Our Cats – Part of the Family

Two cats have shared my life (so far), Sylvester and Bijan. It has been a privilege to look after them both and they both gave much joy and happiness.

Bijan in 2000 Bijan was born in April 2000 and joined us at the end of June that year. We reckon she lost her first life on her first night with us! She had disappeared during the evening and we had looked everywhere for her, thinking she had escaped outside somehow. I had recently started work in Derby and we were due to leave our original home in Bedfordshire in the morning for the week and had given up hope of finding her. Then, just as we were getting ready to go, we heard a faint meowing from behind one of the kitchen units. She had found a gap we didn’t know existed and had ended up on a small ledge behind the dishwasher. Since this was built in, we had to rapidly dismantle the units around it to rescue her. We abandoned the wreckage and reassembled the kitchen at the end of the week when we got back home!

Bijan snoozing
Her favourite evening spot ... my office chair.

Bijan in 2002
Smile for the camera! Quite a cute little puss isn’t she.
Bijan in 2000
Bijan was only about 2 months old when she met Frog on the back of the chair.

Is there any more in here?
Give a cat a bag and they cannot stay outside of it! I wonder why we bother to buy toys, an empty bag gives hours of fun to a curious puss. A bit like a child I suppose!
I'm the King of the Castle!
We refitted the kitchen in our new home in the Autumn of 2000 and Bijan had to inspect the boxes when they were delivered.
Bijan in the bowl year 2000
The bath and washbasin are irresistible – except when there’s water included.
Bijan in the bowl year 2007
The similarity of the 1960s colour scheme to that of Midland Mainline (below) is interesting!
Midland Mainline HST in tangerine and green

Not a dog’s life!



Bijan knew how to make herself comfortable and could be relied upon to take advantage of any opportunity. One day when I changed the bedding I left the quilt on the bed whilst I dealt with the bed linen. Bijan wasted no time in snuggling into a fold in the quilt to find the softest spot for a snooze!

Sylvester in the bag
Don’t let this cat out of the bag!
Curiosity was Sylvester’s middle name.
Dinner Time
Feeding time at last! This was the summer of 2000 and Bijan’s tail had still to grow!

New home
When I started working in Derby, we stayed in an apartment for the first month and the cats soon made themselves at home.
Together in adversity – there’s thunder about!




Sylvester joined us in April 1998 from a rescue centre, his first minder (cats don’t have owners) had passed away. He gave us a look we could not resist when looking around one day and gave us great joy.

He was a perfect gentleman in many ways, well behaved, content around the house and he spent many an hour lying at the bottom of the garden with his back to the hedge, taking in the sunshine.

He passed away on 17th January 2001, nearly 9 years old. He had been diagnosed with diabetes 18 months earlier and had responded well to his twice-daily insulin injections. But he suddenly took a turn for the worse one night and after several days intensive treatment we lost the fight to stabilise him. He will be missed.




Bijan was taken suddenly ill on the morning of Tuesday 20th May 2008 and had to be rushed to the vet. He did his best to stabilise her and there was no change that evening. But she slipped away during the night ... she had suffered a thrombosis. She was laid to rest near the spot where she slept under the rhubarb.

She had been with me for virtually the whole of her life and we had grown up together. I will remember the way she meowed to ask for something and the way she always greeted me at the front door when I came home from work ... and for a hundred other things ...

She was a very special cat ... definitely one of a kind ... and she will be missed.


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Updated 10th February 2009