Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Pedro (? - 2023)

Pedro, by Nimbos
This morning, we took turns to say goodbye to Pedro, our grumpy, once-chonky cat, before the Dr escorted him away on one last trip to the vet. 

A few weeks ago we thought he'd been knackered out by the hot weather; he wasn't unhappy, just listless. When the rain and chill hit, he didn't recover his energy. Then he was losing weight. I took him to the vet last week already expecting the worst. They found him full of cancer and he went downhill quickly. We'd booked him in for a final trip to the vet later this week and this morning had to bring that forward. He didn't even need the injection - in one last, typical act of defiance, he died as they were preparing it.

Oh, that cat.

Why 'Pedro'? I've been asked this a lot over the past five years. The rescue home where we found him in the summer of 2018 had a simple labelling system; each new cat they received was given a name beginning with the next letter in the alphabet. When this scrawny character arrived at their door, they'd just had a cat given a name beginning with 'O', so next in sequence was 'P'. They already had a 'Pete', hence 'Pedro'. The home assumed we'd come up with something more suitable soon enough but seven year-old Lord of Chaos was horrified by the idea we would dare to change his name.

It was a good name for quite a character.

The first time I took Pedro to the vet, sometime soon after we adopted him, he managed to make his feelings known by spraying piss through the slots of his carrying case, soaking me in the process. He then reached out a claw and caught my arm, so I arrived at the vet covered in piss and blood.

This delighted the vet, not least because Pedro had clearly got it all out of his system. So she picked him up and made soothing noises, and he pissed all over her.

Blimey, he could sulk. Rain and snow were obviously our fault. Woe betide anyone who sat in his chair (it's my chair, where I do most of my work). Or obstructed his comfy seat on the back of another sofa, where he could half slump on top of the radiator. Or if there was anything in the way of where he liked to laze beneath the front window. He declined to use a cat flap; you'd be summoned to open the door.

His grumpiness was matched by his greed. Pedro's dinner time was 5.15 each night, so from about 2 he'd trot after you hopefully, his forlorn wail of a not-meow more fitting a cat one-third his size. But Pedro was a survivor, having lived for some time on the mean streets of Streatham before we found him at a rescue home. You could see those survival skills in his scavenging and thieving, and the way he'd go crazy at the barest sniff of a plastic box full of chow mein.

Or duck. Or tuna. Or roast dinner. Or cheap sliced ham. 

Pedro was also affectionate - and not just when we were eating. Until recently, he liked nothing better than to sleep at the end of our bed, on the Dr's feet. If it was cold, he would move gradually up the bed, sometimes reaching the pillow. When the children were away - at school or overnight somewhere - he'd often curl up in their beds. If I was watching some hokey sci-fi late at night, he'd cuddle up, particularly enamoured of the twirling coloured lights in a star field or space battle. He weathered, usually with patience, a lot of cat squeezing and love.

What a lot of love we doted on that cat.


Anonymous said...

Hey darling, sorry you've lost your unique Pedro. He sounds such a character and very fortunate you came into his life. Sending love, Louise ❤️

0tralala said...

Thanks, Lou. X