In memory of Min

Min at a show
Image courtesy of Alan Robinson

She was a tiny lilac kitten, tumbling around the room with her bigger brown brother. Julie, her breeder, told me they were the only two left. The scene was set and the deal done. That lilac girl was so small, such a miniature version of a cat. That was it – her name was Min.

A few weeks after Min and Pickle came home, I moved and was without them for a short time. But they were soon living with me again and the three of us set about defining our lives together. The house where I lived was rented and had no cat flap. They explored the wide world, I worried and never went to bed before they came in. Min brought me presents – usually dead – of small mice and voles. Later on, when she was perhaps older and wiser, she found she could still bring me gifts - this time toys from the basket which didn't require any chasing. Many's the time I have woken up with a toy delicately placed on the duvet, or dropped outside the bedroom door.

Min was entered in her first show aged approx. 4 or 5 months. She won... and the bug had bitten. She was entered in numerous shows during her life, achieving the title of Champion and one Grand Champion certificate. But as she got older and enjoyed her food, she got chubby and as she seemed happy that's how she went on. Later on, when we'd moved house, the catrun in the garden was a safe place, 24 hours a day, to hunt through the long grass, sniff the smells and feel the fresh air and the sunshine.

She had several litters of kittens with Grand Champion Typha Qweens Nighte, two most notable being her daughter Suki and her son Milo, both of whom went on to take the show-world by storm. Even when she'd passed responsibility for the next generation to her daughters, Min still loved kittens and was snuggling with the latest newborns just days before her final operation.

One of the most characteristic things about Min was her purr. It wasn't just a purr. It was a chirrup, a happy sound starting somewhere deep inside and rolling up through her throat until she could be heard from some distance away. It was so distinctive and everyone who met her loved it. Her vet, Gerard, once asked if she ever stopped. I told him, no – only when she's asleep.

What else about Min? What more can I tell you about this little cat who shared my life for nearly 15 years? What more can I do to bring her to life in your imagination? I could tell you about how she curled up next to me on the sofa each evening. How she climbed the chimney when just a kitten and had to be grabbed by the hind leg and dragged back into the lounge showering everything with soot. How she always padded around the top of the pillow on the bed to get to the other side, instead of walking straight over me. How she sat on the window ledge watching for my car and waiting to welcome me when I got home. How she watched avidly as ice-skaters waltzed across the TV screen, stretching out a tentative paw to those moving figures. How she would suddenly fluff up her tail at nothing in particular and race round in circles, stopping every so often with her front paws splayed apart before hurtling off again. And on and on...

So many memories over so many years, little Min; you have left a big hole in the lives of all those who knew you. The house feels different now you're gone - quieter, emptier. There's something missing now which was there at the weekend, even though you were in the hospital.

Rest in peace my beautiful girl; play with Looney at the Rainbow Bridge until we can all be reunited.