Forever Flora

16730519_10158248979040383_4884608599785778706_nWas. Is. Always will be.

  • Millie. Flora. Christine
  • Alice
  • Flo, Flowie, Fleur, Flea-ra
  • Flosomely
  • Florence
  • Lamington . Lamington Boyle
  • Lamball. Lamball Jones
  • Lamb
  • Flora Boyle
  • Flora

For 10 years Flora was by my side. Through thick fog and sunshine and rainbows.

A beauty of a feline who willingly offered up a number of her nine lives, to ensure we experienced the full gauntlet of life together.

  • Auto- immune disease – Tick
  • Depressive episodes – Tick
  • Insomnia – Tick
  • Idiosynchratic tendencies – Tick

And that was just the fun stuff!

We moved house together, from house – share to solo living and back to house-share. Six moves in ten years.  And our regular trips to the South Coast, and the countless times you took up residency in Austinmer whilst I forged a truly solo existence in Sydney.

Yet we were never apart for too long. It was too hard on heart-strings.

Saying good-bye to you forever last month hurt. It still does and will for some time.

I was there with you to the end and I thanked you for all you did for me during our friendship. I count you among those responsible for delivering me to the happiest place I have ever been in , well, forever.

We both knew it was your time to go. You were tired, and I don’t blame you.

Your going to be a hard act to follow Flora.

And for that reason I’m not looking for a replacement.

You were one in a million.

Thank you for choosing me to be your pet parent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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M is for Moonie

MoonieMoonie

My first sighting of Ms Moonie was in September 2015.  I had just resigned from my position at the University of Sydney. I had just moved to a new neighbourhood. I was adrift in a tsunami of change.

It was fate that our paths crossed. You caused me to stop dead in my tracks and appreciate the small things. When I was in your company, nothing else mattered. I could whether any storm.

Moonie epitomised all things cat, her take it or leave it cat-ittude, her pleasure-seeking ways, her pout, her purr, her petite figure, her pink grumpy cat colour, her Siamese sexiness.

Then and there I declared my desire to come back as a cat in my next life.

I fell head over heals in admiration. I began to question my loyalty to Flora.

So frequent were my facebook snaps of Ms Moonie, that questions such as ‘ Have you got another cat?’ ‘ Who has stolen your heart?’ began to feature.

But Flora had my heart. Always.

Moonie just escorted me along Abermarle Street, Newtown each day. Intent on seeing me onto the bus, the train. She had Flora and my best interests at heart, ensuring I did the daily 9-5 so I  could afford my rent, continue to by top shelf cat food.

My adoration of Moonie, was always about Flora.

It has been a year since Ms Moonie and I were neighbours. And I miss her encouragement, her purr, her presence. I have been back on numerous occasions, keen to a catch-up, only to be disappointed.

But the good people of Abermarle Street, know me well and keep me updated of her movements, on occasions when my smile turns upside down when a visit proves fruitless.

Ms Moonie – you really are just too cool. If there is an afterlife, I vow to model my second coming on all things you.

Related Posts : Today is a GREAT day

 

 

 

 

 

 

A is also for Alice

 

Alice Boo Boyle

Alice Boo Boyle

And then came Alice Boo Boyle.

And the adoration of all things feline amplified.

Alice Boo Boyle lived all of her 9 lives and then some. She parted ways with the world but five years ago,  a fine vintage, aged 18 years, 9 months.

Alice Boo Boyle lived as she loved.

Her love of puffed wheat cereal, brocoli, pasta, corn on the cob was legendary. As was her love of food generally. The seal on our family fridge replaced not once but twice as she clawed her way into the ice box in search of …well…anything!

Alice was a cat to which poetry was penned. A cat to which new music was composed and performed. A cat who brought together the community for milestone birthdays, her 10th and her 18th.

When Alice passed from this life to the next, I was five years into my love affair with a cat that was all mine, Flora Boyle. If I’m honest, Flora was Alice and Alice was Flora.

There were trips South, with Flo in tow and these two black beauties would face off in the family home! But Flora was Alice, Alice Flora – in each other they saw their themselves. And they simply purred*

A post written in 2012 when Alice Boo Boyle. as Albert had done 18 years earlier, cashed in her one way ticket to heaven.

Sums it all up, all 18 years, 9 months of adoration, love and respect for the cat that built upon Bert Boyle’s legacy :Alice Boo Boyle Obituary

* not really true – it just read so well!

A is for Albert

Nan and I ( with Albert the cat)

Albert, Nan and Me

Albert Boyle

The first cat I ever loved with my whole heart.

He loved me back too.

My Father, many years after Albert passed away, stated that we had a cat in our family to absorb teenage angst and frustration. This disclosure may explain the fact why Albert booked a one way ticket to heaven as I neared the tender age of 13. Good old Bert had seen the writing on the wall, it was time to go!

Albert was much-loved. He loved the other Boyle pets as much as I did – though his love crossed a line.

Our budgie Bruce, allowed to fly freely around the house one afternoon, had his fate sealed when Albert emerged from the garage to play catch and kiss ( of death) in the lounge room.

My pet mouse Mushroom, brought from Corrimal Pet store for 50c, handed over by my Mother on a shopping expedition – ‘ I’m going to buy a paddle pop!’

Poor Mushroom, who escaped her cage, and went missing for a number of weeks, only to return ‘home’ pregnant. Babies delivered safely, Mother Mushroom proud as punch. Trusty Bert joined in the celebrations, gobbling them up during a 3am feed.

Albert Boyle you broke my heart on a number of occasions.

But the little tears mended with ease when your perfect purr started up, or your simply stared cross-eyed in my direction.

You paved the way for Alice Boo Boyle to come bounding into the family. But this post is yours. You will always be my number one, the holy grail of all things cat.

 

Born Purring

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When I was born, my Mother and Father noted that instead of crying , I purred.

I was a happy baby, a happy toddler, a happy person.

Today is the first day of Spring, the start of new month and therefore a fresh start for September blog posts. This year I have set about writing nostalgic posts and recycling old content. This month I will solely dedicate to my love of all things feline.

I was born purring after all…..

The slideshow provides evidence that my love affair has been life long. The photo of my baptism candle depicts a girl with a clowder of cats at her feet. It sets the scene oh so purrectly. The flame burns bright for Albert, Alice, Flora, family cats who have shaped me into the person I am today. It flickers for the four pawed friends I am yet to meet.

As a one year old, I read books on cats ( see picture) . My reading buddy was Albert, the family Siamese. He was my childhood best fur friend.

As a 20 month old, I took to strangle hugging cats on farms ( see picture) I had so much love to give and cats were powerless to refuses my advances. Although the image implies death was not too far off for the tabby I like to say it was transfixed by love.

As a three-year old I lived abroad in Canada. Cats went weak at the knee’s when they heard my Aussie accent. Like putty in my hands, I was the mini Aussie cat whisperer. No Canadian cat was safe and I had lots of love, and strangle hugs to give.

My life long love affair with all things felines is a sure thing, just as the sun rises each morning. There is much to written about and I have 30 days ahead to do just that.

I was born purring after all……

 

Cementing Love…Take Three

This post has been recyled for a third time. One of my favourites from the last 6 years of writing Catch up with a Mate posts.

My fur best friend Flora and I, a union etched into cement, Earl Street, Randwick, circa June 2013. It high time I returned to my old hood, for old time sakes, to marvel at what was, what has been and what is yet to come.

In 2015 I wrote …..

As I prepare my great escape from the East, a few posts from my time in this exclusive neighborhood come to mind…and I just have to bring them to the forefront once more.

Cementing Love

In 2013 I wrote….

A few weeks back my street was treated to a new foot path / pavement.

Initially I was hesitant to engage in some street art…but when my neighbours started to get creative…I rallied to the cause.

The sun had gone down , so I shone my i-phone screen in the direction of the footpath with careful precision I lovingly carved my name, Flora the cat’s name, to cement.

And I got in just in time.. the footpath had nearly set….It was after all 7.33pm, and the cement had been laid at 9.07am.

I am ever so proud of my street art….Friends say I have changed, that the previous Kate Boyle would NEVER have engaged in modern-day street graffiti

But change is good…and everyday when I close the front door of my tiny flat and take to the streets, I am greeted with a constant reminder that change is good…the big, the small, the seemingly insignificant..

Flora

Flora

Flora

Flora the cat. She is my world. She is my muse.

That is how I came to choose her name all those years ago. I had paid a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the work of Spanish great, Picasso. It was there that I saw a paining of Ms Dora Mar, one of the artists muses. I liked the idea of having a muse in life, a source of artistic inspiration which is a guiding force.

And to muse over something, to ponder and reflect, is a process that takes a great deal of time. You cannot muse over something in a couple of seconds. rather a number of years, decades even.

I borrowed from Dora, replacing the D with the letters F and L, and so came to be the black cat with anxiety levels to rival mine.

Flora the cat I have mused over her for 10 years and counting.

When I think back to the summer months of January 2007, when I dared to think that maybe this renter could own a cat, I thank my lucky stars that this little bundle of black fur chose me.

For Flora, had you known what was the next 10 years entailed, would you have stuck by me? Would you have bothered to scale the fence of my Leichhardt property and projectile meow into my bedroom window till I begrudgingly let you inside? Why did you single me out and not bother my flatmates? What was it that drew you to me?

Whatever the reason, I needed you more than you could have ever known. Back then I did not know myself.

You willingly comforted me every step of the way along the long road to acceptance. You cushioned the seemingly endless brutal blows with your soft fur and calming purr, you absorbed my tears and provided endless opportunities for cuddles.

Family and friends have been instrumental in supporting me too, but you my little fluffy muse, you have been by my side each and every day, more so than my nearest and dearest. You have seen the good, bad and the truly ugly.

To muse over something takes a good number of years, decades even, That is how long I will think of you Flora, for all you have done for me and for guiding and delivering me safely to a point in life with which I can honestly say I am truly at peace.

Thank you for finding me.

Today is a GREAT day

Today is going to be a good day.

Why?

I was escorted to work by Ms Moonie of Abermarle Street, Newtown.

Winter months have meant that sightings have been few and far between.

Today is a good day.

Moonie greeted me with her perfect pout, grumpy cat pink collar and ‘that’ glorious ‘ meow’  – only possible from the petite Siamese princess of 91 years old ( or 13 years in human)

Miss Moon – you have stolen my heart.

I have resided in Newtown for close to a year, and within days of arriving in the hood our paths crossed.

It was when I was in between jobs, and I caught a glimpse of you with your brother Coco, sprawled over a white Toyota bonnet in the sun.

Instantly I knew we would be firm friends – you helped to cement my desire in the afterlife (if there is such a thing) to come back as a cat – your species has indeed perfected the art of relaxing.

Ms Moon you act as if there is not a care in the world, love nothing more than to be petted and patted, whilst basking in the glorious sunlight.

When I leave Newtown next month, I will miss our morning catch ups.

I suspect that I will return to the neighbourhood every now and then – you are a my second best feline friend (Flora being number one) and I want to keep it that way.

Actually, today is a great day.

Why?

I was escorted to work by Ms Moonie of Abermarle Street, Newtown.

Moonie and Coco

Adam and Eve, Romeo and Juliet,Tarzan and Jane.

True lovers; friends, sparring partners, enemies, life companions.

To this legendary roll call must be added two aging cats of Abermarle Street, Newtown

Moonie and Coco

Though age has wearied them, mattered fur,withered limbs, missing teath….love in it’s purest form radiates round this majestic pair.

I LOVE bumping into them in the street, it makes my day, my week….for in their company everything in the world is just as is should be. Purrfect.

Moonie and Coco – Long may you love

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20151024-154618.jpgViewer Notes –  Moonie ( left) Coco ( right ) in photo 1 & 2. Coco appears solo in photo 3. Moonie solo in photo 4

Cementing Love…the second time round

As I prepare my great escape from the East, a few posts from my 5 years in this exclusive neighborhood come to mind…and I just have to bring them to the forefront once more……original post June 2013

Cementing Love

A few weeks back my street was treated to a new foot path / pavement.

Initially I was hesitant to engage in some street art…but when my neighbours started to get creative…I rallied to the cause.

The sun had gone down , so I shone my i-phone screen in the direction of the footpath with careful precision I lovingly carved my name, Flora the cat’s name, to cement.

And I got in just in time.. the footpath had nearly set….It was after all 7.33pm, and the cement had been laid at 9.07am.

I am ever so proud of my street art….Friends say I have changed, that the previous Kate Boyle would NEVER have engaged in modern-day street graffiti

But change is good…and everyday when I close the front door of my tiny flat and take to the streets, I am greeted with a constant reminder that change is good…the big, the small, the seemingly insignificant..

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