Friday, December 19, 2014

Winkle: called home by the Lizard People

Winkle came to us as a kitten - really just a pair of eyes on legs. Unusually, he came out of the box he had been transported in, sat on the dining room table, looked around and said "yep, this'll do me." He didn't have to be kept inside for days because he'd obviously decided he didn't want to go anywhere else.

In a fit of madness, I decided he could be trained to sleep in the study rather than on the bed. The first night he banged on the door but eventually stopped. The second night he didn't stop and after some time I gave up and opened the door. He came flying out of the study, sprinted into the bedroom and winkled around the bedhead to make sure that was where he stayed. It was also how he came to get his name. Cat training fail.

It soon became clear Winkle was not a normal cat. He chatted, would try to follow me up to the bus top in the morning, and kept flopping over for tummy rubs. He was also bad at cat stuff: he wasn't interested in hunting, and if he did catch something he would bring it inside while howling proudly, then let it go because he didn't know what to do next. He was much more adept at stalking and dismembering loaves of bread, or pushing the compost bowl off the bench and onto the floor so as to get at desirable scraps.

Where's the milk?
Eventually we realised that he was a fake cat and was most likely a spy from the Lizard Planet. While the Lizard People had got their cat blueprint mostly right, there were definitely some things that had misfired. 

Mostly what misfired was that Winkle liked hanging out in the sun and eating and sleeping and demanding milk and eating...oh wait, I already said that. He used to sit on the windowsill in the morning, and we imagined he was beaming back bogus reports about how he was preparing earth for a ground invasion, but then went and slept in the front yard till dinnertime.

This week it became evident that one thing that had misfired was his upper respiratory tract. He stopped eating and had trouble breathing. He didn't respond to treatment, even after being on a drip at the vet. This morning we made the very painful decision to put him down and buried him in his favourite spot in the front yard. It was time for Winkle to go home to the Lizard People.

Rest in peace my beautiful, mad, mad, beautiful boy. You will be missed more than you could ever have known.