RIP James and Marcus
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Daft as it sounds, it's really taken a few weeks before I could come back and re read these mails. Thankyou to all of you for your warm and kind thoughts, it's lovely to be able to put down what was so special about the boys and be so understood.
post #10 of 10
What a beautiful, interesting story. It would be wonderful to see it in print, accompanied by photographs. Ranger, you did a marvelous job of portraying their personalities. I, too, have lost a cat to cancer; like you, I chose to release him to his reward across the Bridge, while he was still fairly comfortable. Your other kitties are a pleasure to all who see them, too! I'm so glad that Huggles suggested that you write this. Susan
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