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At the time this picture was taken, Emma was a grand 15 years old in canine years - over 73 in equivalent human years.
Fit as a fiddle, she would hunt down and carry logs that were three times the length of her own body just for fun.
She'd sleep in the master bedroom, in a cut down cardboard box filled with blankets and a pillow on which she'd lay her head. And if that sounds far fetched - if she wasn't tucked over with a blanket she wouldn't sleep and would get up and nag until someone did her the honour of covering her with the blanket.
But her greatest trick was when she was told "Go to the loo" and she'd direct accusing looks of laziness at you before pulling herself through the dog flap in the back door and going out into the large back garden, which bordered on a field and the woods in which she is pictured to the left. Hover the mouse over to enlarge.
Its A Dog's Life
A tale of human insensitivity
Keeping watch on the goings on in the street are Charlie Guy and Missy, the Newsmedianews canaries.
Charlie features on several Keith Harris recordings. For a closer look hover your mouse over his image.
DON'T FORGET, SEND PET STORIES TO pets
BORIS the TOM - R.I.P.
Boris arrived as a young stray who'd obviously fallen for our other cat Celine. It wasn't long before they had a litter and seemed as happy as pie. Eventually, after most of the kittens grew and moved on, Boris and Celine distanced themselves from each other but still seemed good friends.
True to his tomular self, off he'd go on nocturnal adventures but seldom stayed away for longer than 24 hours. So when one time he failed to return, by the third day I was quite concerned, having called for him throughout each day in the enclosed back garden to our home in the center of Hove in Brighton, England.
On the third evening of his disappearance I was about to return indoors after unsuccessfully calling when I heard a pitiful moan. There was Boris, dragging himself by his front paws along the garden path towards the door. His head was covered in blood and he looked a terrible mess.
At the time we had little money and after getting our injured friend indoors and making several trelephone calls, we eventually secured the kind help of an animal charity. We learned that Boris had shattered his pelvis, broken several ribs and lost most of his front upper and lower teeth. The vet considered he'd been attacked by someone and not struck by a vehicle. We were horrified.
He was kept at the veterinary hospital for two weeks then returned home, where we had to keep him in a special, cage to restrict his movement and allow his broken pelvis to mend.
He made an exceptional recovery, considering he hardly had any teeth left with which to eat.
What still puzzles me is how he got back into the garden, which was surrounded by high walls - five feet down either side and 20 feet high at the rear, with no gaps anywhere. He'd certainly not been in the garden as I'd searched it daily. A mind boggling feat of endurance.
We then moved to Essex, where Boris, now fully recovered, found himself with a huge back garden to explore and many more adjoining it. We had several happy years until my own family split up and I was forced to leave the big house and move, so that my wife and three children might continue living there.
I moved to Southampton in Essex, where I'd found a new job in nearby Winchester. There was just Boris and myself in a small house I rented in a quiet cul-de-sac in the center of Southampton. I felt a little guilty as I'd be gone working each day, often for several hours in the evening and often at weekends.
Mindful of his close encounter with death, I'd warn him of the dangers of the city. There was something in his wise old eyes that made me feel he understood. He had his own cat flap at the back of the house and a very tiny enclosed garden, though it was possible for him to explore beyond it. Yet I cannot remember ever once returning to that house at the end of work or a journey out and not finding him indoors, or on calling for him seeing him appear just moments later.
A year later and our individual sojourns in life had turned us into closer friends than before. By now his former terrible pelvic injuries had turned noticeably a little arthritic and he'd developed a slight limp and was obviously in some pain.
I'd met a new friend and rented a house in the Hampshire countryside at a place with the unlikely name of Lower Upham. It was idyllic - fields, fields, rivers, more fields and large woods. We'd all moved to the house in deep winter on a bleak, snowy February day when temperatures dropped to minus nine degrees centigrade and fell to -17° at night - quite unusual for that part of the country.
By the time the winter began to fade, it seemed that Boris was happy in his new element. He'd made very good friends with Emma (pictured above) and all seemed well.
Sadly he didn't live to enjoy the summer in his new home. Returning home from work one evening, he'd gone missing. I wasn't duly alarmed - there was a lot of territory for him to explore. The next morning he was still nowhere to be found and we left for work. In the evening he was still missing, and by midnight I'd grown a little alarmed and went out looking with a torch.
I found him lying in a small gap between our house and an adjoining, disused chapel that was really no more than a shed. His body was cold and there was no sign at all of any injury. Whether he'd eaten poison, or simply gone out to die remains a mystery.
Felling immensely sad at his loss, we brought him indoors and then dug a final resting place for him in the spacious back garden, planting a rose bush over the spot.
Boris was a powerful, muscular cat with the friendliest temperament imaginable. I still miss him, though he's probably quite happy now in feline paradise.
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