When I was a teenager, I would only write in my diary when I was sad or angry. I don’t want this blog to become the same thing, but as Banderas’ final post is here, it seems fitting to place lil Nanshe here too.
Nanshe was put to sleep yesterday.
Nanshe came to us at the same time as Banderas, coincidentally around the same time my husband and I first got together. I went from a single person living alone to having a partner and two troublesome cats in about a week. The cats were truly troublesome; they were about two years old, and had come from a small house with 18 other cats in it. Neither cat was at all socialised and for several weeks we could barely go near them. Over time, with bribes of food and toys, they came to allow us to pat them and hold them. Neither really ever became lap cats, but they did become a lot more affectionate.
Nanshe had additional troubles, as the runt of her litter. I couldn’t tell if she was eating at all at first, and she wasn’t properly toilet trained. Again, over time and with patience, both problems were resolved.
Nanshe’s favourite means of getting your attention was to “dust for fingerprints” – with her hugely fluffy tail, she’d back up to you and vibrate it against you, somethng I later learned was the ultimate cat compliment. She’d follow me around the house, which unfortunately earned her a few kicks as she was impossible to see when walking in the dark at night! Often when coming home, she’d be waiting near the bottom of the stairs to greet us, her squeaky purr at the ready (her puur sounded like she needed oiling). She also loved to follow me into the bathroom, and got most confused when I had a bath, sniffing the water and looking at me like I was a crazy lady.
She was such a small cat she became our international standard of small, and of fluffy. Her hair was unbelieveably soft, never changing from that kitten softness that most cats lose. Her name is the Sumerian goddess of dreams, as she reminded me of soft fluffy clouds. Despite her tiny size and soft hair, she was easily the bravest of the two, dusting and winning over strangers when they came to our house, and she loved going outside when she got the chance. Our last flat in London was in a loft extension, and in the evenings she’d roam the rooftops of Hammersmith, but came home when called before we went to bed. Bar one night, when she didn’t answer. The next morning she still wasn’t home. During the day at work Will and I created flyers to put up that evening. Upon getting home later that day, she was sitting in the lounge like nothing had happened.
Another night we had a house guest who didn’t realise Nanshe was outside and shut the window. The next day it was pouring with rain, absolutely bucketing. I realised Nanshe was missing, and opened the window and called and called, although with the rain it was loud. Eventually she dashed over the rooves and into my arms, wet and shivering.
Her favourite way to wake me was to stand right by my ear, and utter one loud “mew!”.
Nanshe loved fitting herself into boxes, the smaller the better. She would claim a favourite box until her squishing herself into it would finally break one side.
Good night lil Nanshe, I’m sorry I left you.