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The Life and Times of Giles Gibbs-Gordon

Giles Gibbs-Gordon, aka Fatty, didn't live a long life but it was adventurous. His story starts before his birth when two friends of ours, Seb and Sophie took in a stray cat they had been feeding who was getting rather fat. She was pregnant and we were contacted to see if we would want kittens. He was born on the 12th April 2007. Together with Becka we went to visit the mother and her litter a couple of weeks after their birth. Giles was a very quiet kitten at the time and Sophie mentioned he hadn't been pooping, turns out the poor chap had blocked anal glands, which the vet sorted out. He perked up a bit after that. We had selected what would be Giles and Bagheera (Seb or Sophie can you remember the birth names?), whilst Becka chose what would be Chiana and Jayne. I don't remember which day we came and collected them but there was a yowling journey to Manchester and their second home. They spent two Christmas' at this house. We soon found they were very very much people cats, sleeping in which ever room we were in and crying when they couldn't find us. Here we learnt that Giles liked to crawl in small places, stick his nose up Sam's nose and sleep on Sam's chest. We also learnt that they love the water put down for christmas tree and that Giles liked his food. He put on weight at a good pace, not obese though, his paws were huge. It only really showed when he sat and then his bum would sprawl. We also learnt that Giles would never use a litter kwitter but lets not dwell on the smell or stress of that one! We made the decision in this house to allow the cats out. It was one we took a long time off, we lived on a main road with big double decker buses. But we decided that it is better that they have the chance to live their lives to the full rather than be crying (and they already were) to go out all the time. They mostly stuck to being in the back but one time Giles did get stuck on the other side of the road and Sam had to go get him. He was terrified then and actually sprayed Sam as he carried him home. Only time he ever sprayed. It was here that Lis named Bagsy and Giles to be puppies. Bagsy didn't take to it but Giles did. He would play chase with a bouncey ball we got. He'd sit by you waiting for you to throw it, then run after it. He didn't have the returning down though so you had to go pick it up and start again!

We moved to Wigan in 2008 and Giles was able to come into his own here. We had a cat flap and grass. He loved going out so much. He would go out and roll like a horse on the paving. Spreading himself out and really enjoying it. Although he loved curling up with us he really loved the outdoors. We found out here that he was not going to be a mouser, if he developed it anywhere it would have been here, but he never brought anything home.

We weren't in Wigan long and in 2009 came the move to London. He didn't like the move very much but you can't blame him. I think he liked it there. There was no catflap which he didn't like, and my old cats next door were very territorial but he managed to hold his own. Well enough that when we ate my Mums so did he! It was a little shocking the first time we noticed Giles in my mums house happy as larry. I think he trusted that wherever we were was a safe place for him! We lost his sister for a few days when we first moved to London and it did affect him. Even though they fought you could tell he missed her. We let him out for a very short time one night and he walked back and forth around the house sniffing. Bagsy returned that night. He was a very good cat, never needing the vet for anything more than vaccinations but he did get in one fight. One night Bagsy was not looking good at all, limping and scared, we noticed in hindsight that Giles was also in shock. The vet thought it was probably a fight with some foxes as both of them had very damaged claws and paws like they had the dragged across tarmac. We figure that Bagsy picked a fight she couldn't finish and Giles stepped in and sat on the fox. (Have I told it right Sam?). He developed another dog like behaviour here, jumping up. We had an ensuite here and when you came out of the bathroom in your towel he would jump onto the bed and jump up on you. Unfortunately we have no pictures of this but he would stand with his back legs on the bed and his front legs on your chest raising his nose to sniff your face. You would have to stroke him at this point as well. He would do this probably twice and then you were free to dry off and get dressed! He totally owned us. I do have to say he did this more with Sam than he did with me but he was always a Daddy's boy. Or maybe he just liked Sam without lynx. He really didn't like Sam's lynx just the sight of the can in Sam's hand and Giles was out of that room!

London wasn't a long stay either and soon it was the epic trip to Edinburgh, Sept 2010. He didn't like this trip at all, and was out of sorts for a few days afterwards. Possibly sick on the country roads. I do believe he really loved it here though. For a long time he didn't have a cat flap but he became more vocal here. Yowling to be let out, yowling for food (they now got wet food which he loved) and yowling for his toy. Oh boy, his toy. We bought this feather on a stick toy and he was mad for it. He would sit for hours just looking up at the bookshelf where it was kept waiting for us to play with it. Any time you stood up from the sofa he would get up from where he was sleeping and run to it just in case you were getting it down! Here he started doing his jumping up without towels (probably because we no longer had the ensuite). You would just be standing somewhere and suddenly feel this weight against your thigh (over 5kg of weight now!). It meant that you needed to feed, let out or play with him. He made his needs quite clear!

On the 14th of July 2011 I got a call from Sam whilst I was in London. He said he thought Giles had been hit by a car. A neighbour had told our next door neighbour that a tabby cat had been hit by a car and had been taken away by the council. The person said they thought it had a collar. Stevie (our neighbour) told his little girls that Tilly had died, but then Tilly came home. Stevie then came round and told Sam as Giles is also tabby. Sam called me. We hoped that it wasn't him but as it got later and Giles didn't turn up for dinner the hope died. I called the council the next morning hoping to recover Giles' body so that we could have him cremated and keep his ashes. I was told that the council dispose of bodies right away. He was gone from us. However they don't keep any data on the animals they collect other than the call they receive so all they could tell me was that a tabby was picked up in the area. I have to hope that it was quick and that his body was shown the respect that such a wonderful boy deserves.

So that was my handsome boy, from birth to death he was a charming part of my life. I didn't mean for this to be so long, but I wanted to put somewhere our memories of him. Anyone who has been to our house since 2007 knows how central our babies are to us. I love having guests but this is their home and my babies do come first. They are a very central part of our life and I want it to be known that this little boy played such a role. He was here, he lived and he affected those around us. He will be missed and never forgotten.

Here is a link to an album I set up on facebook of pictures of him. 





January 2012



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