Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Berlin, Germany
Ridley 2000-2019 - International cat of mystery
Most of you wont know him, but some "old timers" on this board might (from when my username was Melysion). I posted this on my facebook feed when he died back in July.
I actually dont like cats very much in general terms. I much prefer dogs, but my lifestyle doesn't permit me to have a dog, so I decided to take on hard to home cats instead. Toby was the first. He was FIV+ and I had him for four years. Ridley - well he had been in foster care for months before I adopted him, because no-one wants to take on a senior cat. He was already 11 years old.
Things had reached crisis point for Ridley, due to the arrival of a mum-cat and babies. There was simply no more room at the inn. so, I took him in on the same day as my previous cat had died. This is not to be recommended by the way, as it prevented me from bonding with Ridley for the first month or so. All I could think was "He isn't my Toby". As it turned out, he was a much nicer cat than Toby and I felt much closer to him eventually. But poor puss had it a bit tough with nasty (well - disinterested) new owner initially.
Ridley wasn't really called Ridley. His name was Zsai Zsai. He was born in China and was brought to the UK with his then owner, a Chinese exchange student. And then, over the years, he was was passed along from one exchange student to the next until, eventually, aged 11, he ran out of luck. He was evicted because his owner before me was a lodger and her live-in landlady wanted to have a baby. Yeah, that old chestnut. Sigh.
When people asked me what Ridley was like, the first thing was always "I wouldn't wish him on my worst enemy" but in a very affectionate way of course. He was loud. SERIOUSLY loud. At full volume you could hear him above a pneumatic drill. He was continually talking and had an very varied "vocal suite". His meow was a bit unpleasant (vet once said he had Siamese in him), it was more of a screech than anything else. He wasnt particularly good looking, due to a broken nose (I think he might have had an argument with a car at some point). And was very attention seeking, very jealous, very extroverted and in your face the whole time. He was an absolute pain in the arse. I'm sure he thought his name was "shut up". When he was younger he was a big, muscular cat that intimidated other cats. When he was older, a skinny little cat who still got away with intimidating other cats that would otherwise beat the crap out of him by "giving it large". He got away with it by using the sheer force of his personality and acting like he owned the joint. He was like a "cuckoo in the nest", just walking in and taking over. Very funny.
And of course I wouldn't have exchanged Ridley for anything. He had an amazing personality and was pretty smart for a cat. And very affectionate. It was probably "cover love" to get his favourite treats (cat yogurts) most of the time, but still adorable.
I wonder how many cats have lived in three countries, or have traveled to as many countries as Ridley did. I think it was 6 countries in two days when we moved to Berlin. Something like that. I'd say that was pretty cool.
I did worry about bringing him with me (I was wondering whether our eardrums would survive the journey) but he really behaved very well - he could be "good", the little sod.
I'm very sad, I'm going to miss him enormously. But I'm not horribly upset as it was definitely his time to go. He hadn't been well for a little while, so I sort of knew this would probably be his last year. I made a promise to him when I first adopted him that I would be his "forever cat-mum" and I'm glad to have been that for almost half of his life.
So will I get another cat? What do you think? I got all this posh German cat food that needs eating for a start! But not for a wee while maybe. It would be even more difficult for a new cat to fill Ridleys shoes than it was for Ridley to fill the gap left by Toby.
Ali and Lukas
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Last edited by marie73; 09-12-2019 at 11:38 AM.