I have lost my dearest companion.
After what is an unlikely love story, between a furry friend and his patron, I am desperately sad to report my Burnie cat has disappeared.
Like so many of the best things, he came to me completely by accident.
I was a foster home for Burnie, who was a young, approximately six-month-old kitten when he came to stay with me.
He tried to win me over right away, hounding me as soon as I came home everyday to sit down, whereupon he would immediately jump into my lap and begin purring loudly.
He spent nearly every minute possible there, sometimes on his back, making himself quite at home.
But for months I referred to Burnie as “the cat with no name” and told everyone he was just temporary.
I enjoyed his company, but no way was I getting attached.
I admit, I softened over time, and was pretty fond of him, but he was still a foster cat, I told my friends when they came to visit and expressed astonishment I wasn’t keeping him because he was such a nice cat.
But I told them he was such a great cat, anyone would love to have him, so he would easily get adopted and make anyone a fantastic cat.
After all, Burnie was not just any cat.
He had oodles and oodles of personality.
So still I resisted, and when I found a place to move to in Fort St. James, initially it was to a place where cats were not allowed.
So I put an ad in the paper, with a photo of the cat. The Fort St. James Humane Society received a large number of phone calls, all wanting to adopt Burnie.
He was a very handsome cat.
But the humane society volunteer only took the one name and number and told her to come pick up the cat from my work.
The woman never showed up, and the volunteer had not taken anyone else’s number.
Then I found a place I could rent which I liked better and where I could have a cat.
I felt it was a sign, and Burnie came up to Fort with me.
Well, that was two and a half years ago and well, he just never left. We’ve been bosom buddies ever since.
He was a fixture in the neighbourhood, as he was so social, he would go visiting when I was not around.
He came for walks with me, played in the yard with me when I was out doing gardening or yard work, and liked to show off to visitors when they came, running up trees if we were out in the yard.
More recently, he was less enthusiastic, as the new puppy was not his favourite addition.
However, he tolerated her amazingly well and would let her play with him, until she bit just a little hard, that is.
But he never hurt her, which he easily could have.
When he was tired of her rough attention, he would just go where she couldn’t reach him – up a tree or under something so she couldn’t jump on him.
But when I went away to a wedding for the weekend, Burnie took a wander a bit far, it seems, and has not returned.
Dear Mr. Burns, I’m sorry I brought a puppy home and I’m sorry I was away so much lately.
Please come home.