Eulogy for Gavin

Last night, November 8th, 2015, our cat Gavin went to the great kitty home in the sky after a period of slowing down and losing weight.  I had noticed that on the last few trips that Gavin was getting lighter, and more frail though his energy for life and the love he gave never diminished.

Gavin was adopted at the PetSmart during a time when the Toronto Human Society was visiting during a time where there were many cats needing homes in the city.  As soon as you picked him up, he started licking your nose.  I was hooked.  He had such a nice disposition, and it stuck with him for all 15-16 years of his life with us.

Gavin only hissed at me a handful of times, and the first day he lived with us, he hissed at is as he was out of his element.  I let him be and he soon came around to jump up on our futon, sit on my alp and even my laptop, sit in front of the keyboard at my desk.  He became our cat, and I was his Daddy. Scott in many respects was the Mummy.  Or was it the other way around with me being so nurturing and Scott sometimes having to be the tough one?  Who knows.

He wasn’t a fastidious cleaner, but his coat was usually immaculate other than usually regular brushings which he didn’t mind, and when he was much bigger he needed some help scratching behind his ears.

Gavin, I always said was like a dog that we never had.  He would always greet us at the door, be waiting at the door for us to come home, meow and pawa at us for attention.  I think he disliked the fact we’d spend more time with our laptops than fussing him, always wanting attention.  He was playful and jovial

Shadow, our other cat, came into our lives 4 months after we picked up Gavin.  We wanted Gavin to have a brother or sister, so that he wouldn’t be alone and they seemed to enjoy their company together at the start, sleeping close to each other.  I’m not sure what changed but some time later during the 15 years together, they seemed to only just tolerated each other, although they never got into big fights like some cats do.  They never got into big spats, but Shadow certainly asserted herself, Gavin was mostly a pacifist.  They definitely had a brother/sister bond that we’re very glad they formed.

Gavin always had Shadow’s back, no matter what.  If we were brushing Shadow, which she really hates, he would always keep an eye on her to make sure we were treating her well, which we always do.

I was hoping that towards the end of Gavin’s life, Shadow may realize what was going on and be re-conciliatory but even this weekend, she raised her paw to Gavin.  Sadly, she realized what was going on when she saw Gavin for the last time, last night and she did have a bit of a shocked reaction.

When Scott and I lived for two years in Campbellville, it was a joy seeing Gavin walking outside, going down the stairs of the balcony, basing in the sun and grass, and hunting.  He even brought back a few mice for us.  He seemed fearless in his quests for new adventures and took the three moves (Thorncliffe Park, Campbellville and the current condo in Etobicoke) in stride making each home his own.

Nothing meant more than his nose licks anytime I wanted them, and they were never taken for granted.  I loved scritching his head in appreciation, hearing his loud purr.  Even before his passing yesterday – he’d pop his head up, lick my finger or nose, and purr loudly as I stroked his coat.  This is what I will miss most.  Him wishing me off on my day at work, and then greeting me at home.

When at home, it never really felt like just the two of us – Scott and I.  It was the four of us – Scott, Gavin, Shadow and me.  Even when our condo corporation tried to tell us we couldn’t have our cats, we fought back to keep them because they ARE a part of our household, they are part of our family unit.  They’re the kids that Scott and I will never have, in many respects.

Scott and I both feel very blessed to have had Gavin in our lives.  I don’t know what we did to deserve such a great cat in our lives.  I’m not sure there will ever be another cat like Gavin in our lives, especially given the condo corporation won’t allow us to have cats.  Just birds and fish.

Gavin you will be missed and that really does not describe how any of us feel.

Gavin comes from a long line of cats in our lives.  Growing up in Newfoundland, Mum and Dad had siamese cats, Aussie and Tilley.  When we moved to Campbellville, we had Morris (Robyn’s) and Timbit (mine) who were both children of my Aunt and Uncle’s cat Beaudica.  Both Morris and TImbit were such nice and wonderfully affectionate cats, like Gavin.   Robyn had Mythrandir, Pirate Jenny which was my Aunt’s cat, and my cousins Kirsten & Barry currently have a cat named Gracie.  Of course, we still have Shadow as well.

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