Before Jill and Dave lived
together, Jill lived in a small village in Mid Suffolk and had always
talked of getting a cat. One day she noticed that a mouse had made its
home in the garage, so the decision was made. After a few enquiries, she
went to see a little black cat which needed a home.
But there was a problem. The owner said there was not just one kitten,
but two brothers who had always been together and she didnít think they
should be split up Ė so on New Yearís Day 1987 both Sooty and Smudge
came to live with Jill.
They were not quite six months old but as we didnít know their real
birthday, we gave them the same day as Jillís Grandma, 31st July (1986).
Sooty was smaller than his brother Smudge, completely black, and much
more easy going; he would always be found behind Smudge, egging him on
to some mischief or other!
After living happily with Jill for some 10 years or so, both Sooty and
his brother Smudge were kidnapped by Dave and transported to Fieldfare
as blackmail to persuade Jill to move there as well! Of course this
worked a treat and they began a new life in West Suffolk, meeting cows
at the bottom of the garden for the first time (very scary!)
Sooty loved everyone; he especially liked Pete, Timestepís computer
programmer, who would hold him at armís length because he dribbled a bit
when he was happy! (Sooty that is, not Pete!) He had the loudest miaow
we had ever heard and would begin as soon as he entered the cat flap,
getting louder and louder until he found us. His favourite trick was to
bring baby rabbits in through the catflap (we had to construct steps up
to it because he was too small to get in normally!) carrying them like
kittens without harming them at all. We always managed to rescue them
and replace them under the hedge where they hopped off into the fields.
Sooty moved to Dartmouth with Dave and Jill in May 2001, by then he was
quite an elderly boy and spent most of his time indoors. He started to
get deaf and his miaow got even louder! But he could always tell that we
had come home by the vibration of the front door and would come to greet
us. Eventually though, his poor little heart got worn out and he died on
8th September 2003 aged 17. He is buried in the garden at Viewpoint
under his favourite holly tree and catnip plant.
Sooty 2002 in Viewpoint Dartmouth
Sooty 2001 in Fairview Dartmouth
Sooty 1998 in Wickhambrook
Sooty 1997 in Wickhambrook
Sooty 1991 in Battisford