His name was Scooter, but we often called him Scootie, or Scoots, or even the unlikely Scootifer. If I asked my wife Jan “Where did he go now?”, she knew who I meant.
Scooter was from Toronto, but he travelled with us to Daglan when we left Canada in the summer of 2010. That involved a transatlantic flight to Paris; a night in our favourite Paris hotel; a long train journey to Brive; and then a drive down through a tourist-packed Sarlat to reach Daglan.
First in Toronto and then in Daglan, he was with us for more than 13 years in all, and he became an important — and often quite visible — member of our family.
He wasn’t the best communicator; his noises tended to be the same regardless of whether he was hungry, or wanted to be petted, or needed to be brushed, or wanted someone to clean his box. He did purr very well, however.
He could be quite infuriating. We were never very thrilled, for instance, when he would wander around our bedroom at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., wailing. We also were not amused when he would suddenly pivot to bite your hand while you stroked him gently and he purred contentedly.
He seemed to know instinctively when visitors were friends of ours. Then he would hop onto their laps, and drape himself over one of their legs, in a pose reminiscent of a jaguar draped over a tree branch in the jungle. In this photo, he is seen lying on Jan’s lap:
In later years, he became arthritic, and limped around the house. His favourite spots for snoozing were in front of the fireplace, or on a mat under a radiator in the bathroom.
Now we have had to say good-bye to all that. Late yesterday morning, Scooter was put to sleep by our vet in Gourdon, as the signs of severe kidney failure had become increasingly apparent: listlessness, complete loss of appetite, and disturbing results from a series of blood tests.
So Scooter is now at peace. As for us, we are feeling pretty sad.