Pothead, Potato, Pigs, Pussycats, Patchouli, Pat Metheny, Pavlova, Prince, and plenty more.


Doesn’t he just look like an Egyptian God, this fellow?

My African Prince

Ah, I know, I’m ridiculously biased!  Aren’t we all, whether cat or dog lover, pointy nose or flat face, virtually bald or a fur ball, big or small, the places they occupy in our hearts are huge.  Way too huge at times, I think.

Do all pet lovers have one?

Long ago I read that there will always be a lifetime pet.  Long after many other, much-loved four-footers have walked over the couch, there will always be that one.  Perhaps it’s one that you can never quite think of without getting a lump in your throat.  Or suddenly (but not inexplicably) feel melancholic.  Or tears well up in your eyes and at times you even cry.

Poirot is that kind of pet for me.  He died 5 1/2 years ago on a country road in Quebec, Canada.  He was eight.  I now have cats that I may be even more besotted with than I was with him.  Yet, he’s my lifetimer.

Never acclimatised

He was born in Africa and never hid his hatred for the Canadian cold, where he experienced five winters in Quebec.  Always full of snow and plenty very cold.  He semi-hibernated during those winters, but what he hated more than the cold was sharing the kitty toilet with the other cats.  So, rush out – tippy-toeing at high speed, do his business on the side of the barn and rush back in to carry on sleeping.

As I’m typing this, I’m thinking “Is it any wonder that he opted out?”  Yes and no.  He departed in May, so he could have had one more clammy summer of mouse hunting, his passion.  He always brought a dead mouse home to show off, usually by late morning.  That’s why I knew that day in May that something was amiss.  By 4 pm he had not shown his face all day.  After 20 minutes of searching, I found him on the side of the road, like a flat grey stone, which is what I thought I saw from a distance.

How do I accommodate this?

A Buddhist friend told me years ago that I should accommodate Poirot’s loss.  I thought I found a way to do this, but after a while the old ache resurfaced.  Perhaps just like the phantom pain experienced after the amputation of a limb, I will experience pain in my heart because he was cut out of my life way too soon?


A tyke in Africa ~ 1999-2007

Comments on: "Poirot – a cat mourned way too long" (9)

  1. Aw, that’s a tough way to have the story end! My deepest condolences.

    My lifetimer was Sam, hands (no, paws) down. I still have her last dog tag on my key chain.

  2. Oh, I forgot to ask: Was he named after Hercule?

    • Mais oui, c’est exactement ça! My partner was Quebecois. He chose this cat from a cat rescue centre and together we brainstormed his name. It had to be French. ‘Poirot’ simply dropped into my head, which was instantly approved! Poirot always had a few short, black whiskers among the white. 🙂 In the end it really became my cat. In the morning he only got up when I did. Didn’t matter how long I slept (in). Except for that one night, when he got up at 4 and jumped outside via the bedroom window.

      Odd, I thought, and got up to look outside. There I saw movement around my car and thought he and another cat were playing inside it (‘must have left a window open’). When I looked again, I realised there were actually two burglars moving around, inside and around the car! I screamed at them from behind the curtain and heard them jump over the wall (as if they were impalas). The next morning I found my spare wheel leaning against the car. Abandoned. Yes, it was that bad in Johannesburg. 😦

      In Quebec they sometimes thought that we’d named him Poireau, which is leek. 🙂

      • Ha! That’s great, you had a “watch cat!” Great story. Find a “P” connection, and you got yourself a blog post! 🙂

        Poirot was always my favorite Christie character. The little gray cells!

  3. Going through your posts made me realize that my pets don’t have that good of a life. I mean, yours get to travel the world with you 😀 and I used to think me kitty had travelled much by being all over the country with me 😮

  4. He is a beauty. I had an awesome cat once who used to follow me around like a dog (unlike my current dog who acts like a snobby cat and feels that everyone is beneath her). It’s crazy how pets have so very different personalities.

    • Ah, those are rare, right, dogs who think they’re cats? Are they called dats? I have a cat who thinks she’s a dog and that is a cog. So you have a dat and I have a cog. Whoops, one must read that to know what I mean, ha ha!

      I remember a cartoon where Odie sits next to Garfield high up in a tree and G. says something like ‘Amazing what dogs are capable of if they don’t know their limitations.’ Odie sits there looking at the reader with one of those looks that says it all: ‘Is he talking about me?’

      Yes, cats’ personalities differ greatly, but once we’ve figured them out they are quite stable, don’t you think? Unlike people who change all the time. The cog grew up with two massive indoor Rottweilers and the entire litter used to ride the backs of the dogs, so we were told by their owner. So when the kuppy (kitten who thinks she’s a puppy) came to my home and saw my two black dogs, she hissed once and then became friends for life. She slept in between the dogs and never with me, and that was that. She doesn’t even like cats much and still lashes out at my other two who’ve never been mean to her.

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