In December 2014 I wrote
"Regular readers will know the story of our two refuge cats Romulus and Remus. They did everything together and it was somehow fitting that fate had brought them into our lives. So it is with great sadness I have to tell your all that Romulus died of old-age last Thursday and that Remus was put to sleep by the vet this morning.
Romulus had been fading for a while now but wasn't unhappy or in pain so while that was true we didn't think anything needed to be done. Romulus went to bed at the normal time on Wednesday but died during the night. Poor old Remus then stopped eating and drinking and was so distressed that after talking to the vet it was agreed that the kind and merciful thing to do would be to have Remus put to sleep.
The two of them have been buried in our back garden, side by side in death as they were in life. They will be greatly missed.
If anybody tells you that the death of a family pet isn't a big issue then they are flat out lying - or horribly insensitive. Even our husbands, normally the sensible ones, are feeling sad.
Nicola and Alice (both 2) have noticed that Romulus and Remus are missing. Ella told the girls that the cats had gone to live with an animal doctor and they seemed to accept this in a rather matter-of-fact way. I think they are too young to understand the concept of death so there wasn't any point even trying to explain the idea to them.
At the moment the cats' bed is still where it has always been. Perhaps at the weekend we will be brave enough to move it down into the cellar because I don't think we want to throw it away just yet.
In life Romulus and Remus were never more than a few feet apart and in a strange way burying them so their limbs were intertwined made perfect sense. Now they are at the Rainbow Bridge they will have been restored to full health so the other cats and dogs better watch out!"
Well now, 16 months later, we have got two cats again. Both are refuge cats that used to belong to an old man who died a few weeks ago. Nobody at the refuge seemed to know their names so we have named them Tom and Jerry. They are oldish - probably about 12 - and are said to be siblings. They are slowly and cautiously getting used to their new surrounding but they seem placid and friendly and should fit into our fairly hectic lives quite well.
Ella and I are not dog lovers but cats can take you or leave you without a thought and in a strange way that seems to echo the way people treated us in the past.