In memory of Suki

Suki at a show
Image courtesy of Paddy Cutts

Suki was one of seven kittens born to my original Burmese girl Min, and was in the first litter I ever bred. Right from the start people who knew better than I, told me how gorgeous she was. I just knew she was a lovely kitten, and she seemed to conform to all the requirements for a show cat, so she had her first outing on the show bench and did well. This success was to follow her throughout her life, and she retired from showing whilst still in the top echelons.

That was her public persona. At home she was gentle, loving and graceful. She rarely purred, but had inherited the most amazing chirrup from her mum, which hardly ever stopped – except again, like her mum, just when she was sleeping. Her pedigree name suited her well, translating to “calm” or “peaceful”. I rarely saw her stressed in any way. Suki loved kittens (until she got a little older), had several litters of her own and was a fabulous mum. She’d be outside the bedroom when I got up in the mornings, and at the door to meet me when I got home at night. She’d spend her days in the sun, moving around the house to find the best spot, and many’s the summer evening when I’d get home from work and see her lying along the window-ledge soaking up the rays of the setting sun. She enjoyed the outside run in summer and the radiator beds in winter, and my lap at any time. She loved her food and got quite cuddly, but was still beautiful. She was inquisitive and enjoyed playing with her catnip mice, but her favourite game was to launch herself into mid-air trying to catch soft balls which I’d bounce off the wall above the sofa.

But for all her gentleness, Suki had huge strength of character. When she was around 7 or 8, she had a close brush with death. She was 3 weeks pregnant but something made her ill. We were never quite sure what, but ultimately it was thought to be some kind of hormonal imbalance. She was spayed, and for about 10 days she was at the surgery. Eventually Gerard said,” take her home, let’s see how she does.” I got up through the night for several nights to feed her until one day she wobbled her own way out to the water bowl. She looked at it for a long time. It was like she was deciding what to do – to drink, and turn the corner that would bring her through - or not to. She drank. And once her kidneys began to fail at about 13, she fought then too. More than once she went through a crisis, and rallied. But each time she wasn’t quite as well as before. Finally the battle was one too many, and I had to make the decision to let her go. In the end it was an easy one to make – for her sake.

I was there when she was born and I was there when she died. She was warm, in no discomfort, and her spirit left this world while she was in my arms. I hope she realised that together we could do no more and I was helping her in the only way left to me. She’s at Rainbow Bridge now with her mum Min, and other members of the extended Minahto family.

Rest in peace my beautiful girl.