I TRUST I’m far from alone in finding one particular kind of Mail story making my blood boil.
Too often today, we see reports of totally unnecessary cruelty to animals.
I’ve said before that it is important to catch the offenders because, apart from the original evil, all the research shows that such offenders are more than likely to move on to harming people.
Perhaps there are simply two kinds of people in the world.
Happily, the vast majority of us are more programmed to stroke an animal than harm it.
Perhaps, too, we can divide the world into those who have pets and those who don’t.
I mention this because losing a loved pet is desperately sad, and I’ll understand if non-pet owning readers just don’t get it.
We lost our lovely black and white cat Walter recently and I still miss him.
He was just eleven years old, not that old for a cat, but, after some weeks of illness, he succumbed to a form of leukaemia.
Column readers with long memories will remember that Walter was a twin and I’m happy to say that his sister Eva is still with us.
Walter was a girl too, but was originally thought to be a chap after misinformation from our elder one.
We named them Walter and Eva after the splendid Walter Weaver comic strip in Viz, but had to have a re-think after their first visit to the vet.
To say that they were twins, they were very unlike each other.
Little Walter, and tiny he was, never looked much more than a kitten, while marmalade Eva is about as big as a decent-sized sheep.
Walter was a boy in personality too, always keener to be in my den watching football and cricket on TV or checking scripts for me, while girly Eva was downstairs watching soaps.
I’m convinced that cats are much more intelligent than people give them credit for – Eva has changed since we lost her other half.
She hardly used to set foot in the den, seeing it as Walter territory, and then something remarkable happened.
A few days into getting used to losing Walter, I felt a cat nuzzling my knee as I worked at this very computer, and there was Eva jumping up for a cuddle.
She honestly seems to be trying her best to step into black and white paw steps.
Our two grandsons are missing him too and we’ve made a special bit of garden around where he’s buried.
For them, Walter will always be a part of their growing up, and thank goodness they are growing up as pet lovers, with all that means.